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Research Manager– GDI Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Overview of the Role

GDI is looking for a highly motivated and experienced Research Manager to support an evaluation of a Graduation Approach (Hereafter ‘GA’) program in Transitional Housing (TH) in Hong Kong.[1] The successful candidate will be responsible for overseeing the quality of data collection efforts and randomisation to ensure the success of the quantitative evaluation of the program, and oversee the direction and progress of the qualitative research to complement the RCT study.

The Research Manager will report to GDI and work closely with a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Hong Kong.

This is a project-specific full-time role with a 2-year contract with possibility for 1 year extension, to start immediately.

About the Graduation Approach (GA) program and research

Globally, the Graduation Approach (GA) is one of the most successful poverty alleviation interventions with proven effectiveness through Nobel Prize-winning research efforts overseas. It is considered a unique intervention for being multifaceted, time-bound and designed for sustainability, and adaptable and scalable across various countries and contexts. GA has traditionally been developed for rural communities while there have been recent efforts to adapt it to urban slum contexts in Bangladesh and Tamil Nadu, and peri-urban areas in Uganda and the Philippines.

Building on the key lessons of adapting the GA to the urban context, a localised GA program has been designed for and will be piloted in the 15 upcoming Transitional Housing (TH) sites across Hong Kong. Leveraging transitional housing as a foundation for stable housing and community for a period of time, the localised GA program includes dedicated social workers who will (i) develop a tailored 2-year plan for each beneficiary family to build their capacity for upward mobility, (ii) assign them to different interventions across employment, saving & financial literacy, social capital, and bridging services, and (iii) allocate a fund to support families in realising their employment goals. Together, this program seeks to help families build current and future upward mobility by tackling barriers and providing relevant and useful resources and opportunities.

In parallel, a rigorous impact evaluation plan will be carried out to study the GA program’s effectiveness on family capacity for upward mobility, combining quantitative and qualitative research methods. An evaluator team at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Hong Kong will lead a randomized control trial (RCT) to study the effectiveness of the GA program in enhancing families’ current and future upward mobility, by measuring outcomes in family income, employment, savings, welfare receipt, social resources, physical and mental health, and children’s education and well-being. The study will also involve working with a local research firm to gather qualitative data through focus group discussions and interviews and provide in-depth and nuanced explanations for quantitative findings from the RCT.

About GDI

GDI is an incubator for ventures that create social impact at scale. Our track record includes 40+ social impact ventures, many are multi-million USD efforts tackling systems change across issue areas such as social protection for vulnerable migrants, poverty alleviation, education, health and mental health, disability inclusion. We build these ventures in a 4-step process: 1) Discover; 2) Design; 3) Build; 4) Exit. Throughout the process, we are part strategist (steps 1 and 2) and part implementation partners (steps 3 and 4) for the social sector.

Roles and responsibilities

Manage and support data collection partner(s) on survey implementation: Track and monitor data collection efforts led by data collection partners and ensure the timeliness and quality of survey implementation across different Transitional Housing projects;

  • Monitor timely progress of data collection by the enumeration partner(s) and facilitate NGOs’ support on the survey execution;
  • Sit in randomly selected in-person survey interviews led by enumerators;
  • Report on the progress and roadblocks or challenges encountered, both regularly and on a need-basis.

Track and monitor compliance of the program implementation partners with the Randomised Control Trial (RCT) study: Ensure that the random assignment of the selected study group into Treatment and Control groups is being respected by social workers and NGOs implementing the GA program;

  • Communicate clear expectations for social workers on what can or cannot be provided to the control group, and help address day-to-day inquiries on compliance with RCT;
  • Identify and report on potential challenges or risks that may lead to non-compliance.

Oversee the direction and progress of the qualitative research;

  • Manage the qualitative research partner to conduct qualitative data gathering and analysis in a timely manner;
  • Liaise between quantitative research and qualitative research workstreams to ensure qualitative research questions and design details are developed in relevance to quantitative findings and overall research objectives.

Liaise with key stakeholders and partners including NGO TH operators and private program partners to ensure the evaluation is conducted in a collaborative manner.

Required skills and experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, sociology, social work, or related field; Master’s degree preferred;
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience in managing research and evaluation projects, preferably in the social sector;
  • Strong knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods, survey design, and statistical analysis;
  • Exceptional stakeholder management skills;
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal;
  • Ability to manage multiple work streams with great attention to details;
  • Professional verbal and written proficiency in both English and Cantonese.
How to apply
  • Please send your cover letter and resume (English) to
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Why join GA as Research Manager
  • Opportunity to work with academics from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Hong Kong and contribute to research using cutting-edge evaluation methods;
  • Opportunity to contribute to thought leadership on urban poverty alleviation;
  • Ability to shape future project designs and make deep impact – using data and evaluation to inform program adaptation and scale-ups in various settings beyond Transitional Housing.
Why join GDI
  • Culture: genuine friendships, no politics – direct and candid, where the best ideas win (regardless of seniority);
  • Impact: design and build initiatives that aim to address unsolved and unmet social issues, impacting thousands, and in outstanding cases, millions;
  • Growth: work with top leaders of well-known foundations and NGOs, receive regular coaching on projects, and work with a team that will challenge and support you to develop;
  • Compensation: top tier for social sector NGOs and comparable to leading foundations / private sector professional services firms (commensurate to experience level).

Global Development Incubator is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.

[1] The project is funded and created by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.