Data Management and Analysis Coordinator (Consultant), Program Evaluation and Support Unit

Location: Myanmar
Deadline: July 29, 2019

The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in 18 Asian countries, seeks an experienced Data Management and Analysis Coordinator Consultant to be based in Yangon, Myanmar. This will be a full time, non-staff position.

A dearth of reliable and easily-accessible empirical data creates challenges for effective and evidence-based decision making in Myanmar. While there has been a significant increase in data collection since the political transition in 2011– with both the government, international development actors and the private sector seeking to expand their evidence base for planning and programming in the country – existing datasets are scattered and have rarely been integrated for comparisons between indictors or locations.

The Asia Foundation’s Township Development Indicators (TDI) database has been developed since 2014 as a response to this challenge and is currently one of the most comprehensive databases available at the level of Myanmar’s 330 townships. Collating information at a sub-national level aims to allow for nuanced analysis of local contexts across the country. The TDI combines hundreds of indicators from multiple sources under the categories of development; demographics; government budget and revenue; international development assistance; natural resources, agriculture and wildlife; climate and geography; subnational conflict; industry and business; religious and historical sites; and infrastructure and construction. Moreover, a development index combines sixteen human development indicators, with three sub-indices on living standards, health, and education at the township level. The TDI also draws on innovative technologies and open source satellite imagery to gather data on specific indicators against Myanmar’s 330 townships. For instance, given the limited historical data on development, the TDI includes nighttime lights, a well-recognized proxy for economic activity. Additionally, satellite data has been drawn on for population density, deforestation trends, elevation/altitude, and estimated mining sites. Additional datasets collected and managed by the Foundation include the Budget Dashboard containing subnational budget data and township databases related to urban safety issues.

The consultancy’s overall purpose is to strengthen the use of data and empirical evidence in Myanmar’s policy-making processes, especially planning and budgeting, by expanding and applying the TDI data to benefit the decision-making of key policy-makers. Primarily, these include those in government, but also international development partners, civil society, academics, media, and policy institutes.

REQUIREMENTS

Experience: 3+ years’ experience in data management or analysis

Education: Master’s Degree in relevant field including economics, finance, information science, political or social sciences

Experience and Skills:

  • Extensive experience using Excel and proficiency in Stata, SPSS, R, Python or other relevant software
  • Full proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Ability to manage large datasets
  • Ability to identify significant trends from data and extrapolate conclusions from large datasets that can be applied to policy and decision making
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Ability to manage and mentor others in a collegial and effective manner
  • Ability to balance collaborative and independent work sensibly, even under pressure
  • Confident communication skills
  • Experience working in a social science, public finance management, or other development field a plus
  • Specifically, budget-related analysis experience will be favorably considered

COORDINATOR FUNCTIONS

The Data Management and Analysis Coordinator will sit within the Program Evaluation and Support Unit (PESU) and report to the Manager of PESU. The Coordinator will supervise the overall development and application of datasets, particularly the TDI, to support overall Foundation programming. Part of overall management duties, including of a small team, will include adding data to the datasets; overseeing the processes of data cleaning, entry and standardization; conducting policy analysis using TDI data; providing training support and technical advice to key stakeholders outside of The Asia Foundation using the TDI; coordinating with government and development partners; actively finding entry points in other program units where TDI data can be mainstreamed into program activities; and providing mentorship and training to data management team members and others within the Foundation office. The prime emphasis of the job will be to manage the TDI, which will be a crosscutting resource for all program teams and will be funded by multiple programs; the role will require management of inter-programmatic relationships and budgets. The consultant will also support other database management and will be expected to undertake the following functions:

Technical and Management Responsibilities

  • Design a TDI management plan including the objectives of the TDI team; how often, how, and from where data will be collected and cleaned; standardization guidelines for indicators; data storage and accessibility guidelines; communication guidelines; and other related activities.
  • Coordinate closely with program managers to identify where TDI data can support and strengthen their program learnings, objectives and activities; develop activities aligned with identified areas.
  • With emphasis on comparing TDI data against subnational budgets and capital expenditures
  • Lead the continual expansion and improvement of databases and support efforts in expanding the Foundation’s access to government data (particularly widening the scope of subnational budget data). Undertake policy analysis using data and help with the editing and publication process of related policy papers.
  • Track the activities of other organizations/development partners that are also implementing governance and data collection-related activities, both at the union and subnational levels; identify synergies or complementarities that can strengthen and promote the use of TDI and act on them where feasible.
  • Represent the Foundation and the TDI at external events; attend, prepare for and implement meetings, events, and forums with government, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Develop and implement a communications strategy that will promote the TDI database and its uses in a clear, concise, and compelling manner.
  • Ensure that the database is accessible to and usable by colleagues; manage external access to the database.
  • Support other country office databases and seek means of integrating them to the TDI where feasible.
  • Supervise and mentor junior members of the TDI team providing clear work plans, instructions, and feedback on their work. Coordinate closely with program managers and finance team to align TDI activities with funding sources and to track TDI related expenditures.
  • Contribute to donor reporting as required.
  • Closely monitor and regularly evaluate the implementation and quality of activities.
  • Follow all Foundation administrative and logistical rules and practices when carrying out all activities.

Financial Management

  • Follow the Foundation’s policies and practices, ensure that all financial documentation related to project activities is prepared, updated and settled, including supporting documents.
  • Monitor spending and maintain updated spending projections and expenditure records.
  • Work with your team to ensure quarterly spending projections are accurately met
  • Work closely with the finance team to ensure accurate budget planning and financial reporting.

Representation

  • Participate in meetings and events with development partners, governments, and civil society organizations as assigned.
  • Contribute to articles, written materials, and documentation for publication.
  • Participate in Foundation meetings and other relevant professional forums and events.

Other Responsibilities

  • Provide support to other on-going programs and activities of the Foundation as may be necessary.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Country Representative, the Deputy Country Representative, or the Manager – PESU.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and CV by July 29, 2019 to country.myanmar.recruitment@asiafoundation.org with the position title listed in the subject line. The Asia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, EOE/M/F/D/V. No phone calls, please.

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