Qualitative Researcher in the Energy Sector, MCC Malawi Power Performance Evaluation, Malawi

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 8 January 2019

Job Description

Qualitative Researcher in the Energy Sector, MCC Malawi Power Performance Evaluation, Malawi

Project objective: Social Impact has been contracted by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to design and implement an evaluation of the Power Sector Reform Project (PSRP) of the Malawi Compact. The PSRP’s objective is to improve the power sector by strengthening sector institutions, enhancing regulation and governance of the sector, rebuilding the electrical utility ESCOM into a financially sustainable and operationally well-managed utility, and developing a regulatory environment that enables public and private investment in new generation. Evaluation activities include extensive qualitative research through document reviews, individual and group interviews, process mapping exercises, and analysis of monitoring and evaluation data. SI has already conducted a baseline and interim qualitative study during the life of the Malawi Compact, which concluded in September 2018. This will be the final evaluation. Information on the Malawi Compact can be found on MCC’s webpage and information on the evaluation can be found on MCC’s evaluation catalogue.

Position description: SI is hiring a qualitative researcher with experience in the energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the endline qualitative evaluation of the PSRP. The researcher will form part of a four-person research team. Ideally the researcher will be able to play a leadership role on the aspects of the evaluation related to creating an enabling environment for private sector participation and corporate governance of Malawi’s electrical utility and play a supporting role on issues of tariff reform, utility finance, and regulatory issues. As the final evaluation will build on baseline and midline evaluation efforts, the researcher will need to thoroughly review and understand earlier deliverables.

Timeline and level of effort: Field work is expected to occur between March 11 and March 29th. Preparatory work will begin in February, including document reviews and instrument development. Analysis and writing will occur in March and April with the goal of having a draft report in May 2019. After submission of the draft some additional effort would be required for revisions throughout 2019. The work is expected to require 8 days of preparatory work, 18 days of field work, 15 days of analysis and writing, and 2 days for revisions, for a total of 43 days.


  • Conduct a desk review of relevant documentation, including primary source reporting by technical assistance consultants, monitoring and evaluation data, and secondary literature.
  • Contribute to instrument development.
  • Participate in and/or lead interviews with selected stakeholders.
  • Take notes and produce clean notes.
  • Systematically analyze qualitative data (i.e., notes and transcriptions) using agreed to analysis approach and ensuring triangulation between interview and document sources.
  • Contribute to the final report and report revisions.
  • Ensure quality work in all deliverables; implement SI quality assurance processes.
  • Work closely with SI personnel and communicate in a timely and effective manner with all project personnel.


  • Master’s Degree in a relevant field of study.
  • Minimum five years’ experience in carrying out related research.
  • Energy sector experience in Sub Saharan Africa.
  • Strong interview and qualitative data analysis skills.
  • Strong professional written and verbal proficiency in the English language.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and adhere to high quality standards while working in collaboration with other evaluation team members.
  • Ability and willingness to travel in Malawi for fieldwork.
  • Ability and willingness to comply with human subjects protection guidelines, SI internal quality control processes, and documentation sharing and collaboration processes.

About the Organization

Social Impact is a global development management consulting firm. We provide monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. We work across all development sectors including democracy and governance, health and education, the environment, and economic growth. Since 1997 we have worked in over 100 countries for clients such as US government agencies, bilateral donors, multilateral development banks, foundations, and nonprofits.

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