Research & Policy Specialist

Terms of Reference
Research & Policy Specialist
Social Development Unit

1.       In 2014, the Government of Indonesia passed the Village Law, which aims to support poverty reduction, improve quality and access to service delivery, promote community harmony, and bring citizens and the state closer together, by increasing the voice of local communities in development decisions. The Village Law significantly increased fiscal resources for development and community empowerment in Indonesia’s 74,954 rural villages. In 2019, the Government of Indonesia transferred an average IDR 1.6 billion to each village. Between 2014 and 2019 villages increased from approximately IDR 16.8 trillion ($1.2 billion) to IDR 123 trillion ($8.6 billion). 

2.       Indonesia’s central government now faces the challenge of influencing behavior of 75,000 village governments to ensure value from the more than IDR 123 trillion in public resources now at their disposal.  In such a context, a cascaded supervision and support regime is the only viable option.  Under a cascaded model, central government enables and supports provincial governments, which in turn enable and support districts, which in turn support villages. However, noting the size of districts in Indonesia (both population and geography), villages are often unable to directly access district-level government systems. 

3.       Subnational governments manage more than one third of Indonesia’s total government expenditure, including 72% of health spending, 65% of education spending, 67% of infrastructure spending, and somewhat surprisingly, almost 40% of social protection spending. They play a role in almost every aspect of service delivery. Districts manage 80% of the national road network, but more than 40% is in bad and poor repair, compared with only 8% of the national road network.  However, it is only recently that regulations have been passed to strengthen the role of the sub-district. These now include overseeing administration and coordination around service delivery; community participation and empowerment; and support and supervision to village governments.

4.       Bottom up accountability systems for improving village spending also have yet to be fully strengthened. Recent regulations under Village Law have mandated public disclosure of village budgets, but the information, while available, is not fully accessible to the population. In addition, village planning meetings are often by invitation only, leading to the effective exclusion in particular of women, the poor, and other marginalized populations. When effectively put in place, bottom up accountability mechanisms can play a critical role in driving decision making over spending village funds, in social monitoring to ensure transparency and accountability, and to improve the outcomes of village level service delivery. 

5.       The World Bank Social Development unit seeks a Research and Policy Specialist to improve the quality of frontline service delivery, strengthen alignment between the district and the village levels, and develop social accountability of Village Law implementation. In the short-to-medium term, the consultant will conduct analysis of COVID-19 social monitoring data. In the medium-to-long term, the consultant will provide analytical supports and conduct research across several projects, primarily on the Institutional Strengthening for Improved Village Service Delivery Project (Program Penguatan Pemerintahan dan Pembangunan Desa -- P3PD) and the Improving Teacher Performance and Accountability Phase 2 Pilot (Kinerja dan Akuntabilitas Guru – KIAT Guru).

Scope of work

6.       The Research and Policy Specialist will be responsible for the following:

a.       Conduct analysis of COVID-19 social monitoring data, which consist of:

i.      Analyze high-frequency weekly, monthly, and quarterly monitoring data.

ii.      Identify and present key trends on monthly basis.

iii.      Adjust subsequent research questions as needed.

b.      Provide policy and research analysis for KIAT Guru Phase 2, which consist of:

i.      Identify key policy and research gap based on literature review and desk research, including KIAT Guru key design documents and reports covering process monitoring, qualitative research, and impact evaluation.

ii.      Conduct as-needed additional analysis on process monitoring, qualitative research, and quantitative surveys data.

iii.      In collaboration with the Technical Implementation Team, write research and policy reports and briefs.

c.       Provide analytical inputs for P3PD, which consist of:

i.      Conduct primary and secondary data collection to analyze village fund spending on infrastructure and basis services.

d.      Provide analytical inputs to support operations, which consist of:

i.      Participate in meetings and presentations for on-going researches and studies in the unit to identify potential complimentary studies that piggy-back on the data collection.

ii.      Conduct literature review on empirical research and policy.

iii.      Propose hypotheses, research questions, and sampling strategies.

iv.      Develop research and monitoring questions and instruments to document best practices and key operational challenges.

v.      Join field missions and write key findings.

vi.      Write research concept notes, policy and research reports, presentations, and briefs for internal and external audiences.

e.      Participate in meetings/ presentations/ events.

f.        Carry out any other tasks assigned by and agreed with the Task Team Leaders (TTLs).

7.       The main deliverables for the position include:

a.       Analyzed data with graphs/ charts.

b.      Research and monitoring concept notes and instruments.

c.       Field reports/ summary of key literature review.

d.      Briefs/ memos/ presentations on COVID-19 social monitoring data.

e.      Published reports/ briefs/ presentations/ blogs on KIAT Guru.


The Consultant will report to Senior Social Development Specialist for the relevant projects/ tasks: Dewi Susanti for COVID-19 and KIAT Guru, and Anna O’Donnell for P3PD. The Consultant will also work closely with other team members and consultants in the Social Unit and World Bank, as well as with government and other counterparts.

Period of Assignment

The Consultant will be contracted for 50 days for the period of July – December 2020. Contract may be extended based on needs and Consultant’s performance.


a.       Preferred qualifications: PhD in international development/ policies/ economics/ social sciences, or master’s degree with relevant experience.

b.      Experience: Master’s in international development/ policies/ economics/ social sciences, with 5 years of relevant experience or Fresh graduate PhD with 2 years of experience in conducting data analysis (quantitative and qualitative) and research related to social development or political economy.

c.       Technical skills:

a.       Proven technical skills in statistical and econometric research with a high level of proficiency in statistical packages, preferably STATA.

b.      Proven writing skills.

c.       Attention to detail, and a high level of thoroughness.

d.      Interpersonal skills: Proven record of in providing prompt and quality response to client requests. He/she should be able to effectively communicate internally and externally, share information with colleagues, clients, and management.

e.      Soft skills: Independent, proactive, collaborative, and responsive. A strong record of working across organizational boundaries is required.

f.        Time management skills: A proactive approach to achieving key results. Ability to prioritize and manage time efficiently. Can handle multiple tasks effectively to meet deadlines; ability to manage uncertainty and adjust to a changing work program.

g.       Language Skills: Excellent writing and communication skills in both English and Bahasa is a must.

Please send your Cover Letter along with your Resume (in PDF) to:  

Please fill the “subject” column of the e-mails in this format: 

< Research & Policy Specialist> - <your name>  

Closing date for the application is 31 May 2020.

(Only short-listed candidates will be notified). 




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