IPL Seeks a Research Coordinator for West Africa Project

The Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University and the Penn Development Research Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania are seeking to engage the services of a Research Coordinator for a multi-site, multi-partner randomized controlled trial evaluating a program facilitating migration among young men in West Africa. Applications will be accepted through June 10, and the selected individual will be contracted by the University of Pennsylvania.

The contractor will be based in Niamey, Niger, and travel to program sites within the country. This work may be particularly attractive to individuals considering future graduate study in international development, economics, political science, or related fields.

The Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) evaluates and designs policies surrounding the integration of immigrants and refugees worldwide. By producing new evidence and translating it into creative solutions, we seek to improve the lives of these newcomers and strengthen the communities receiving them. We engage with community-based organizations as well as local, state, national, and international governmental agencies to test the effectiveness of current policies. Our team of faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students is creating an innovative applied research model that combines the quality and rigor of an academic unit with the efficiency and innovation of a civic-tech lab.

The Penn Development Research Initiative (PDRI) brings together faculty and graduate students from seven schools across the University of Pennsylvania whose research seeks to identify solutions to the challenges facing developing countries. PDRI seeks to foster impactful international development research by harnessing the expertise of its affiliates from various disciplines and utilizing diverse methodological approaches.

About the Project

IPL and Mercy Corps have jointly designed a new program to support households with young Nigeriens interested in safe, legal, and productive migration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This is a first-of-its-kind program designed to equip young people in rural areas with the information and means to pursue livelihood opportunities where there is demand for their labor elsewhere in Niger and the broader ECOWAS region.

This collaboration between IPL, PDRI, and Mercy Corps will produce rigorous evidence on the effects of the program on the economic, social, and psychosocial well-being of participants and their families.

The randomized control trial (RCT) builds on a pilot study implemented in early 2022. The RCT will begin in Fall 2022, with ongoing monitoring and data collection through 2024.The study will include the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data, including regular surveys of participants and members of their households, observation and evaluation of training delivery, and interviews with participants.

The Research Coordinator is expected to live in Niger during the period of this contract to interface and facilitate collaborative work with both the survey firm and Mercy Corps, the implementing organization. IPL and PDRI will assist with the necessary requirements for work authorization in Niger.

Scope of Work

The period performance is expected to last from June 2022 through May 2023. The Research Coordinator will perform activities to reach specific landmarks according to the following list of deliverables:

Survey infrastructure design
  • Set up a multi-respondent baseline survey and follow up surveys on SurveyCTO
  • Test and edit survey forms for both online and offline data collection, in collaboration with the survey firm
  • Support translation of survey forms, to be led by the survey firm
  • Attend and support in-person enumerator training
  • Coordinate with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team within Mercy Corps to ensure alignment of data collection throughout the broader project team
Baseline management and follow-up survey management
  • Oversee data collection during the baseline in-person survey period and bi-monthly follow up phone surveys
  • Troubleshoot and debug survey deployment issues during data collection
  • Design and implement quality control measures, such as high frequency data checks
  • Inform the research and program teams of survey progress
Management and analysis of survey data
  • Clean and anonymize survey data
  • Descriptive analysis of survey data
  • Management of regular and episodic data transfers between research and program teams

In addition to the specific deliverables described above, the contractor will also support partnership management and facilitate secure two-way data transfer processes between IPL and the implementing partner organizations.


Required qualifications
  • Professional working proficiency in both in English and French
  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in data science, economics, political science, international development, statistics, computer science, engineering, or related field
  • One to two years of relevant experience, such as programming surveys, cleaning data, or managing field research
  • Demonstrated experience designing and collecting data using ODK or SurveyCTO (preferred)
  • Demonstrated experience in data analysis using Stata, Python/ R (preferred)
  • Demonstrated ability to manage work across many different projects simultaneously, learn skills quickly and efficiently, work well within collaborative team settings, and be highly accountable to deadlines and partner needs
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office and/or Google Suite for word processing, spreadsheet management, and presentation development
Preferred qualifications
  • Experience working in West Africa or the Sahel
  • Experience supervising data collection teams, in a research or programmatic M&E role
  • Experience working with social scientists or NGOs working on development
  • Understanding of or prior exposure to causal research designs and interventions
  • Demonstrated ability to engage and interact with diverse research partners (e.g., government agencies, nonprofits, universities)
  • Experience working with GIS data / maps

How to Apply

To be considered for the position, please send a resume and a one-p[age cover letter describing your relevant experience in detail and your interest in this work. Please also provide the names of three references. (A letter of reference is not needed at the time of the application, and we will ask for permission before reaching out to any reference contacts.)

Please submit these materials here

If you have questions, please contact Jessica Wolff: jswolff@stanford.edu

This position is based in Niger and requires Nigerien work authorization.