Research Assistant, Big Data and Sustainable Development

News

Data-Pop Alliance is seeking a motivated and engaged Research Assistant (RA) interested in learning more about data and international development. The RA will support our ongoing research and training activities on data and development, including conducting research and preparing materials for our upcoming training workshops with the World Bank and MIT Media Lab.

1. Background

Data-Pop Alliance is a global coalition created in 2014 by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), MIT Media Lab, and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) that brings together researchers, experts, practitioners, and activists to promote a people-centered Big Data revolution through collaborative research, capacity building, and community engagement. Our core members include our three founding institutions—HHI, MIT Media Lab and ODI—as well as the Flowminder Foundation as of February 2016. Our key thematic areas of work include: politics and governance; official and population statistics; peacebuilding and violence; climate change and resilience; and data ethics and literacy.

Our current portfolio of projects involves working with co-organizing and hosting events with various private and public partners, developing a series of training workshops and pedagogical materials on Big Data and development, as well as writing and publishing empirical research and white papers on several Big Data and development-related topics.

2. Position

The RA will support our ongoing research and training activities on data and development, including conducting research and preparing materials for our upcoming training workshops with the World Bank and MIT Media Lab.

Under the supervision of the Data-Pop Alliance Research Manager, the RA will:

  • Assist in literature reviews, proofreading, analysis, report preparation
  • Prepare final report and presentation materials, including PowerPoint slides, handouts, and other conference presentation materials
  • Provide research and administrative support, as necessary, related to the research and training programs

3. Duration of contract

This is a paid, part-time or full-time position. Start date is flexible but the hope is to begin by early April. The initial contract for the position would be for 2-3 months (depending on hourly commitment), with the possibility of extension. We offer flexibility in scheduling hours around class time and exams. Preferred candidates include ambitious undergraduates, recent graduates, or current graduate students.

4. Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Strong interest and previous experience in international development and/or our thematic areas. Experience related to statistics, data and development a plus.
  • Previous academic and/or work experience conducting qualitative and/or quantitative research
  • Outstanding attention to detail and organization
  • Familiarity with conducting desk research and navigating academic sources and online databases.
  • Excellent writing, facilitation, and organizational skills
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Deadline driven with a focus on results
  • Advanced MS Office skills, specifically in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Adept at the use of office communication tools

5. Working arrangements

The research assistant will work out of the Data-Pop Alliance office located at ThoughtWorks NYC: 99 Madison Ave, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10016.

6. How to apply

Qualified candidates are requested to submit a CV and brief cover letter paragraph (2-3 paragraphs via email) to David Sangokoya (dsangokoya@datapopalliance.org) with the subject line “RA Data and Development,” by 8 April 2016, 5:00pm EST. Please describe your background and availability (part-time/hours or full-time).

 

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