To catalyze the Kenyan tech community’s growth.


Impact Data Officer1

  • Company: Root Capital
  • Deadline: Tuesday 31st July 2012
  • Location: Nairobi
Job Description


Through an approach we call “Client-Centric Impact Evaluation,” Root Capital seeks to implement impact evaluation studies that create value for our rural SME clients. Specifically, Root Capital plans to pilot this approach through a series of qualitative and quantitative impact assessment surveys and studies to document our impact on our clients, their suppliers (smallholder farmers), and their surrounding communities and landscapes. The Impact Data Officer will be responsible for piloting our “Client-Centric” approach to evaluation in Africa, managing several of these studies in close consultation with members of the Strategy, Knowledge & Innovation (SKI) department.

The Officer will focus in particular on deploying mobile technology solutions to gather information that is useful for impact evaluation and also enables our clients to manage their businesses more effectively—for instance, data about crop prices, inventory levels, cash flows, and logistics. In survey-based studies, the Officer will work closely with clients to ensure that the study is of value to client businesses. S/he will be responsible for identifying appropriate survey tools and study methodologies and designing questionnaires and other instruments. In addition, s/he will lead software system analysis and requirements gathering to work with software developers in creating tailored technology solutions for information management. S/he will be responsible for evaluating geomapping tools available in East Africa and integrating them into the study if useful. S/he will also cultivate and manage partnerships with research institutions to collaborate on applied research related to the social and environmental impact of Root Capital’s lending and financial training services.


Mission and History of Root Capital

Root Capital’s mission is to grow rural prosperity by investing in small and growing agricultural businesses that build sustainable livelihoods in Africa and Latin America.

Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses.

Root Capital clients include associations and private businesses that help create sustainable livelihoods by aggregating the products of hundreds, and often, thousands of farmers. Since our launch in 1999, we have provided more than $400 million in credit to over 460 small and growing agricultural businesses. Root Capital envision a thriving financial market serving agricultural businesses that generate long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability for small-scale farmers and their communities around the world. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Root Capital currently has associated offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Kenya.



1. Impact Assessment Studies
Lead implementation of a portfolio of qualitative and quantitative impact assessment studies, and work closely with the Director of Impact & Strategy and the Director of Knowledge & Impact to develop research designs. Research topics will include the impact of Root Capital’s lending and financial advisory services on clients, and the impact of Root Capital’s work with these client enterprises on the small-scale farmers with whom the enterprises work, including impact on the surrounding landscapes, the level and stability of income as well as broader effects on the quality of life of the farmers, their families, and their communities. Planned studies include:

  • 7 income surveys of the suppliers/ customers of Root Capital clients in East Africa
  • 5 surveys combining income data with supplier/ customer research questions designed in collaboration with Root Capital clients

For all of the above projects, identify possible client partners and conduct scoping conversations with them to identify areas in which Root Capital can assist them in capturing data that will be useful to both parties; identify and select appropriate research methodologies; identify and select adequate and cost-effective data collection methods, with an emphasis on existing mobile applications; develop research designs and write project proposals in close consultation with client managers on the one hand, and with Root Capital’s Director of Impact & Strategy on the other; train clients as necessary on use of new mobile technologies; monitor implementation and data quality throughout the processes; provide interim and final reports to Root Capital and to the client, including implications for the client’s businesses as well as for Root Capital’s strategy and operational model.

2. IT application project management
Beginning with three client enterprises, we will work to develop original mobile data management solutions that address critical business needs for the client while deepening understanding of social and environmental impact on enterprise’s suppliers, customers, and community. Such systems might address mobile payments processing, route planning and fieldforce management, inventory management, or other challenges. These could take the form of mobile applications, web applications, or tablet/ handheld applications. Specific tasks will include:

  • Software system analysis and requirements gathering
  • Describing project/ client needs and liaising with software developers
  • Data modeling and software testing / QA
  • Client training and documentation

3. Partnerships and Field-building
Cultivate and manage partnerships with peer institutions, research institutes, technology providers, and others to learn from and contribute to best practice in social and environmental impact management

4. Research & Writing
Work collaboratively with other members of the Strategy, Knowledge & Innovation department and the Communications department to develop original content for Root Capital’s publications and presentations; this will include secondary research, writing, and editing.


Qualifications and Experience

  1. Passion for Root Capital’s mission to grow rural prosperity by investing in small and growing agricultural businesses.
  2. Two or more years of professional experience in monitoring and evaluation or impact assessment, OR two or more years professional experience in software or mobile technology development.
  3. Experience with quantitative and qualitative research, data collection, and analysis preferred. Advanced Microsoft Excel skills and experience with SAS, Stata, or other statistical software.
  4. Experience with managing software development projects and web application projects strongly preferred. Experience with data modeling, and software testing, client training, and documentation. 
  5. University degree in commerce, agronomy, statistics, computer science or information technology strongly preferred.
  6. Superior oral and written communications skills, including experience synthesizing research findings.
  7. Desire to work in a cross-cultural setting with a range of stakeholders including agricultural business managers, smallholder farmers, mobile technology specialists, international donors, and the global Root Capital team.
  8. Highly motivated individual who is intellectually curious, adept at multi-tasking, and eager to work in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
  9. Strong project management skills and able to coordinate activities of an international team of staff and external consultants.
  10. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences, including business managers, smallholder farmers, and technology professionals.
  11. Collaborative team player with a good sense of humor.
  12. Willingness to travel internationally within the region.
  13. Applicants must be authorized to work in Kenya.

How to apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 

Applications including a resume and cover letter describing your interest, qualifications, language abilities, compensation requirements, and how you learned of the position should be sent to:  Please type “Impact Data Officer, Kenya” followed by your name (Last, First) as the subject line of your email (e.g. “Impact Data Officer, Kenya – Marrero, Marc”). Finalist candidates will be required to provide at least three work-related references.