Accion International

Manager, Research, Center for Financial Inclusion

Posted Date 2 months ago(8/9/2021 4:18 PM)
Job ID
Accion Washington, DC


The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) is looking for a Research Manager. The CFI team is driven by our vision of a world where all people are able to use financial services and participate in the economy to improve their lives and prosper. We are looking for colleagues who share our passion to join us on the journey.


CFI is searching for a Research Manager, based out of our Washington, DC office, will play a leading role in CFI’s research and policy influence work across 4 main areas of responsibility: the generation of insights, the communications of insights for impact, program management, and organizational culture. The position requires leadership as an internal thought leader and research lead on a subject domain with a robust knowledge product pipeline (that is focused on driving stakeholder behavior change), strong management of a project portfolio, and commitment to continually building an organizational culture of excellence across CFI.


This Manager position will support workstreams by providing project management, research design, and quantitative analysis support. Specifically, this position will initially support CFI’s longitudinal research project examining the impact of COVID-19 on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the piloting of a web-based application for measuring and improving consumer financial health. The Manager will support other quantitative research projects across CFI’s portfolio, as necessary.


About Accion 

Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of — or poorly served by — the financial sector. For 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 170 partners in 55 countries. More at


About CFI

Here at the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), we work to advance inclusive financial services for the billions of people who currently lack the financial tools needed to improve their lives and prosper. We leverage partnerships to conduct rigorous research and test promising solutions, and then advocate for evidence-based change. CFI was founded by Accion in 2008 to serve as an independent think tank on inclusive finance.


Why you should consider working with us:


We tackle substantive research questions. We delve deep into wide-ranging issues, from how to make cash transfer programs more effectively empower women to understanding household demand for financial products that support adaptation and mitigation to climate change. Everyone on the team makes meaningful contributions to CFI’s impact on low-income people around the world.


We get ambitious things done in a supportive environment. As a CFI’er, you’ll have an ambitious agenda, but you’ll get plenty of support from your managers and peers—we regularly host internal learning events, offer a professional development budget for each team member, and provide ongoing opportunities to collaborate with world-class researchers at CFI and our partner organizations.


We appreciate each other as people. We know that to grow, personally and professionally, we need to surround ourselves with people who have had different experiences and backgrounds to ensure creativity of thought and constant learning. We celebrate originality and take time to reflect and learn from our mistakes. At CFI, we all have a seat at the table and opportunities to present and engage in meaningful discussion.


We are part of a powerful network. CFI is an independent think tank housed within Accion, which provides a unique context for our research as well as opportunities for collaboration. Since 1961, Accion has helped revolutionized financial services for low-income people, including creating the world’s first regulated, for-profit bank for the poor (BancoSol in Bolivia), being a leading seed-stage investor for inclusive fintechs, and creating the world’s first global fintech fund for the underserved.


Position responsibilities


Insight generation

  • Lead, with oversight, the development of research designs and their implementation
  • Draw insights from data analysis using self-directed methodologies.
  • Independently contextualize data within the global knowledge base.

Communication of insights for impact

  • In alignment with the research program’s theory of change and influence strategy, transform insights from research into actionable takeaways across a broad array of knowledge products, including blogs, technical tools, and research reports.
  • Present and deeply discuss—internally and externally—team research and related subject domains in financial inclusion; become internal “go-to” person for related subject domain. 

Program management

  • Manage project portfolio by driving results, resolving complex issues, practicing fiscally sound budget planning and management, managing consultants and contracts with some oversight, and managing relationship with all stakeholders (including donors, other Accion stakeholders, and CFI management).

Organizational culture (includes mindset and behaviors)

  • Help lead a culture that attracts and retains top talent, and ensures a high performing, respectful, and inclusive work culture; a culture in which all staff: 1) reach their full potential as learners, unorthodox researchers, and thought leaders 2) work effectively with each other by sharing ideas, brainstorming, and co-developing knowledge products 3) feel accountable for results and impact and 4) strive and achieve excellence. 


Position qualifications

  • Deep understanding of financial inclusion, financial capability, and financial health. Professional familiarity with one of CFI’s other strategic areas (climate, gender, data, and consumer protection) a plus
  • Proficiency with R and Tableau for wrangling, analyzing, and visualizing survey data required. Experience with large data sets preferred.
  • Seasoned project manager with proven track record of independently managing multiple projects simultaneously, delivering results on time and on budget
  • Experience working on and managing projects in multiple geographic regions; demonstrated proficiency working cross-culturally
  • Has well-developed leadership qualities, including experiencing developing the capabilities of junior staff
  • Considered an expert in professional area as demonstrated by public knowledge products
  • Ability to influence internal and external stakeholders based on research findings
  • Entrepreneurial approach, creatively solving problems and taking initiative to move work forward
  • Generally, 10+ years of relevant experience
  • Interested in our mission and working globally.
  • Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
    • Excellence: Accion staff should always put forth their best effort in all activities, strive for high quality of collective and individual performance; and demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times while in the workplace and while working on behalf of the organization.
    • Respect: Accion staff should value one another’s roles and responsibilities as much as their own, be encouraging, and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues. They should honor obligations and commitments to each other and to external partners.
    • Passion for Social Change: Accion staff should be committed to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, value the greater good of the organization over personal gain, and promote a productive workplace by acknowledging the accomplishments of others. 


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