Research Associate, Informal Health Markets - Sierra Leone

J-PAL Africa
  • Sierra Leone
Start Date (Earliest):

Academic researchers Anne Karing and Sofia Gallo (University of Chicago), and Fatu Conteh (RamLabs), are studying the interactions between formal and informal health markets in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The study is an experiment designed to identify the effect of informal vendors of medicines on consumers’ purchasing and health-seeking behavior in the formal market. 

This position is ideal for someone who is looking to do a PhD in Economics or Public Policy, with a strong interest in development economics, health and/or behavioral economics. The Research Associate will gain first-hand field research management experience in a fast-paced environment, and check-in on a weekly basis with the PIs. They will be responsible for managing the implementation of data collection activities and interventions throughout the duration of the study, as well as piloting and refining the endline instruments. 


Research Associates work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Testing, and refining study instruments, and running pilot exercises.
  • Programming survey instruments using SurveyCTO, high-frequency checks, and data management tasks.
  • Measuring and enforcing adherence to data quality protocols to ensure the collection of high-quality data.
  • Managing teams: assist in the recruiting, training, and supervision of field-based teams consisting of field managers and enumerators, and coordinate with other research associates. 
  • Assisting in managing relationships with key partners in both the public and private sector, and researchers.
  • Keeping the Principal Investigator (PI) team and Research Manager appraised of all project activities.
  • Assisting in data cleaning, documenting of data cleaning procedures, preliminary analysis, and ensuring ready access to multiple data sources by the research team.
  • Assisting in the creation of policy reports and presentations for partners.
  • Assisting in the creation of technical reports for donors and/or other stakeholders (e.g. fieldwork reports).
  • Performing other related work as needed. 

Desired qualifications and experience


  • A Bachelor's or Master’s degree in economics, public policy, or a related field by start date. 


  • Experience working in development research is preferred. 
  • Experience working in a low-income country is preferred.
  • Experience managing field operations or program implementation preferred.
  • Familiarity with field experiments.

Technical Skills

  • Familiarity with survey packages such as SurveyCTO.
  • Working knowledge of statistical analysis packages such as Stata (preferred), R, or Python.


  • Excellent management/ organizational skills and ability to solve unexpected problems.
  • Flexible, self-motivating, independent and manages multiple tasks efficiently.
  • High attention to detail.
  • Ability to prioritize effectively to meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced working environment.
  • Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

How to Apply

Submit an application through the J-PAL/IPA platform.