Policy Researcher


     The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, and is an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce. Since 1983, CIPE has worked to build the political, market and civic institutions vital to a democratic societies and private sector led economies. CIPE’s key program areas include anti-corruption, public governance reform, support of civil society, property rights, economic empowerment of at-risk communities, and opening political space in closed societies.  

     The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) began programming in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2013 with the understanding that improving the conditions for women’s economic empowerment in PNG requires a supportive ecosystem of interconnected institutions that possess both the gender lens to identify the unequal barriers faced by women and the commitment to proactively democratizing opportunities for all. Through ongoing partnerships with the U.S. and Australian governments, CIPE is implementing a cutting-edge women’s economic empowerment program in Papua New Guinea. To help create a broader “entrepreneurial ecosystem” CIPE is operating a Women’s Business Resource Centre (WBRC) in Port Moresby and providing technical assistance to women’s business organizations in PNG.    

     The WBRC serves as a resource hub for women of all backgrounds, from university-educated women with an interest in starting a business to women with limited formal education with a desire for basic skill development. The WBRC offers training and professional education workshops, access to information, mentorship programs, and coworking space so that women entrepreneurs can quickly access the resources needed to thrive, especially as they recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19. To meet WBRC members’ growing desire for more advanced content, CIPE envisions the WBRC to be a laboratory for innovative programming and tailored entrepreneurship content, organized into higher-level fee-based certificate courses, free basic entrepreneurship and learning courses, WBRC membership inclusive of events and services, and other revenue-raising services. 

     Through its work with universities, CIPE is working to ensure that future generations of Papua New Guinean women will have the option of considering entrepreneurship as a career path. By providing technical assistance to PNG women’s business organizations, women in business now have a voice in economic policymaking. CIPE is also focusing on achieving inclusive growth by engaging and gathering the voices of the most vulnerable entrepreneurs in PNG who face significant challenges and barriers to growth. Additionally, CIPE has launched other thematic work in PNG, such as corrosive capital and other anti-corruption projects with eye towards expanding in the Pacific region. 


    A significant portion of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) economy is comprised of the informal sector, and the PNG National Audit of Information Economy released in 2019 found that it employs 80% of PNG adults and provides 90% of income to PNG families. Indeed, the informal market is where many “table mamas” sell their goods and contribute to their families.    


     Papua New Guinea faces major challenges to gender equality and their equal participation in the economy. Entrepreneurship is one of the paths towards both greater equality of opportunity as well as formal employment. CIPE aims to better understand the needs of women who are in various forms of formal employment so they can not only enter and stay in formal employment but thrive.  

     The Policy Researcher will support CIPE’s efforts to understand and recommend solutions that will enable women to more fully participate in the PNG formal economy, and thereby help lay the groundwork for grassroots advocacy for this demographic in PNG. Through a comprehensive research effort including a literature review, a series of focus group meetings and key informant interviews, CIPE and the Policy researcher will identify policy and other institutionalized barriers to opportunity that disproportionally effect women seeking to enter and stay in formal employment. The research will culminate in a policy brief that specifies potential policy responses, the advocacy for which could be the focus of a subsequent CIPE project in the future. 


     Under this contract, the Policy Researcher will conduct research on issues related to the conditions of women seeking to enter and stay in formal employment This will include desk research on the status of women in formal employment in PNG and identifying the key conditions of their current status as well as issues that hinder these women from participating and contributing fully in society. In particular, the research should highlight both women seeking formal employment and women who are already engaged in formal employment to understand their roles and participation in the PNG economy, their aspirations, the barriers they face, and support they have received and also need to succeed as active members within the PNG formal economy. Additional research topics include existing national and local policies, advocacy networks, and innovative support services that seek to empower women to enter and stay in formal employment.


     Concurrent with the desk research, the Policy Researcher will also engage in a series of focus group discussions (FGD) to better understand the nuances of the topics above. The Policy Researcher will work with CIPE to develop FGD questionnaire based on the desk research and lead the coordination of at least ten focus group discussions which will be held in Port Moresby and other regions (yet to be determined) for women seeking formal employment (five FGD) as well as women currently formally employed (FGD).The Policy Researcher will aim to have participation of a total of 80 participants in total, in an arrangement agreed upon with CIPE.. The Policy Researcher will aggregate and submit organized notes and summary briefs for each FGD.  


     Additionally, the Policy Researcher will work with CIPE to identify key informants (KI) from various sectors to interview and will conduct eight key informant interviews to further inform the research. The key informant interviews will be qualitative in-depth interviews that will enable the Policy Researcher to gain first-hand knowledge about the experiences of women seeking formal employment. Upon completion of the interviews, the Policy Researcher will submit interview notes and a summary brief to CIPE.  


     Upon completion of the desk research, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews, the Policy Researcher will submit an interim report summarizing progress made so far.  


     The Policy Researcher’s work will culminate in a policy brief that specifies potential policy responses to support and empower women to enter and stay in formal employment in PNG. While CIPE is flexible as to the due date of the interim report and other deliverables, the final policy brief will be due to CIPE on June 30, 2023. The Policy Researcher will coordinate with CIPE to translate the report into Tok Pisin and confirm the quality of the translation. CIPE will complete the design for the final report. Upon completion of the report, The Policy Researcher will participate in a launch event to present the findings of the policy brief. The audience will include members of the PNG Women’s Business Advocacy Network (PNG BAN).

The proposed schedule of activities is outlined below.

November 14, 2022: Initiate engagement 

March 30, 2023: Complete desk research, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews; submission of interim report.  

April 30, 2023: Complete first draft of the policy brief.  

June 30, 2023: Finalize the policy brief.  

July 31, 2023: Complete translation of the policy brief.  

August 12, 2023: Complete design for the policy brief.  

Sept 15, 2023: Present findings of policy brief at launch event.  

Position Requirements:


  • Demonstrated strong critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills, strong initiative and attention to detail. Previous experience conducting qualitative research, including focus group discussions and key informant interviews. 

  • Experience analyzing policies and writing policy documents 

  • Experience working with a gender lens in program development and evaluation 

  • Prior experience working with international donor agencies and knowledge of their preferred reporting methods and tools  

  • Commitment to ethical and professional standards of research and evaluation, including work with potentially vulnerable populations 

  • Effective interpersonal and teamwork skills and the ability to work independently, and as part of a small team 

  • Prior experience working in the Pacific as well as with remote teammates across different time zones  

  • Excellent English writing and verbal skills 

To Apply: 

     All applications should be submitted via email to Jane Kim (jkim@cipe.org) and Inuk Kim (ikim@cipe.org).  To apply for this exciting opportunity, please submit the following in the email application: 

  • Cover letter 

  • Resume 

  • One research writing sample in which applicant is the primary author 

  • 3 references 

  • Police Clearance 


     Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.  

     CIPE is an Equal Opportunity Employer.