Job Vacancy For Grant Manager, Digital Finance Retail Distribution Networks

Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER)

Job Title: Grant Manager, Digital Finance Retail Distribution Networks

Position Grade: Manager

Salary Range: Attractive
Division/Department: Multi-disciplinary
Work Location: GHANA
Reports to: Executive Director, Digital Finance Retail Distribution Networks

Position Summary:

• The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) seeks an experienced Grant Manager for a new research initiative on digital financial inclusion interoperable payment platforms in LMCs which has recently been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
• The Institute is seeking to recruit an entrepreneurial leader with a desire to grow and manage a new team dedicated to developing and funding compelling and rigorous research projects on Digital Finance and Retail Distribution Networks, including Cash-in, Cash-out (CICO) and how to enhance women’s access in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
• The first task of the Grant Manager will be to develop a high-quality and well researched Framework Paper, which will set the tone for the research agenda for the four-year program.
• In addition, the Grant Manager will support the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) in proposal selection, provide quality assurance for all commissioned studies, and build capacity on experimental and behavioral research within ISSER.
• The Grant Manager is responsible for developing and overseeing a portfolio of research and policy engagements as part of this new research initiative, working in close collaboration with the Executive Director, Project Director, Research Fellow and other project team members. The Grant Manager will develop the strategy for and oversee the implementation of a set of research engagements.

Other key responsibilities will include:

• Develop a multi-year strategic plan, activities and timelines at the outset of the initiative to ensure successful delivery on the objectives of the project related to partnership and technical assistance
• Organize Scientific Committee meetings made up of academic and practitioner partners to govern project approval processes and develop initiative governance documents
• Develop and manage strategic relationships with firms, government, civil society and researchers in target markets
• Coordinate with principal investigators to develop viable research project opportunities with government and private sector partners in-country, develop budgets and project documentation
• Lead project approval processes via the Scientific Steering Committee and oversee execution of approved projects in collaboration with the Executive Director, project teams and principal investigators
• Contribute to research design, research oversight, data analysis, and writing of policy briefs, research papers, and other research outputs as needed
• Develop and deliver workshops and trainings on digital payments evidence, Measurement, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework, and impact evaluation methodology to partners
• Ensure adherence to work plans, the achievement of goals and outputs as outlined in project documents and timelines, and conduct quarterly reporting of activities for the donor.

Policies & Incentives to Deepen Digital Finance Retail Distribution Networks in LMICs:

• CICO agent networks are necessary building blocks to a robust digital ecosystem, due to their ability to (i) convert money between physical cash and digital currency and (ii) serve as onboarding channels for a broader set of digital financial tools and services. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only further confirmed the critical nature of CICO networks as important distribution points for social protection payments, international and domestic remittances, and other aid disbursements. Given that a majority of the world’s financially excluded and underserved customers live in rural areas, extending rural CICO agent networks is critical to further financial inclusion. The project aims to demonstrate both a) how to effectively expand the reach of agent networks with public policy and commercial solutions that can plausibly be scaled and b) how to advance public knowledge about the structural constraints limiting agent networks more globally.

• The project will support qualified researchers globally, including but not limited to scholars at the host institution, with a focus on projects relevant to LMIC markets. The project will engage researchers from the Global North and the Global South with the goal of expanding representation of researchers from the Global South in development studies as well as fostering future partnerships and capacity building. In this research initiative, ISSER will manage the selection and funding of compelling research projects, which may be implemented through any qualified field partner, including but not limited to the Institute’s own internal research project teams.

• An independent Scientific Steering Committee, composed of academics and practitioners in the digital finance retail network with a strong interest on the issue, will select the proposals for funding.

Team Structure: The Grant Manager will report to the Executive Director of ISSER and will lead the initiative team consisting of a Research Fellow, Project Director and a Communications Manager based at ISSER.

Location: Flexible, depending on circumstances.

How To Apply For The Job

Please send your resume (not more than three pages) along with a cover letter, clearly explaining your interest in and qualifications for this position. Send your application to:

[email protected] and mention “Application for the position: Grant Manager” in the subject line.

Closing Date: 24 December, 2021

About ISSER:

ISSER is among the leading quantitative empirical academic social science research institutions in SSA and is a semi-autonomous institute within the larger flagship public university in Ghana. The Institute’s affiliates and staff include 22 faculty with PhDs across social science disciplines, 20 research staff with Masters level credentials, and 20 administrative staff with 30 associated Ph.D. students and 20 Associate Masters students. The Institute is a semi-autonomous research institution within the College of Humanities at the University of Ghana. ISSER carries out research and training that is geared towards promoting the socio-economic development of Ghana and Africa. The Institute has a reputation for solid social science research, paying close attention to exploratory, explanatory and evaluative aspects of the dynamics of development. Areas in which ISSER has been focusing its attention recently include but not limited to: public expenditure and household behaviour, finance sector development, financial inclusion, digital finance, private sector development, rural production and household incomes, food security, health and nutrition of households, social reforms and social security, land tenure reforms, as well as gender issues and policy reforms.