Social Science Researcher
Through its work, BFA is contributing to empowering people to be the agents of their future, building inclusive and competitive economies for a sustainable and equitable world. Together with partners and clients, we craft efficient solutions that enable individuals, organizations, and communities to thrive. BFA drives proactive responses to some of the world’s most pressing challenges including effective and sustainable development, poverty reduction, achieving fulfilling employment in the age of automation, bridging digital divides, developing participatory and evidence-informed governance, and mitigating the migratory and climate crises. BFA works at the frontiers of applied research and innovation using finance, data, and technology. In addition to our own knowledge, skills, and experience we harness data science, economic analyses, financial tools, artificial intelligence, human-centered design, and lean product development.
About the Position
BFA is seeking an experienced social science researcher to lead research projects in financial services and the digital economy, mostly in developing countries. BFA’s work typically combines qualitative and quantitative methods. The researcher would be expected to be familiar with both, and possess a high degree of competence with statistical reasoning. The researcher would be responsible for the research design, analysis and conclusions while execution would normally be undertaken by a research firm, but the researcher may be called upon to supervise fieldwork.
The researcher would work closely with other experts in BFA (for example, policy analysts, technologists, or data scientists) to design the research to meet the clients’ objectives and introduce new insights.
Some recent examples of research projects undertaken by BFA include:
- Uber drivers incomes in Kenya for the Center for Global Development
- Propensity to succeed index in Kenya with Well Told Story
- East Africa mobile money interoperability for CGAP
- PAYGo Solar Drivers and Dynamics (with CGAP)
Particular research topics of interest to BFA include: digital financial services, financial inclusion, microenterprise development, digital economy, policy development, future of work, household energy, agriculture, refugees, education, rural and urban development.
Social Science Researcher Qualifications
The ideal candidate has:
- A master’s degree or above in a relevant field of social science such as economics, anthropology, and sociology
- Experience designing and executing research in developing countries, ideally both quantitative and qualitative research
- Experience managing external, local research firms collecting data through phone surveys, focus groups, or in-depth interviews
- Several years’ experience in academia, think tanks, or other research or policy organizations
- Publications for the non-specialist audience including blogs, reports, powerpoints or other types of dissemination
- Applied statistical programming experience in STATA (test will be given)
- Excellent communication skills in English. Advanced skills in French or Spanish would be a definite asset
Part-time or short-term assignments are also possible; please indicate in your application if you prefer a part-time, short-term, or full-time opportunity.
Social Science Researcher Requirements
As part of the application:
- Please provide a one-page summary, written for the general public, of a recent project you have worked on including:
- Anything you discovered or concluded that was noteworthy, unique or unexpected.
- Links to any publications or outputs.
- Please review BFA’s signature research methodology, the financial diaries. Please write a one-page proposal for updating this methodology in the light of recent developments with research technology and/or with the target population (digitization, rising incomes, urbanization, etc.).
Anticipated Start Date: September 2019
We will prefer the researcher to be based in one of BFA’s offices in emerging markets: Colombia, India, Kenya, or Mexico. Other possible locations could be Nigeria, South Africa, the United States, France or Spain. No additional countries can be considered. BFA will not sponsor any work permit applications, therefore the researcher will need to have existing work authorization for one of BFA’s locations.
How to Apply
Please click on APPLY below and complete the application process as directed, including attaching your cover letter, your CV, and salary expectations. Compensation will be commensurate with experience.
Only shortlisted candidates who provide the required information will be contacted for follow-up.
*BFA will not pay for relocation expenses.