• Temporary
  • Nairobi

Innovations for Poverty Action

Position: Field officer

Reporting to: Field Manager

Start Date: March 1, 2024

Location: Nairobi

Duration: 2 Months

Deadline: January 31, 2024

Eligibility: Open to candidates authorized to work in the country only

About Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA):

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a non-profit organization committed to discovering and promoting effective solutions to global poverty problems. In close partnership with decision-makers worldwide, IPA designs and evaluates potential solutions to poverty problems using randomized evaluations, the most rigorous evaluation method available. We also mobilize and support decision-makers to implement these solutions at scale.

IPA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI):

As an organization, IPA is dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations through evidence and policy. We value diversity and are committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates, encouraging individuals from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Learn more about IPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion here.

About the Project:

IPA, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), is evaluating the Urban Refugee Livelihoods Program – Re: Build. This program aims to improve access to livelihood opportunities, services, and inclusive support for refugees and host communities. Under the Evidence and Learning Pillar, Re: Build gathers evidence and learning through rigorous testing methods, including randomized controlled trials and monitoring data.

About the Position:

The Field Officer, reporting to the Senior Field Officer, is responsible for collecting high-quality data using the SurveyCTO platform. This involves interviewing urban refugees in Nairobi, Kenya.

Duties and Responsibilities: FIELD OFFICER

  • Data Collection using SurveyCTO:
    • Assist with translations, piloting surveys, and actual field data collection with minimal supervision.
    • Adhere to the study protocol ensuring the highest quality of data.
  • Respondent Interaction:
    • Screen respondents for identification and administer informed consent.
    • Interact with study respondents and project partners with integrity and understanding.
  • Debriefs and Feedback:
    • Provide feedback during debriefs on data collection and survey instruments.
    • Inform and monitor improvements in project operations.
  • Data Integrity:
    • Ensure data integrity is maintained at all times.
    • Minimize errors in data collection and transmission.
  • Project Management:
    • Complete scheduled activities daily in a timely manner.
    • Keep logs of work accomplished and handle callbacks as assigned.
  • Inventory Management:
    • Maintain project inventory in a safe and secure manner.
    • Update the Senior Field Officer and project management team regularly.
  • Training:
    • Attend intensive training prior to data collection and as required thereafter.

Qualifications and Experience: FIELD OFFICER

  • Education:
    • Bachelor’s degree or Diploma in social sciences, public policy, or related fields.
    • 1-2 years of field research experience.
  • Skills:
    • Previous experience in translation and survey administration.
    • Previous experience collecting data or interviewing displaced persons.
    • Demonstrated experience in data collection at various levels.
  • Traits:
    • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
    • Flexible, self-motivated, and able to manage multiple tasks efficiently.
    • Effective communication skills with fluency in English and Swahili, French, Somali, Oromo languages.
  • Additional Skills:
    • Tablet-based survey experience and computer literacy.
    • Ability to conduct interviews in English, Kiswahili, and at least one of the following languages: French, Somali, or Oromo.

Preferred: field officer

  • We strongly prefer candidates who can conduct interviews in English, Kiswahili, plus any of the following languages: French, Somali, and Oromo.

Expert Tips To Be A Successful Applicant for Field Officer Position:

  1. Demonstrate Field Research Skills:
    • Provide examples of successful field research projects and their impact.
  2. Highlight Multilingual Skills:
    • Emphasize proficiency in English, Kiswahili, and additional languages mentioned in the preferred qualifications.
  3. Show Adaptability:
    • Discuss experiences of working in demanding environments and adapting to changing conditions.
  4. Illustrate Communication Skills:
    • Share instances where effective communication played a crucial role in project success.
  5. Emphasize Organizational Skills:
    • Provide examples of efficiently managing multiple tasks and meeting deadlines.
  6. Tech Proficiency:
    • Showcase tablet-based survey experience and computer literacy.
  7. Evidence of Collaboration:
    • Detail instances where collaboration with project partners and team members led to positive outcomes.
  8. Cultural Sensitivity:
    • Discuss experiences working with diverse communities, showcasing cultural sensitivity.
  9. Commitment to IPA’s Mission:
    • Align personal experiences and values with IPA’s commitment to poverty alleviation.
  10. Continuous Learning:
    • Express a willingness to undergo training and continuous learning to contribute effectively to the project.

SAMPLE COVER LETTER for a Field Officer Position

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Field Officer position at Innovations for Poverty Action, as advertised. With a background in social sciences and a proven track record of successful field research, I am eager to contribute my skills and passion for poverty alleviation to your impactful organization.

  • Field Research Expertise: My academic background in social sciences, coupled with 2 years of hands-on experience in field research, has equipped me with the necessary skills to execute the responsibilities of the Field Officer role effectively.
  • Multilingual Proficiency: Fluent in English, Kiswahili, and French, I possess the linguistic versatility to engage with diverse communities, aligning perfectly with the preferred qualifications for this position.
  • Tech Savvy: With a demonstrated proficiency in tablet-based surveys and overall computer literacy, I am well-equipped to navigate the SurveyCTO platform efficiently, ensuring high-quality data collection.
  • Adaptability and Time Management: Previous experiences in demanding environments have honed my ability to adapt to unexpected changes while efficiently managing multiple tasks. This skill aligns seamlessly with the dynamic nature of the Field Officer role.

In my previous role, I successfully conducted interviews with displaced persons, overcoming language barriers to collect valuable data. This experience highlights my commitment to effective communication and cultural sensitivity, crucial aspects of the Field Officer position.

I am drawn to IPA’s commitment to evidence-based solutions and rigorous evaluations. Your dedication to diversity and inclusion resonates with my values, and I am eager to contribute to your mission of improving the lives of vulnerable populations globally.

In conclusion, my academic background, field research experience, multilingual skills, and tech proficiency make me a strong fit for the Field Officer position. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the Re: Build program and further IPA’s commitment to poverty alleviation.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing how my skills and experiences align with the goals of Innovations for Poverty Action.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)For the Field Officer:

  1. What is the duration of the Field Officer position?
    • The position is for a duration of 2 months.
  2. Is the position open to international candidates?
    • No, the position is open only to candidates authorized to work in the country.
  3. How will the data be collected, and what tools are used?
    • Data will be collected using the SurveyCTO platform. Training will be provided.
  4. Are there language requirements for the position?
    • Fluency in English and Swahili is required. Proficiency in French, Somali, or Oromo is preferred.
  5. What is the focus of the Re: Build program?
    • Re: Build aims to improve access to livelihood opportunities for urban refugees and host communities.
  6. Is previous field research experience mandatory?
    • Yes, a Bachelor’s degree or Diploma in social sciences and 1-2 years of field research experience are required.
  7. How will callbacks be assigned?
    • Callbacks will be assigned by the Senior Field Officer and the project management team.
  8. What is the commitment to diversity and inclusion at IPA?
    • IPA is committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates. Read more about our commitment here.
  9. Is there a language preference for interviews for the field officer position?
    • Interviews can be conducted in English, Kiswahili, French, Somali, or Oromo.
  10. Is there any application/recruitment fee?
    • No, Innovations for Poverty Action does not charge any application or recruitment fees.

Possible Field Officer Interview Questions With Answers:

Q1: How do you ensure data integrity during field data collection as a  field officer?

A1: In maintaining data integrity, I follow a meticulous process. Firstly, I conduct thorough pre-collection briefings to ensure all team members understand the study protocol. During data collection, I implement real-time data checks using the SurveyCTO platform, addressing any discrepancies immediately. An instance that exemplifies this is when I encountered a divergence in responses; I halted the interview, cross-verified the information with the respondent, and rectified the entry on the spot. This proactive approach ensures accurate and reliable data throughout the entire process.

Q2: Can you share an example of a challenging situation during fieldwork and how you effectively addressed it as a field officer?

A2: Certainly. While conducting interviews in a dynamic urban setting, I faced a situation where a respondent was hesitant to provide certain information due to privacy concerns. To address this, I demonstrated empathy, explained the confidentiality measures in place, and assured them of the anonymity of their responses. This not only eased their apprehension but also emphasized our commitment to ethical data collection. The outcome was a successful completion of the interview, highlighting my ability to navigate challenging scenarios while maintaining the integrity of the study.

Q3: How do you manage your time to ensure completion of daily tasks efficiently?

A3: Time management is crucial in fieldwork. I employ a structured approach by creating a daily schedule that prioritizes tasks based on deadlines and importance. Additionally, I utilize digital tools to track progress, set reminders for callbacks, and ensure adherence to the project timeline. An example of this systematic approach is when I successfully completed all scheduled activities, including callbacks, within the designated timeframe, showcasing my ability to manage multiple responsibilities efficiently.

Q4: Describe your experience in translating and administering surveys, especially in multicultural environments.

A4: My experience in translation and survey administration has been instrumental in multicultural settings. For instance, during a project involving urban refugees, I translated survey questions into multiple languages, ensuring accurate comprehension. Additionally, I collaborated with local interpreters to enhance communication with respondents, resulting in a more inclusive and culturally sensitive data collection process. This experience underscores my proficiency in bridging language barriers to facilitate effective survey administration.

Q5: How do you approach debrief sessions, and what role do they play in improving project operations?

A5: Debrief sessions are integral to the continuous improvement of project operations. I actively participate by providing constructive feedback on data collection and survey instruments. For example, during a debrief session, I identified a pattern in respondent confusion regarding a specific question. I suggested refining the wording, leading to improved clarity in subsequent interviews. This proactive involvement in debriefs demonstrates my commitment to enhancing project efficiency and ensuring the collection of high-quality data.

Q6: Can you share an instance where you demonstrated flexibility in a demanding environment, and how did it impact the project’s success as a field officer?

A6: Certainly. In a challenging urban field setting, unforeseen logistical issues arose, impacting the planned data collection schedule. To address this, I swiftly adapted the team’s approach, reorganized the daily tasks, and communicated with project partners to ensure minimal disruption. This flexibility resulted in the successful completion of the data collection phase within the project’s timeframe, showcasing my ability to navigate unexpected challenges while maintaining project success.

Q7: Explain your approach to maintaining project inventory and the significance of doing so securely.

A7: Maintaining project inventory is crucial for seamless operations. I implement a meticulous system, regularly updating the Senior Field Officer and the project management team on the status of electronic devices, stationery, and other essentials. For instance, during a project, I identified potential issues with a device and promptly notified the team, allowing for timely repairs. This proactive inventory management ensures that resources are readily available, minimizing disruptions and contributing to the overall efficiency of the project.

Q8: How do you ensure effective communication when dealing with respondents and project partners? Can you provide an example?

A8: Effective communication is key to successful fieldwork. I prioritize clear and respectful interactions. For instance, during an interview where language barriers posed a challenge, I engaged the assistance of a local interpreter to facilitate communication. This not only ensured accurate information exchange but also fostered a positive rapport with the respondent. Such instances highlight my commitment to effective communication, ensuring understanding and cooperation throughout the data collection process.

Q9: Illustrate your experience with tablet-based survey tools and how it contributes to efficient data collection.

A9: My proficiency with tablet-based survey tools has significantly enhanced the efficiency of data collection. For example, during a project requiring real-time data transmission, I utilized these tools to streamline the process. This not only reduced the likelihood of errors but also allowed for immediate corrections and adjustments in the field. The use of technology in data collection showcases my adaptability to modern research methods, ensuring the collection of accurate and timely information.

Q10: How do you approach intensive training sessions, and how has it contributed to your effectiveness in data collection?

A10: I approach intensive training sessions with enthusiasm and a commitment to learning. For instance, in a previous project, I actively engaged in comprehensive training on the SurveyCTO platform. This equipped me with a deep understanding of its functionalities, enhancing my ability to troubleshoot issues in real-time. Training not only ensures proficiency but also underscores my dedication to continuous improvement, contributing to the overall success of the data collection process.

Thank you for considering the Field Officer position with Innovations for Poverty Action. We wish you the best in your application, and we look forward to welcoming new talents committed to making a positive impact on global poverty issues.


Innovations for Poverty Action is an equal opportunity employer and does not charge any application/recruitment fee.

We cannot measure our own impact with a randomized evaluation, as much as we would like to be able to.

Ironic, we know. What we can do is track changes in programs, policies, and debates that we are confident we have contributed to. We say contribute because we never do this alone —our partners, researchers, and many others are also crucial to any impact we achieve.

Some of our research, such as evaluation results on strategies to increase mask-wearing, chlorine dispensers, bednets, or deworming, was used by various governments and NGOs to develop programs that are reaching millions of people. Other impacts are smaller, such as using data to inform education programming in Peru during COVID-19, or the scale-up of an effective campaign to increase demand for modern contraceptives in Burkina Faso. Our work has also influenced international development debates on crucial investments, as in the cases of microcredit and cash transfers.

On these pages, you will see many cases that demonstrate our impact, but you will not see them all—many are unknown. When our evidence goes out into the world, it can be used by anyone, and we hope it is. Organizations rarely, if ever, cite an academic paper or policy note when they start a new program. We will not attempt to tell you about impacts we cannot track.

field officer

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