Title: Research Specialist
Reports to: Research Director
Classification: Full-time
Location: New York; Washington, DC


Quantitative research is integral to Women’s World Banking’s approach to understanding the financial lives of low-income women in emerging markets and to evaluating the impact of innovative financial solutions on women’s security and prosperity. In an interdisciplinary team of researchers, designers, and business and product specialists, this Research Specialist leads on three broad workstreams:


1) Outcomes research including impact evaluations to rigorously assess the effect of new financial services and products on women’s security and prosperity

2) Survey research efforts (large and small sample) on various topics related to women’s financial inclusion; and

3) Quantitative analysis on financial partners’ administrative data to understand female customers’ behaviors and needs.


This position drives design and sampling, selects appropriate research methods, trains field-based research teams, ensures the quality of large-scale quantitative data collection, and analyses primary and secondary data to investigate topics linked to Women’s World Banking’s core research questions and outcomes framework. This position plays a pivotal role in designing and implementing appropriate experimental and quasi-experimental techniques to evaluate the impact of new financial services for low-income women in emerging markets. These methods help rigorously establish causality and demonstrate that Women’s World Banking’s solutions have led to changes in women’s lives.


Key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Selecting appropriate research design for impact evaluations. Such design may include experimental, quasi-experimental, or other techniques. They may be short-, medium-, or long-term.
  • Designing questionnaires for primary data collection, incorporating feedback from various stakeholders.
  • Articulating sampling criteria and methodologies for data collection.
  • Hiring data collection firms, translators, and field teams.
  • Securing IRB approval and adhering to IRB protocol for research studies.
  • Overseeing and supervising quantitative data collection.
  • Managing key partnerships with financial institutions, governments, and data collection firms.
  • Analyzing data using a range of quantitative research methods to provide data-driven insights. These methods may include descriptive statistics, trend analysis, inferential and regression techniques, clustering or segmentation, predictive analytics, building evidence to support causal relationships, building and utilizing indices or other explanatory tools
  • Managing, organizing, and maintaining large datasets, understanding nuanced data ethics and security.
  • Conducting occasional internal trainings and workshops as part of capacity building and socialization of research results.
  • Contributing to the organization’s research standards, research best practices, and research agenda.


Qualifications (required):

  • Master’s degree in Economics, Development Studies, or other relevant Social Sciences discipline with quantitative training and practical experience in quantitative research
  • Minimum 5 years of experience leading applied quantitative research
  • Research or work directly with low-income populations in emerging markets
  • Experience with experimental and quasi-experimental methods for impact evaluation
  • Expertise in structuring quantitative research plans and instruments and employing varying quantitative data collection and analysis methods
  • Management of in-country research teams conducting large-scale surveys, ensuring compliance with rigorous research standards, high quality data, and timely delivery
  • Mastery of at least one statistical analysis software such as Stata, R, Python, SAS, with proficiency in a second
  • Analytical skills including segmentation, trends analysis, reporting, predictive modeling, inferential and regression analysis
  • Experience with different types of data sets including surveys, public administrative data, and proprietary administrative data spanning multiple time frames
  • Experience with data cleaning, integration and merging, variable construction and database management with one-time and continuous building of datasets
  • Ability to conduct literature reviews and synthesize findings
  • Demonstrated experience translating complex concepts and research findings into actionable insights, reports and presentations for diverse audiences
  • Verbal, written and presentation skills to share with internal and external stakeholders
  • Willingness to take on significant travel (20-30%) to emerging markets to conduct in-field research once it is safe to do so given COVID-19


Qualifications (preferred):

  • Fluency in one or more of the languages spoken in Women’s World Banking’s priority countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria)
  • Ability to work with and between statistical analysis softwares
  • Experience working on women’s financial inclusion, women’s economic and empowerment issues, and gender dynamics in emerging markets
  • Experience with multi-method research, including the ability to engage in conversations about qualitative research methods like one-on-one interviews, participant observations, and/or focus group discussion
  • Track record of effectively managing relationships with cross-functional and multi-cultural teams, in-field clients, key stakeholders and consultants
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple assignments concurrently, perform well under pressure, and meet deadlines while ensuring quality and attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and empathy in highly diverse, multicultural environments


Within the first 75 days:

  • Demonstrate your command of the position;
  • Build a strong working relationship across functional teams;
  • Embrace Women’s World Banking’s cultural values and code of conduct;
  • Develop an understanding of Women’s World Banking’s business model;
  • Get trained on and fully integrate the use of Women’s World Banking systems and policies into your day-to-day activities;
  • Develop a road map to achieving targets and deliverables for the year.