Title: Lead Researcher

Reports to: Country Representative, India

Functional report to: Research Director, NY

Classification: Full-time

Location: India

Start Date: Immediately


Women’s World Banking is seeking a multi-method Lead Researcher based in India to lead quantitative and qualitative research and thought leadership on women’s financial inclusion in India and Bangladesh.


This position works with two different teams: the India country team and the global research team.

  • The India country team, established only a year ago, serves both the India and Bangladesh markets. This cross-functional team comprises people with banking and financial services experience in advisory, network & development, project management, data analysis & budgeting, women-centric design, communications, advocacy, digital enablement, and other such competencies. The India Council comprises the seniormost leaders on the India country team and provides management oversight across the functional domains across all initiatives in these markets. This position sits on the India Council and a peer to the Advisory, Network, Development, and other leads.
  • Research is integral to Women’s World Banking’s approach to understanding the financial lives of low-income women in emerging markets and developing innovative financial solutions for women’s security and prosperity. Women’s World Banking’s global research team is growing to eight full-time staff and two interns. This position is key to ensuring Women’s World Banking’s advocacy for women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion in India is evidence-based.


The Lead Researcher will contribute to three broad workstreams:

  1. Large sample quantitative surveys and small-sample qualitative customer research as part of Women’s World Banking’s advisory work, with the goal of equipping financial services providers with the information they need to improve and design products for women customers;
  2. Deep-dive research on key trends that have relevance for women customers, with particular focus on India and Bangladesh; and
  3. Defining and measuring Women’s World Banking’s long-term contribution to women’s economic empowerment through qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Under these workstreams, research outputs include analysis for internal Women’s World Banking use, external-facing reports, and thought leadership opportunities to influence policy and practice to advance financial inclusion for women.


The ideal candidate will have a successful record of publication on financial services or financial inclusion, focused on driving stakeholder action. S/he will be passionate about women’s economic empowerment and eager to serve as a thought leader in the financial inclusion community. S/he will be assertive and self-motivated, and eager to co-create with colleagues across the organization.



Key responsibilities:

  • Research design and execution:
    • Craft multi-method research projects, selecting appropriate research design to make progress on key research questions facing financial institutions, the financial sector, and policymakers as they engage with women’s financial inclusion.
    • Obtain IRB approval where necessary, adhering to IRB protocol for research studies
    • Apply quantitative techniques such as:
      • Sampling in complex environments
      • Questionnaire development for primary data collection
      • Impact evaluation using experimental or quasi-experimental methods
      • Data analysis, including a selection of the following methods: descriptive statistics, trend analysis, inferential and regression techniques, clustering or segmentation, predictive analytics, the building and utilization of indices, or other tools
    • Apply qualitative techniques such as:
      • Literature reviews
      • Key informant interviews
      • Semi-structured interviews
      • Ethnographic research or participant observation
      • UX research methods
      • Intercept interviews
      • Customer journey mapping


  • Thought leadership
    • Work with India and research team leadership to identify the most pressing topics for women’s financial inclusion in India and Bangladesh
    • Provide data-driven insights through clear and concise writing. Outputs may include reports, blog posts, white papers, internal memos, and peer-reviewed journal articles.
    • Present information, both internally and externally, in a clear and organized way, with visuals to support the information. Outputs may include webinars, panels at conferences, executive-level briefings, internal presentations, and more.
    • Provide data-driven advice and guidance to colleagues working with financial services providers to guide the design of products and services.


  • Stakeholder management
    • Participate in establishing partnership with network members, industry leaders, policymakers, and key decision makers
    • Participate in regional conversations on financial inclusion and economic empowerment, highlighting the gender perspective
    • Synthesize research findings to identify opportunities for different stakeholders to take defined action to advance women’s financial inclusion


Within the first 75 days:

  • Assume full responsibility of the position;
  • Embrace Women’s World Banking’s core values and desired behaviors;
  • Forge positive working relationships with cross-functional staff;
  • Embrace Women’s World Banking’s unique characteristics and offerings;
  • Learn and comprehend the Women’s World Banking business model;
  • Become trained in and fully integrate the use of Women’s World Banking systems and policies into your day-to-day activities;
  • Develop a road map to achieve targets and deliverables for the year.



  • Required:
    • Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Development Economics, Feminist Studies, Political Science, Development Studies, or related disciplines, with at least 5 years of experience in applied research
    • 6 -10 years of total work experience, at some of which has been in financial inclusion or finance
    • Key skills needed are in research design, primary qualitative and quantitative data collection, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, secondary research; experience with NGOs / social developmental sector; experience in monitoring
    • Demonstrated experience translating nuanced research findings into actionable insights
    • Successful track record working within a diverse, multi-cultural global organization, collaborating with remote colleagues, and delivering high quality work with minimal supervision
    • Nuanced understanding of financial inclusion policies and financial services sector in India, particular of savings/ loans and insurance products
    • Some combination of the following:
      • Experience with experimental and quasi-experimental research design
      • Experience with semi-structured interview methods and qualitative analysis
      • Design survey questionnaires and programming into a data collection software (Survey CTO preferred)
      • Participant observation, customer journey mapping, and UX research methods
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English for diverse audiences
    • Fluency in one or more Indian languages
    • Ability to travel 30-40% time, primarily within India but could include other markets
  • Preferred:
    • Experience working on women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment, and gender in India
    • 5-6 years research experience related to social / development sector with publication record or related to financial services, financial inclusion, fintech, and/or digital financial services with publication record
    • Experience conducting qualitative fieldwork on sensitive topics with low-income populations, working within short timelines, budget constraints in India
    • Ability to supervise data collection and data-entry processes, ensuring good quality of the data at both stages
    • Experience in data analysis and data visualization using SPSS, Stata, SAS, R or Python
    • A passion for women-centered methodologies and women’s economic empowerment


To apply for this position:

  • Submit a cover letter
  • Submit a CV
  • Submit a writing sample that demonstrates synthesis of research findings and translates findings into recommended actions