Job Opportunity// External Surveyors for Water and Energy for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development

Job Description:

WE4F’s USAID Secretariat Unit is seeking External Surveyors to provide monitoring and evaluation support by conducting in-country field research and data collection with WE4F innovators in Egypt, Lebanon, Cambodia, and Indonesia. M&E External Surveyors should be current or recent graduate students with a background in agriculture, water, energy, technology innovation, environmental studies, research methods, international business, and/or international development. External Surveyors will be expected to be (at a minimum) in the field for 4-6 weeks during the Summer and Fall seasons of 2021. Exact dates are dependent on innovator availability and in-country COVID-19 conditions. 

This opportunity will allow you to:

  • Conduct in-country field research on topics related to technological innovations in agriculture as well as impact of innovations on the environment, gender equity, and local poverty.
  • Interview 60+ farmers and other food value chain participants who use WE4F innovations.
  • Utilize research methods to establish control groups and assess environmental, gender, and base of pyramid impact.
  • Serve as a “fact-checker” and validate and expand upon information that WE4F has received from innovators as well as non-innovators.
  • Be part of one of the leading new mechanisms in international development for discovering breakthrough solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
  • Complete fieldwork requirement that could serve as a basis for thesis, capstone or dissertation work. 

Required Qualifications:

  • Working or High proficiency in the local language of the countries conducting data collection: Arabic, Khmer, Indonesian, Javanese, and/or French. 
  • Candidates residing in Egypt, Lebanon, Cambodia, or Indonesia who would not need to travel outside of their current country of residence to conduct required data collection.
  • Quantitative/social science research background with a strong understanding of data validity and experimental design
  • Knowledge and experience using statistical software (SPSS, SAS, STATA, R) to analyze data sets
  • Comfort operating in rural areas with limited access to technology, and/or improved amenities
  • Interest in development and social impact and enthusiasm for engaging with data from water, energy, and agriculture innovators 
  • Commitment to producing excellent work while maintaining a high level of professionalism and attentiveness to detail
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision while managing and meeting deadlines
  • Experience working in a highly diverse environment and a commitment to embrace cultural differences. 
  • A high level of respect and courtesy towards local stakeholders as well as mindfulness and a commitment to do no harm.
  • Prior professional experience in Egypt, Lebanon, Cambodia, or Indonesia. 

If interested, read a blog post from the perspective of a previous external surveyor from Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge. For questions about this position, please email with the subject “2021 M&E External Surveyors.” Applications materials sent to this address will not be considered. Please see the application process below.  

Application process:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and at least one professional reference letter in the form linked here by August 15th. In your cover letter, please answer the following questions:

  • Do you currently reside in and/or are highly proficient in the native languages of the following countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Cambodia, Indonesia? 
  • How has your previous experience prepared you to be a WEF M&E External Surveyor?
  • What was your motivation to apply for this position? What are you expecting to gain out of this experience?
  • When can you start and during what time period are you available to serve in this position?
  • Can you meet the minimum time requirements (expected duration: 4-6 weeks) for the in-country research?

Interview Process:

The interview process will include three phases: 

  • 20 minute interview on the phone with the M&E manager, and/or program coordinator to discuss your background and qualifications as well as answer questions about the role.
  • Mock field interview to preview a typical field survey experience and to determine a candidate’s fit for the work. 
  • 15 minute final interview on the phone with the WE4F USAID Secretariat Team Lead to address final interviewee questions and assess the candidate’s fit.

Scope of work:

Preparatory Work

Selected M&E External Surveyors will be taken through the following:

  • Introductory Webinar to explain WE4F M&E guidelines, survey tools and student fieldwork manual. (1.5 hour including Q&A).
  • Facilitated Introductory Meeting with the Regional Innovation Hub associated with the assigned WE4F innovator organization.
  • In the Field: Check in meetings every 2 weeks with your WE4F M&E External Surveyor Coordinator, your primary point of contact during your employment. We expect that all External Surveyors will acquire an inexpensive local phone with enough credit to receive check-in phone calls.

Potential Research Questions

  • To what extent are innovators reaching customers at or below the poverty line?
  • To what extent are innovators reaching female customers?
  • How does use of the innovation impact the lives/work of women?
  • What barriers exist to greater customer adoption among impoverished customers? ..among female customers?
  • What economic and development impacts does use of the innovation have on customers/households? (income, resilience, food security, time-savings, water savings)
  • What alternatives exist to use of the innovation? What are key factors influencing this choice?
  • To what extent are the social, economic, and environmental impacts on end-user different for those not using WE4F-supported innovations?


  • Attendance at all training/meeting sessions including an Introductory Webinar
  • A minimum of 60 completed farmer/end-user interviews (including at least 40 end-users and 20 control group interviewees)
  • Mobile app data collection
  • Regular communication and check-ins with the team lead (no unexplained absences/ circumstances)
  • Data Reporting Support. You will provide data collection to support semi-annual and annual WE4F reporting.
  • Final Field Report. You will be required to submit draft versions during the field visit and a final version at the conclusion of the employment period.
  • Final Presentation to the associated Regional Innovation Hub and/or assigned Innovator. You will present an overview of the final field report including the qualitative and contextual findings that have come about during quantitative data collection. This will also include a Q&A session.

Financial policies and Logistics:

Total Compensation and External Surveyor Responsibilities: 

  • The total stipend provided to External Surveyors totals $5000 which will be disbursed following the completion of certain deliverables as described below. 
  • If the External Surveyors submit the Travel Expense Reimbursement Form including sufficient documentation of qualifying expenses*, WE4F will reimburse up to an additional $2,500*, pending approval of those expenditures by the WE4F Team Lead. 
  • External Surveyors will be responsible for arranging their own accommodations and travel insurance in the host country. WE4F will not provide additional funding to cover these arrangements which should be covered by the total stipend amount cited above. However, WE4F will make an effort to liaise with innovators and appropriate RIH staff to help facilitate this process.
  • *The amount of this additional disbursement will reflect the costs of approved travel expenses.

Stipend Disbursement Schedule and Required Deliverables:

  • Following acceptance of the offer, finalization of the offer AND confirmed attendance at the Intro Orientation Session, External Surveyors will receive an initial $1,000 of the total stipend amount. 
  • The student’s airfare and all relevant travel expenses must be booked by the External Surveyor and approved by the WE4F Team Lead prior to purchase. Once all cited travel expenses are approved by WE4F, an additional $1,000 of the total stipend amount will be disbursed. 
  • After submission and approval of all final deliverables listed below, WE4F will issue a remaining payment of $3000 to the External Surveyors. These required final deliverables include:
    • Raw data and supporting documentation from a minimum of 50 interviews with individuals {not groups} in separate households including: voice recordings, the primary interview data in excel format, and final site visit report
    • Documented and consistent communication with the WE4F M&E External Surveyor Coordinator through check-in calls every two weeks while in the field. 
    • Final Field Report which reflects all final revisions requested by WE4F
    • Final Presentation to Regional Innovation Hubs including follow-up on any remaining questions from the Q&A sessions. 
  • As cited above, if the External Surveyors submit the Travel Expense Reimbursement Form for qualifying expenses and all expenditures are approved by WE4F, up to an additional $2500 will be disbursed following the completion and approval of all final deliverables. The amount of this additional disbursement will reflect the costs of approved travel expenses.


Please e-mail with questions. No application materials will be accepted through email.

Originally posted