Research Associate Girls’ Education and Empowerment - J-PAL Africa

J-PAL Africa
  • Nigeria
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Other advanced degree
  • Honours
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
One year

Project Description

Over 10.5 million children (between the ages of 5 and 16) are out of school in Nigeria, representing 20% of the global out-of-school population (UNICEF Nigeria, 2020). The majority (7.4 million) of these children are girls and 90% are from northern Nigeria (WB PAD, 2020). To address the issue of low school enrolment for girls, the World Bank team in Nigeria have worked with the Federal Ministry of Education to develop the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment. AGILE has four key components - school infrastructure development, financial support to families, community advocacy and life skills programming – that will be implemented in seven key states; Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau states. J-PAL Africa is supporting the design of the life skills component of AGILE, in collaboration with the World Bank and Katsina state government. To design the programme J-PAL will leverage both evidence on implementation solutions and an in-depth, data-based learning approach. The programme will be piloted in 160 schools Katsina state in October 2021 and scaled to all 477 schools in the state over a five-year timeframe. More light touch support will also be provided to the remaining six AGILE states to implement similar evidence-informed interventions. The learning agenda for this process is composed of three key activities: a needs assessment, process monitoring, and a randomized evaluation. The needs assessment will provide contextual information on the life of girls in Katsina state, that will be useful in designing the life skills intervention. The process monitoring will help understand if the pilot is being implemented as designed, spot any implementation challenges and help the government think through how they scale-up. Indicators will be chosen to assess the programme throughout its theory of change and seek to collect some preliminary outcome data. Finally, the randomized evaluation will be conducted in collaboration with the Gender Innovation Lab and will assess the impact of the programme on the lives of adolescent girls in terms of school participation, empowerment and other outcomes related to teenage pregnancies and child marriage. 

Job Description

J-PAL Africa seeks a research associate to support the learning agenda for our portfolio of work on girls’ empowerment in Katsina state, specifically on the design, implementation and use of the process monitoring. Further support on the implementation of a randomised evaluation may be necessary down the line, but these activities are not part of the current terms of reference. This role provides an excellent opportunity to be part of a leading evidence-based initiative tackling low school participation. The role will be based in Nigeria, ideally Abuja, with frequent travel within the country. The position is suitable to help the selected candidate prepare for graduate-level studies in public-policy research and/or further professional opportunities in impact evaluations.The research associate will report to the J-PAL Africa Policy Manager. They will be expected to also work closely with the hired evaluation consultants or the Katsina state government M&E team as well as the Associate Director of Policy and the Senior Policy Associate working on the girls’ education portfolio. They will benefit from oversight from affiliated researcher, Manisha Shah. 


The research associate will oversee a set of defined research activities including working to design and manage research and pilot activities by applying quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method approaches. They will be responsible for liaising with a data collection provider, whether a private firm or the Katsina state M&E team, who can support the design and execution of the process monitoring. However, the research associate will need to collaborate closely with the data collection company to ensure the process is conducted with a rigorous approach to data collection and in a timeline manner, as well as to analyse the data provided.With regards to the process monitoring the research associate will conduct the following activities:

Management of the project including

  • Frame the objectives of the projectManaging the external survey firms from tendering to project finalization
  • Ensure all the necessary approvals for data collectionEngage internal and external stakeholders
  • Track overall progress on the project and ensure adherence to timelines as well as reviewing providing periodic reports.
  • Contribute to team meetings about the learning agendaDesign the process monitoring and support implementation including
  • Design a pilot assessment and monitoring system
  • Define a methodology that is appropriate for process monitoring
  • Contribute to fieldworker hiring and training schedule
  • Troubleshoot any issues related to the fieldwork on site;Ensure that the fieldwork is being implemented according to agreed-upon standardsData analysis includingConduct data analysis, drafting reports on key questions of interest
  • Support dissemination of pilot outcomes including regularly sharing updates and results with partnersSpot opportunities for creatively communicating research lessons and results 


The successful individual must offer the following demonstrated experience, knowledge and competencies:

  • Minimum of Undergraduate Degree in economics, statistics, education, or a related field, with at least 2 years’ experience in conducting similar researchStrong experience with both quantitative methodologies and research techniques
  • Ability to adhere to ethical guidelines as specified by J-PAL Africa TeamHigh level proficiency in standard computer software, in particular Stata
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and deliver quality reports
  • Excellent communication skills in English, including writing, conversing and presenting.Strong interpersonal skills with cross-cultural teams.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with various stakeholders, including government partners
  • Interest in girls’ education and empowerment
  • Experience working in Nigeria.Willingness to travel frequently and flexibly. 


  • Hausa language skills, French language skills
  • Authorization to work in Nigeria

How to Apply

To apply, submit the application by using the following link 

Please ensure that you have the following documents on hand for upload

  1. A letter of motivation, clearly addressing your qualifications for the various responsibilities listed above;
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)