Becker Friedman Institute - Development Innovation Lab
About the Department
The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu.
The Associate Director of Water will build on research by Michael Kremer and coauthors suggesting that water treatment is among the most cost effective interventions for reducing child mortality (https://bfi.uchicago.edu/working-paper/2022-26/), DIL scaling up research and policy implementation to increase access to dilute-chlorine solution for household-level water treatment in low- and middle-income country.
To do this, DIL is looking to hire an Associate Director of Water to work as a leading member of the DIL water team focusing on scaling this intervention through partnerships with various government offices in several countries. Reporting to the Initiative Director, the main role of the Associate Director of Water will be partnership management and stakeholder engagement while also including evaluation support, project management, research design and management, as well as policy writing and outreach. We are looking for candidates with an understanding of impact evaluation, economics and statistics, water and public health policy, and government program implementation. Candidates are expected to be equipped with excellent oral and written communication skills, attention to detail, strong project management skills, and who can take ownership of their work independently and collaborate effectively with other members of the team.
This position will travel to Kenya and/or one of the other countries where we have projects. Applicants must be willing to travel frequently to remote areas of the countries involved. This is a full-time position for one-year with possibility for renewal.
- Supports engagements with government officials, policy practitioners, and researchers working on chlorine/safe water projects in various countries.
- Builds and maintains strong relationships with key partners in the relevant government offices.
- Scopes work for developing research and policy designs in several countries, including background research on chlorine practices and clean water access as well as travel and fieldwork to meet with potential partners and conduct interviews and focus group discussions among target populations.
- Shares feasibility assessments and initial analyses with policymakers and researchers through in-person meetings, memos, and phone calls.
- Supports DIL researchers and our partners on the study design. This includes refining the program's theory of change; identifying constraints and potential threats to the integrity of the study; and providing deep local context and cultural sensitivity to the project design.
- Supports DIL researchers and our partners with the implementation and potential scale-up of projects. This includes the execution of piloting, roll-out, and data collection plans.
- Reports regularly to PIs and DIL senior management on project progress. Flags potential problems such as delays, overspending, data quality issues, or threats to validity; and recommend solutions to the problems.
- Manages processes for establishing and executing research projects. This includes managing the development of proposals; maintaining funding initiative records and tracking compliance with donor requirements; and organizing policy outreach webinars and events and engaging with stakeholders.
- Drafts publications and presentations that summarize and synthesize the policy implications of key research results.
- Creates guides, documents, and presentations on research processes and methods that can serve as resources for policymakers and implementing partners.
- Provides expertise to researchers on compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives and mandates.
- Provides expertise to researchers and research support staff. Oversees activities related to data collection and analysis.
- Leads the establishment of new laboratories and provides assistance with purchasing new laboratory equipment; ensuring efficient operation of laboratory, including overseeing maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment.
- Performs other related work as needed.
Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.---
Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.---
- A Master's degree in economics, public health, or a closely related, quantitatively rigorous field.
Technical Skills or Knowledge:
- Minimum of seven years of previous job experience.
- Experience working with non-profit organizations and government officials on WASH projects.
- Background in randomized controlled trials.
- Experience interacting and collaborating with government officials, non-governmental organizations, and other key stakeholders in a developing country context.
- Experience with presenting research findings at public forums, including non-research focused audiences.
- Complete fluency in English.
- A background (education or experience) in water is strongly encouraged.
- Strong quantitative, analytical, and financial management skills.
- A strong track record of managing complicated projects in the field, particularly in a matrixed environment.
- Strong attention to detail.
- Work independently and problem-solve, as well as enlist the support of other teams within the organization.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- Strong knowledge of the social and cultural context in relevant countries.
- Resume/CV (required)
- Cover Letter (required)
- Three Professional References Contact Information (required)
- Writing Sample (required)
When applying, the document(s) MUST
be uploaded via the My Experience
page, in the section titled Application Documents
of the application.Job Family
Individual ContributorFLSA Status
MonthlyScheduled Weekly Hours
YesRequires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement
YesDrug Test Required
NoHealth Screen Required
NoMotor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required
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