Quantitative Research Specialist - Peace, Conflict, & Governance
Portland (United States of America)
Full-time / Temporary (8-month assignment) / Exempt / Washington, DC preferred
Current unrestricted authorization to work for any U.S. employer is required for consideration
Starting salary, dependent on experience, will be $65-68K
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps works to influence the policy, priorities, practices, and debates that affect the people we serve in fragile contexts and complex humanitarian crises. Our most compelling influence is underpinned by substantive research on issues where we have expertise and a credible voice, combined with targeted and sustained engagement of policy makers, donors, peer organizations and other leaders. Priority issues for Mercy Corps’ Research and Learning team currently include: peace and conflict, governance, resilience, cash and market-based responses in complex crises, migration, and climate change.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps is seeking a Quantitative Research Specialist with a proven record of conducting statistical analysis and data visualization on issues related to conflict, peacebuilding, and governance in fragile contexts. The research specialist should have strong experience with quantitative data collection approaches and analysis methods (including randomized experiments) and familiarity with relevant publicly available datasets and sources. The successful candidate must also have an ability to communicate analysis to multiple types of audiences, including through compelling visualizations.
The research specialist will serve as a key support staff member on several ongoing and planned research studies. The role will involve implementing analysis on multiple planned projects under the supervision of the Director of Research for Governance and Conflict and the Senior Researcher for Peace and Conflict. Particular focus of these research projects will be mobilizing evidence to inform advocacy related to the implementation of the Global Fragility Act, as well as broader agency influence priorities related to conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Essential Job Responsibilities
DATA MANAGEMENT, ANALYSIS, AND COMMUNICATION
● Develop research designs that help answer questions from Mercy Corps’ research agenda by drawing on existing primary and secondary data sources
● Compile, clean, and manage large datasets using publicly available data and/or Mercy Corps’ program data
● Identify rigorous empirical strategies for primary and secondary data analysis, and conduct analyses and data visualizations using Stata and/or R
● Draft project reports, research protocols, and other project documents
● Other duties as assigned by the Supervisors.
● None on a regular basis
Reports Directly To: Research Director for Conflict and Governance, Senior Researcher for Peace and Conflict
Interacts With: Regional and Country Teams, Technical Support Unit, Program Performance and Quality (PaQ), Policy and Advocacy, Media and Communications
Knowledge and Experience
● Masters or PhD (in progress or completed) in a relevant field such as Statistics, Political Science, Economics, or Data Science
● 5 years of relevant academic, internship or work experience conducting quantitative analysis on peacebuilding and/or governance in fragile contexts and related topics
● Experience using publicly available cross-national and sub-national datasets on violence (e.g., UCDP, ACLED, X-Sub), governance (e.g. V-Dem), and public opinion surveys (e.g., Afrobarometer, Arabbarometer, World Values Survey)
● Experience with analytic approaches to causal inference for both experimental and observational data
● Experience mapping and visualizing geo-coded data, preferably including satellite or nightlight data
● Expertise in STATA and/or R
● Extremely strong writing skills, including past experience translating quantitative analysis to multiple audiences, including policy makers, practitioners and academics.
● Regional expertise on Africa, Middle East, Latin America, and/or Asia strongly preferred
● Exposure to relief and development fieldwork, the US Administration and Congress, the international humanitarian system, and/or development-related advocacy preferred
The successful candidate will apply a strong combination of analytical and problem-solving skills, excellent written/verbal communication skills, including in report writing, and good organizational skills and ability to work under time constraints. Commitment, flexibility and openness to changing conditions and requirements will serve the position and team well. Being a team player, a positive attitude and a sense of humor are a must, along with strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and a commitment to the values and mission of Mercy Corps.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Washington DC with possible consideration of remote U.S. locations. Please note that, due to COVID, all Mercy Corps team members are working from home until at least January 2021.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.