Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Principle Researcher and Research Assistant

Terms of Reference – Principle Researcher and Research Assistant
Theme: Resilience and Financial Services
Title: Research support on Indonesian MFI clients demand for and use of savings and insurance product to mitigate catastrophic risks
Timeline: April to early July 2016
Location: Indonesia (West Sumatra and Jogjakarta) and Remote
Through funding from USAID/ODFA, Mercy Corps has been implementing the Indonesia Liquidity Facility after Disaster (ILFAD) program since 2011. The initiative has gone through several iterations though at its core it has the following outputs:  
·         Short disaster risk reduction (DRR) trainings to microfinance institutions (rural banks and cooperatives) (MFIs) to prepare for emergencies.
·         Disaster savings products and most recently micro-insurance offered by the rural banks and cooperatives
·         Model of liquidity fund for MFIs to access during the post-disaster period.
Since the inception of the program in June 2011, ILFAD program has launched 14 disaster-specific savings product in five provinces; Aceh, West Sumatra, DKI Jakarta, Yogyakarta and East Java. The launched products are well accepted by communities in the five provinces, with accumulated total of 2,273 clients. ILFAD has established a partnership with ACA Insurance to develop micro-insurance products that provide specific coverage in relation to natural disasters. Several rural banks and cooperatives have launched disaster microinsurance and savings products.
Purpose of research
·         Collect client-level demand data and conduct analysis to understand savings, credit, insurance needs, preferences and barriers to financial inclusion.
·         Analyze how client-level preferences and needs impact the ability of financial institutions to ensure financial inclusion can support client’s disaster resilience, including the ability of the financial institution to provide appropriate liquidity.
·         Use data to inform the decisions of microfinance institutions and institutional donors.
·         Feed into a larger case study on the ILFAD model and the role of financial institutions and formal financial products in building client-level resilience in the face of shocks and acute stresses.
Scope of the Research
Through internal funds, Mercy Corps will conduct a research to understand how potential financial end-users (MFI clients) currently cope and manage their household and financial resources in light of acute shocks (earthquakes/ tsunami and volcanoes), as well as client preferences and barriers related to the use of formal financial services for disaster risk management.  The purpose of the analysis is to better understand how financial institutions can better design financial products that support disaster resilience. This research will include an existing sample of current ILFAD MFIs (conventional rural banks,  and cooperatives) in West Sumatra and Jogjakarta and current disaster product clients of participating MFIs, non-disaster product clients, and potentially a 3rd sample that is in the same income range but not accessing formal financial products.
This research will complement Mercy Corps’ post-earthquake Nepal assessment[1] as it will follow similar themes to understand the current role of informal and formal financial products as well as the perceived role of social networks and government in both current reoccurring stresses and potential acute shocks (earthquakes, volcanic eruption). This research can serve as a baseline to be used in case of potential future shocks and stresses.
Research will include questions will allow us to understand:
·         Market segmentation of disaster financial products - segment who has taken the product by age, gender, cash flow, location, type of MFI, and geography.
·         Examine types of (1) savings (formal and informal) and (2) insurance (formal and social safety nets) used as risk mitigation for different potential costs and emergencies.
·         Understand the influence of marketing, methods of collecting saving and social networks (family/neighbors) when deciding what financial products to engage.
·         Understand the role of culture, perception of risk and potential ‘karma’ of planning ahead for disasters (especially catastrophic disasters) and current perception on insurance  image and how these impacts household and business-level risk mitigation and the MFIs internal risk mitigation procedures.[2]
·         How do disaster-focused products compare to ‘regular’ savings and credit products. What are the advantages or disadvantages? Should Mercy Corps promote/pursue disaster-specific savings and credit, or promote people to access financial products more broadly.
·         Roll of incentives (i.e. a lottery or bundled insurance) in encouraging savings and other risk mitigation.
Scope of Work
The total number of days and project dates are tentative and will be finalized with the potential applicant. The estimate total number of days for this project is 55 days. All applicants must be available to start on/around April 18, 2016 and will be completed by early July 2016.
Estimated No. of Days
Research Design
·         Conduct detailed review of ILFAD program and secondary literature review on financial services context in target areas.
·         Conduct preliminary field visit and rapid qualitative research to inform quantitative survey design
·         Lead a research design workshop, including international consultant and Mercy Corps team
·         In partnership with international consultant, refine research questions and develop research plan.  
§  Draft qualitative report
§  Research Plan that includes:
o    Refined research questions
o    Justification of methods
o    Sampling Frame
Survey design and upload into mobile technology
·         Design a questionnaire, in partnership with the international consultant that directly responds to the research question
·         Ensure questionnaire is reviewed by key Mercy Corps technical staff, in-country and international consultant
·         Ensure questionnaire is encoded in excel and uploaded to tablets in ONA and ODK
·         Finalize sampling frame
§  Completed quantitative questionnaire in excel/ONA/ODK or other format ready to upload
§  Uploaded questionnaire in tablets
§  Detailed sampling frame as well as methods for determining final respondents (i.e. household list?)
Data Collection and Preparation
·         Conduct Enumerator training and pre-test of questionnaire with Enumerators
·         Make adjustments as needed
§  Brief on enumerator training, challenges concerns
§  Finalized survey following pre-test
Field Data Collection
·         Conduct quantitative data collection, overseeing enumerators and ensuring data quality
·         Conduct spot check to verify data quality
§  Spot check methodology
§  Spot check results in Excel
Data Analysis and Cleaning
·         Conduct data cleaning and Analysis
·         Review results with Mercy Corps and run two rounds of subsequent analysis if required
§  Statistical data from STATA
§  Regression Analysis in Excel
·         Draft 15-20 page report on the results
·         Send report to international consultant for input and edit
·         Ensure report is reviewed and incorporates comments from Mercy Corps
§  Draft 15-20 page report
§  Draft 3-5 page research brief
·         Develop final report
·         Write 5 page summary research brief
§  Final report
§  Final Research brief
Mercy Corps Indonesia’s main office is located in Jakarta and this is the base from where the ILFAD team operates the programme. For the purpose of this research, the researchers will collect data from households and MFIs of ILFAD partners located West Sumatera and Jogjakarta.
Requirements and Qualifications
The research will be carried out by individuals or a consultant firm, which consist of a principal researcher and a researcher (junior/assistant), in collaboration with an international researcher.  The principal researcher will be responsible to develop research design, survey instrument and data collection plan in collaboration with an international consultant, to analyze collected data, and to finalize report. Researchers will be responsible to recruit, train and to lead the enumerators in collecting data through survey.
The principle researcher should have the following qualifications:
·            Technical expertise in microfinance and household economic decision-making
·            Demonstrated excellent skills in sound research design, both on quantitative and qualitative
         methodology, in developing survey instruments for data collection and in analysis.
·            Ability to organize individual interview and group discussions
·            Minimum 10 years of qualitative and quantitative program evaluation experience including design and management.
·            Knowledge of the microfinance environment, including knowledge of key factors affecting financial inclusion among marginalized communities, as well as barriers and opportunities for expansion among microfinance institutions
·            Experience in statistical and regression analysis, particularly in relation to microfinance research
·            At least 5 years’ experience with working for or conducting formal research on microfinance institutions  (cooperative, BPR/community bank) with a number of publications.
·             Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including report development, writing and editing.
·            Have Indonesian nationality
The principle researcher should also suggest a Research Assistant who has the following qualifications:
·            Technical expertise in economic/economic psychology/socio-economic/statistic.
·            Demonstrated skills in data collection, both on quantitative and qualitative methodology.
·            Ability to organize individual interview and group discussion
·            Minimum of ten (10) years experience, at least years relevant experience in research or consultancy service on micro finance, micro-insurance and family financial management.
·            Previous experience with micro financial institution (cooperative, BPR/community bank) is desirable.
·            Having Indonesian nationality.
This research consultancy is anticipated to be started in mid-April and ended in early July 2016.
Please send application letter with CV of ‘Principle Researcher’ and ‘Research Assistant’ to:
Application Due: By 17.00 on Friday, March 25, 2016

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