Field Researcher, Local Innovation Group (Bihar, India)

Date: November 2021
Location: Patna, Bihar, India
Type: Full-time
Note: Open to Indian citizens, no visa sponsorship available.

Overview

MIT D-Lab works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty. The MIT D-Lab Local Innovation Group, an interdisciplinary research group that studies processes of local innovation in community-based settings throughout the world, is recruiting a Bihar-based Field Researcher to support the implementation of a multiyear evaluation research study, Adaptive Learning and Systems Analysis for the AgDev Bihar State Platform. The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project (BRLP), locally known as Jeevika, is promoting member-owned and member-governed farmer producer companies (FPC) to enhance women’s participation in agriculture and to effectively engage in economic activities at scale through the Jeevika Special Purpose Vehicle for Agricultural Transformation (JSPVAT) project.

Responsibilities

The Field Researcher will work closely with the study’s Principal Investigator and evaluation research team based in Cambridge, MA, USA as well as the field-based evaluation team in Patna, Bihar to support the implementation of mixed methods field research conducted in the context of the evaluation. Field research will consist of a mix of traditional social science methods such as observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, as well as participatory workshops, and stakeholder engagements. The Field Researcher will be responsible for assisting the D-Lab evaluation team with field research to support the evaluation and potentially managing or coordinating with contracted data collection teams as needed. This position is anticipated to be based in Patna but will involve regional travel, including to at least 10 districts within Bihar, where project activities are currently concentrated.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions)

  • Assist the Principal Investigator (PI) and the rest of the D-Lab team, in the design and planning of field research, including design and operationalization of research instruments, methodological considerations for implementing effective field research in the context of farming communities in Bihar, and logistical considerations that should be factored into research design.
  • Plan and lead implementation of field research for the project including obtaining and facilitating access to research participants, organizing the logistics of research trips to the field, conducting and/or supervising data collection and documentation of field research.
  • In collaboration with MIT-based team, manage the translation of data into English (this could involve hiring third-party translators), clean data collected from the field, validate for accuracy and triangulate as needed, and conduct a preliminary analysis to inform subsequent data collection.
  • Maintain frequent communication with MIT-based evaluation team; recommend improvements to data collection plans and protocols as needed, participate in team meetings, and proactively surface challenges encountered in fieldwork and suggestions for improvements as needed.
  • Interface regularly with the organization implementing the JSPVAT project in Bihar, with potential contractors and field research support organizations (translators, enumerators, etc.), and provide general research support to the team as needed.

Qualifications

Required

  • An undergraduate degree or higher in social sciences, preferably anthropology or sociology, and/or with a subject area focus area on sustainable development, rural development, agricultural development, poverty alleviation, and/or capacity building, particularly in farming communities.
  • Three to five years of experience designing, planning, and implementing mixed methods field research in rural and/or farming communities.
  • Experience designing and using qualitative and quantitative methods of field data collection and processing and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Some experience in participatory research engaging in and/or organizing field research, including observations, interviews, focus groups, and participatory workshops.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively in English in meetings and presentations (orally) and in written outputs (reports, briefs, field notes, etc.).
  • Fluency in Hindi and English is required; knowledge of one or more local languages is preferred.
  • Experience with remote work and coordinating with teams remotely.
  • Indian citizenship is required and this position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship.

Preferred

  • Strong stakeholder management skills, including creating and maintaining effective working relationships with a diversity of people occupying positions ranging from local leaders to development professionals to farmers.
  • Experience working in agriculture and/or gender-related projects in India, preferably in Bihar.
  • Strong preference for experience working with Jeevika, SHGs, FPCs, and/or organizations partnering with Jeevika.
  • Experience working on projects in coordination with international teams.

Duration and location

The preferred start date for this position is January 2022. The position will be based in Patna, Bihar. This position will be subcontracted by MIT D-Lab to a third-party organization and will be a one-year appointment that will be renewed upon need and performance.

Travel

This position will involve and require travel to different districts in Bihar, India.

Salary Range

Annual remuneration: 600,000 to 725,000 Rupees

Apply

Interested candidates can send their resume and a cover letter briefly explaining experience and fit with the role to romita@mit.edu with the subject “Application for JSPVAT Field Researcher.” Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. The selection process for shortlisted candidates will include interviews with the D-Lab team and sharing relevant work samples.


Related opportunity

Research Facilitator and Trainer, Local Innovation Group (Bihar, India)