Position: Senior Research Manager – Financial Inclusion
Location: Delhi (preferred), Chennai (possible).
Reports to: Head, Financial Inclusion.
Our package: Competitive and commensurate with experience and skills.
Contract type: Full time Position.
Application deadline: applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Application Instructions: Please direct all applications to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Senior Research Manager – Financial Inclusion” in the subject line.
About LEAD at Krea University
LEAD at Krea University (formerly IFMR LEAD) is a non-profit research organization conducting high-quality scalable action research and outreach in development economics and finance. We create ‘knowledge for impact’ with a vision to solve complex challenges and enhance socio-economic prosperity. We do this using the power of data, innovation, and co-creation, combining interdisciplinary approaches and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
About LEAD’s Financial Inclusion Team
LEAD’s Financial Inclusion team has been at the forefront of the sector for over 15 years, contributing to its growth and development in India and beyond. Currently, the team is staffed by 17 energetic researchers contributing to answer Financial Inclusion’s most complex challenges. Through our portfolio of 15 active projects, we ideate and test financial product innovation (from insurance, to credit, to savings) and study financial decision making (among migrants, SHG members, farmers). We leverage technology and data across all our work both as a mean to promote access to financial inclusion and a tool to improve service delivery. Still, we always put the human element, including social norms, behaviours, and capabilities, at the centre of our work. We work with a vibrant group of partners, including universities (in India and abroad), financial institutions, fintechs, NGOs, foundations and philanthropic organizations, and government partners at both the state and central level.
About the Position
LEAD at Krea University has been playing a principal role in financial inclusion for many years under different banners, but with the same enthusiasm, rigor, and intellectual curiosity. Thinking about the future, LEAD is positioning itself to expand its role and thought leadership in the sector. For this purpose, we are actively seeking a motivated, organized, and self-driven Senior Research Manager who will assist the Financial Inclusion Vertical Head in leading, designing, and implementing LEAD’s research agenda in this sector.
About the Role
We are looking for a professional with a strong background in economics, a solid understanding of the financial inclusion landscape, and that is capable of connecting the dots across themes and issues (gender, social protection, environment, entrepreneurship, etc.). The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker and will also be able to manage and execute research projects in time, within budget, and keeping the highest standards of work.
She or he will lead and mentor research staff and work in close collaboration with senior team members to co-develop new research ideas, supervise research projects, and expand the team’s project portfolio. In the short term, she or he will be given a leading role on several high-level ongoing projects, while contributing to the development of the team’s project pipeline. The successful candidate will have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) to be able to present their research to various stakeholders and in various national and, possibly, international platforms through a wide range of mediums. Demonstrated experience conducting applied and experimental research (including conducting and designing evaluations) is essential and a strong understanding of financial inclusion is highly desirable.
- Execute the goals and strategic plan of the Financial Inclusion portfolio and agenda through operational and project management leadership.
- Lead and mentor staff in the research team and oversee the work of direct reports (2/3 research managers).
- Provide technical inputs to research staff on policy relevant research questions and identify knowledge gaps in the research work carried out under this theme.
- Be accountable for and provide substantial inputs into project design and implementation.
- Maintain a positive, constructive, and co-creative relationship with LEAD’s stakeholders and partners as well as contributing to growing such network.
- Work in close collaboration with the team to discuss new research ideas, proposal development, recent and relevant sector trends, and brainstorm on ways to expand the financial inclusion agenda of the research team at LEAD.
- Liaise with policy makers, regulators, and academia to identify gaps for action research, develop the team’s research agenda, and expand the projects portfolio of the financial inclusion team at LEAD.
- Proactively contribute and lead the development of policy briefs, blog posts and other publications to consolidate LEAD’s thought leadership in this sector.
- Contribute to capacity building activities within LEAD.
Skills, Experience and Knowledge
- Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Economics, Development Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Sociology, or related disciplines.
- A minimum of 7 years of work experience (4 with a PhD) in progressively more responsible positions in research, monitoring and evaluation, or implementation in the development sector, preferably in financial inclusion.
- At least 4 years of experience in applied research and experimental methods.
- Proven analytical skills, specifically, skills working with quantitative data using econometric methods.
- Good knowledge of current developments in inclusive finance in India and south Asia, including one or more of the following: micro-insurance and micro-credit, social protection systems (DBTs, G2P), digital financial services, branchless banking.
- Working experience and knowledge of socio-economic issues, which results in the exclusion of various groups, such as women, migrants, tribal groups, from the financial sector and ability to generate strategies to address those issues.
- Demonstrated ability to develop research and evaluation plans, sampling frameworks and to implement them.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Proven ability to manage multi-tasking and propose solutions on time with nominal supervision.
- Capacity to keep an organized and structured work style in a fast-paced environment.
- Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences and gender issues, as well as commitment to equal opportunities.
- Ability to demonstrate an openness and willingness to learn.
- Ability to adapt quickly to changing environments and work with multiple stakeholders.
- Strong interpersonal skills, and willingness to interact with a wide range of individuals from Research Associates, Research Managers, etc. to academics, donors, research institutions, etc.