Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. As its core business, IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. IPA has conducted hundreds of randomized evaluations across sectors, learning both whether programs work, and how they can work better.
IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program has recently launched a new Consumer Protection Research Initiative. The project will partner with providers, regulators and civil society to conduct research that results in improvements in consumer protection practices in four markets: Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, with a particular emphasis on digital financial services. The project will focus on the following consumer protection priorities:
- Fraud affecting financial consumers such as loss of money, excessive charges or unauthorized account access.
- Access and use of complaints channels to resolve problems when they arise in financial services.
- Product information—e.g. pricing information and key terms—and its role in facilitating consumer choice.
- Gender issues related to consumer protection in financial services.
IPA is seeking a Research Consultant to develop a white paper summarizing existing applied economics research on consumer protection in both developed and emerging markets, with a particular emphasis on digital financial services. This publication will serve as the anchor document to guide the implementation of the Consumer Protection Research Initiative and will be launched alongside the Request for Proposals for impact evaluation studies that advance knowledge on consumer protection in digital financial services. The publication will be shared and disseminated through a range of in-country IPA events, community of practice convenings, and IPA communications channels to encourage interest from researchers and practitioners to participate in the Initiative.
The Research Consultant will consult with the initiative’s Academic Lead, Xavier Giné, and the Project Director, Rafe Mazer, to seek input into the structure and content of the white paper. They will then conduct a full review of white and gray literature relevant to the proposed structure, as well as draft a final white paper document of findings suitable for publication.
Deliverables - 22 days total
- Workplan approved by the Project Director which clearly details process for the successful delivery of a high-quality white paper framing the need for the Consumer Protection Research Initiative and the research priorities to address through the initiative. (1 day)
- Preliminary list of relevant research papers and studies and finalized outline for the white paper which reflects the inputs of the Academic Lead, Project Director and other leading academics, reaching consensus on structure, evidence base and priority consumer protection themes to discuss in the white paper. (3 days)
- Completed literature review, approved by Project Director and Academic Lead, which identifies relevant research base and the gaps in the literature that should be prioritized through the initiative, to be published as an annex to the White Paper. (3 days)
- Draft white paper for review by Academic Lead and Project Director. (10 days)
- Revised white paper shared with Academic Lead, Project Director and other peer reviewers. (3 days)
- Final version of white paper for publication and dissemination. (2 days)
- Experience and familiarity with behavioral and experimental research literature.
- Experience working on research projects in emerging market contexts.
- Master’s degree in development economics, international public policy, or a related field. MBAs also encouraged.
- Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally.
- Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills.
- Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector.
Location: Washington, DC preferred, remote work from East Coast, United States possible
Level of Commitment: 22 consulting days over a maximum of three months
About the Organization
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA designs, rigorously evaluates, and refines these solutions and their applications together with decision-makers to ensure that the evidence created is used to improve opportunities for the world’s poor. Since our founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 350 leading academics to conduct over 450 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.