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Evidence Action

Cost-Effectiveness Analyst / Senior Cost-Effectiveness Analyst

Beta Incubator – Washington DC, District of Columbia
Department Beta Incubator
Employment Type Full-Time


Job Title: Cost-Effectiveness Analyst / Senior Cost-Effectiveness Analyst

Who We Are

Evidence Action aims to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty for hundreds of millions of people in the poorest places. Our two flagship at-scale programs, Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water, reached approximately 280 million people in 2017 alone. Three of our programs - Deworm the World, No Lean Season, and Dispensers for Safe Water - have been named “Top” or “Standout” charities by GiveWell in 2017, with Deworm the World being named a Top Charity for the 5th year in a row.  Evidence Action has a presence across 10 countries, with major offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Delhi, India; and Washington, D.C.

A core element across all of Evidence Action’s work is cost-effectiveness. We not only pride ourselves on delivering high-impact programs grounded in evidence, but also programs that produce measurably more impact (defined differently for different intervention types) per dollar than alternative approaches. This requires thoughtful understanding of existing literature, careful consideration of data collection needs, and savvy analytical approaches, informed by methodologies developed by others and innovating some of our own. We estimate the cost-effectiveness of interventions along the full spectrum of maturity on the pathway to, and for programs reaching and operating at, scale. At one end of the spectrum, this involves conducting more back-of-envelope, hypothesis-driven estimation as we consider whether to begin or continue incubating an intervention in the early stages of our Beta Incubator. On the other end of the spectrum, this involves conducting comprehensive costing exercises and developing models for cost-effectiveness analysis, leveraging significant cost, administrative, and monitoring data, for programs at larger scale, such as our flagship at-scale programs, Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water. These analyses play an important role in informing organizational priorities and programmatic decision-making..

What We’re Looking For

Evidence Action seeks a highly motivated Cost-Effectiveness Analyst (a Manager-level specialist role) or Senior Cost-Effectiveness Analyst (a Senior Manager-level specialist role), to conduct cost-effectiveness analysis across a range of interventions and maturity of programs along the scale pathway and to contribute to organization-wide standards, processes, capacity-building, donor engagement, and thought leadership related to cost-effectiveness.

They will be deeply involved in designing cost-effectiveness models, assessing data needs and quality of existing data for use in those models, reviewing literature to identify other relevant inputs, and regularly updating models based on new inputs. In addition, they will work with leadership and staff focused on evidence and cost-effectiveness to meaningfully strengthen our organizational approach to cost-effectiveness across programs, drawing on lessons learned from our own experience and that of other organizations. This role requires significant collaboration with program, monitoring, and country teams to ensure model consistency with an intervention’s theory of change, implementation model, data availability, etc.

This role will, formally, report into the Beta Incubator; however, it will serve an organization-wide function, given the cost-effectiveness needs across our incubation and at-scale programs. The exact reporting line will be determined prior to a candidate joining. This role will be based in our Washington, DC office.

Whether a candidate is considered at an “Cost-Effectiveness Analyst” or “Senior Cost-Effectiveness Analyst” level will be based on our assessment of the candidate’s overall qualifications and experience. As the organization continues to be on a rapid growth trajectory, we may hire more than one individual from the candidate pool under this recruitment.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Be excited and passionate about engaging in an environment focused on the twin goals of “Evidence” and “Action,” contributing his/her relative strengths in cost-effectiveness analysis to the process of incubating evidence-based interventions for cost-effective scale and of improving the cost-effectiveness of at-scale programs;
  • Love to immerse yourself in data using best practice modeling techniques, but are not afraid to innovate and recommend new approaches, adapted to our programs and organization;
  • Have an affinity for, excitement about, and exception skills in leveraging Excel to structure complex models in user-friendly ways;
  • Appreciate the need to provide program and country teams with applied, implications-driven analysis that can translate into deeper understanding of program cost-effectiveness and inform action;
  • Have strong critical and analytical thinking skills, with an outstanding attention to detail;
  • Be motivated and take initiative to manage multiple demanding requests while adhering to deadlines and priorities;
  • Be quick to learn, motivated to self-teach, and capable of independently translating new knowledge into practice;
  • Be comfortable and effective at engaging with colleagues in the field every day; and
  • Thrive in collaborative, cross-functional teams, including by leveraging excellent, proactive communication skills.

What You’d Do

The Cost-Effectiveness Analyst/Senior Cost-Effectiveness Analyst will have two broad primary areas of responsibility: (1) conduct cost-effectiveness analysis on specific interventions across a range of interventions and maturity of programs along the scale pathway, and (2) contribute to developing and strengthening our organizational approach to cost-effectiveness.  There will be a significant feedback loop between these areas of responsibility, with experience working on specific analyses informing the broader organizational approach and the evolving organizational approach strengthening specific analyses.

1. Conduct Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (60-70%)

In close collaboration with program and country teams and working across a portfolio of interventions:

  • Lead the design of CEA models, including structuring models in Excel with clear impact and cost components, assumptions, and sources and the ability to evaluate scenarios across key parameters
  • Conduct analyses that serve as important components of and inputs to an overall CEA (e.g., detailed costing analysis; an analysis estimating the increase in adoption rates or program coverage that Evidence Action technical support could induce)
  • Review literature directly, interpret findings in order to extract relevant impact estimates, and engage with colleagues and external experts to identify the highest-quality inputs to use
  • Collaborate with global and country finance and program colleagues to gather and understand program financial and cost data
  • Understand administrative and program monitoring data and determine how best to leverage it in CEA models, while also engaging with program and country teams to brainstorm what additional data could be collected or sourced to fill key gaps in models
  • Perform scenario analysis on key parameters to stress-test the models and identify the largest drivers of impact and cost
  • Synthesize and communicate implications of the model outputs to program and country staff and (periodically) organizational leadership to enable decision-making and action
  • Periodically update models with revised inputs and revised assumptions in the event of relevant new evidence  
  • Support program leads in engaging with donors (such as GiveWell) around specific models, including their inputs and outputs
  • Develop explanatory narratives to accompany models to enable colleagues and external stakeholders to more easily understand them
  • Support the development (including leading the drafting at times) of internal and external communication products (such as blog posts and presentations) about specific analyses to enable various audiences to absorb information about the cost-effectiveness of various interventions

Note, across time, the Analyst / Senior Analyst will work on a variety of interventions; however, at any given time, they may be focused primarily or exclusively on analysis related to one intervention for week- or month-long periods of time. The Analyst / Senior Analyst will be involved in analyzing interventions spanning diverse sectors, including those addressing health, education, economic, and broader welfare outcomes.

2. Contribute to Organizational Approach to Cost-Effectiveness (30-40%)

In close collaboration with evidence and cost-effectiveness colleagues and with inputs from program teams and organizational leadership:

  • Contribute to the development of organization-wide, cross-program approach to and guidelines for cost-effectiveness analysis and costing analysis, drawing on global best practice and lessons learned from specific analyses the Analyst is conducting
  • Collaborate with  global and country finance and program colleagues to identify ways to enhance the way we collect program financial data to ensure meaningful usability for costing and cost-effectiveness analyses
  • Support efforts to build capacity of Evidence Action staff across departments and roles (ranging from, for example, those in program roles to those in finance roles) in understanding the organization’s approach to cost-effectiveness (may include, for example, developing training materials, conducting brief training workshops in different locations, and onboarding new staff to CEA and the meaning and role of cost-effectiveness at Evidence Action)
  • Support the development (including leading the drafting) of internal and external communication products (such as blog posts and presentations) about Evidence Action’s approach to and use of CEA, including explainers on our methodological choices
  • Stay abreast of developments in the broader research communities (both public health and economics) related to cost-effectiveness analysis and identify implications of such developments for Evidence Action’s approach
  • Stay abreast of donors’ approaches to cost-effectiveness analysis, engage donors on potential improvements to their cost-effectiveness analyses, and share new insights with internal program and fundraising teams

What Qualifications We’re Expecting in Candidates

Evidence Action places strong value on relevant personal qualities: innovation, responsibility, tenacity, motivation, and work ethic. We seek a highly committed and adaptable individual with the ability to take the initiative when asked, to work effectively in a high-pressure environment, and to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in economics, health economics, statistics, or public finance or public policy, public health, or international development, with an economics or statistics focus
  • Training and experience in economic modeling, cost modeling, health outcomes research, and economic evaluation methods (e.g., cost-effectiveness analysis, social cost-benefit analysis, social rate of return)
  • At least two years of professional experience in a highly analytical and quantitative role
  • Extremely well-organized and detail-oriented; highly structured analytical thinker
  • Excellent communicator, including ability to adjust communication and engagement style for different audiences, from academics to front-line staff, across geographies and role types
  • Advanced skills in and substantial practical experience using Excel and STATA, R, or SAS
  • Ability to travel up to 20%
  • Fluency in spoken and written English

Preferred Requirements:

  • Prior working experience in a developing country
  • Experience with digital data collection platforms (e.g., CommCare)
  • Experience with data visualization tools (e.g., Tableau)
  • Experience managing data collection in low-resource settings, preferably for an experiment conducted in a developing country

Start Dates

We are aiming to have someone start in this role between January and June 2019. As our recruitment process progresses, we may narrow that window and expect a candidate to start in the early part of that timeframe. However, we are open to negotiating start date for the right candidate, especially if there is a timing barrier, such as completing graduate school in spring 2019.

Evidence Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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  • Location
    Washington DC, District of Columbia
  • Department
    Beta Incubator
  • Employment Type
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