Accion International

Research Specialist, Center for Financial Inclusion

Posted Date 10 hours ago(9/28/2022 3:05 PM)
Job ID
Accion Washington, DC


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 nearly 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 160 partners in 55 countries. More at


About Center for Financial Inclusion

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) works 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.


Our role in the inclusive finance space is to identify learning gaps that could advance financial health of low-income people and undertake research and pilot testing to advance our collective understanding of what would drive progress. In areas where there is clear evidence of what works, we collaborate with partners to advocate and embed learning into implementation and practices of partners. We partner with all types of stakeholders – donors, investors, policymakers and providers – both in its research and pilot testing work as well as during its advocacy phase.


Position Summary  

The Research Specialist position plays a strong contributing role in CFI’s research and policy influence work across four main areas of responsibility: the generation of insights, the communications of insights for impact, program management, and organizational culture. The position requires a deep familiarity of his/her team’s body of research, an emerging knowledge product pipeline, strong project and research administration, and an active commitment to CFI’s organizational culture of excellence. The ideal candidate will have the desire to contribute to research that aims to have a meaningful impact on improving lives.


The person in this role will be based in Washington, D.C.


Position Responsibilities


Insight generation

  • Support research projects relating to inclusive financial services and CFI’s four thematic priorities: consumer protection, consumer data opportunities and risks, women’s financial inclusion, and climate risk, resilience, and adaptation. Activities might include, for example, conducting rapid literature reviews, scoping potential partners, and attending project meetings.
  • Support the implementation of data and information collection, management, and review processes.
  • Gather, structure, summarize and analyze data and information using self-directed methodologies.

 Communication of insights for impact

  • Draft blog posts, reports, and other knowledge products representing one’s own research.
  • Present team research internally within CFI and Accion.

Program management

  • Develop workplans for project and lead project administration, logistical coordination, project reporting and vendor management.
  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Planning events and workshops

Organizational culture (includes mindsets and behaviors)

  • Actively participate in 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.

Other duties as assigned


Position Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, sociology, international development, or a relevant social science, with 4-5 years of experience; Masters preferred with 2-3 years of experience.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills with demonstrated ability to draft a variety of knowledge products including literature reviews, blogs and policy briefs.
  • Demonstrated understanding of inclusive financial services; experience with at least one of CFI’s strategic areas (consumer protection, data, climate, gender) preferred.
  • Experience contributing on research projects in developing countries.
  • Able to operate largely self-sufficiently, with guidance and decisions from others; able to operate in a matrix organization across multiple reporting lines.
  • Interested in our mission and working globally.
  • Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.


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