Researcher, Health Systems and Policy

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Posted Date 2 weeks ago(3/5/2018 4:21 PM)
# of Openings


Do you believe that everyone deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare? Are you interested in leading a research practice that produces incisive, challenging, game-changing evidence? Do you wish the rigor and creativity of academia could be blended with the policy-relevance of implementation? Are you fed up with bureaucracy, love flexibility, and enjoy drawing on the collective passion of others? Do you thrive in a dynamic, high-growth, fast-paced environment? Then consider a job with ThinkWell.

We are an emerging health systems development and health financing organization focused on catalyzing transformation in the health sector. Our organization is currently in a major growth phase and we are looking for a globally recognized health systems and policy researcher to lead our research portfolio, especially with private sector clients. The successful candidate will have the expertise to conceptualize, design, and supervise a broad range of quantitative and qualitative research, as well as evaluations  to understand complex health systems and health financing mechanisms across public and private sector; example of analysis include political economy analysis; trend analysis to identify opportunities and challenges across range of market actors and agencies; position papers to inform innovative approaches for increased participation of the private sector in the public health system and in improving health outcomes.

Examples of research projects include:

  • Regional landscaping and country case studies to understand health financing structures and trends.
  • Review of Public-Private partnership initiatives to inform new approaches to engage with the private sector
  • Review of potential innovating financing mechanisms to support expansion of fiscal space for health (including reinsurance, Development Impact Bonds, Trust funds…)
  • Assessing the political economy of scaling up a national health insurance program
  • Assessing the pros and cons of inclusion of vertically funded programs in expanding national health insurance program.
  • Design and evaluation of performance-based mechanisms


The successful candidate will have experience engaging in policy dialogue with senior health and finance officials and engaging country governments and country teams in health financing policy design and implementation. The ideal candidate will bring knowledge of health financing policy and strategy, country planning and budgeting, and strategic purchasing. The ideal candidate will ideally have experience working on primary and preventative health services, including immunization.

Job Location: To be based either in our Washington, DC office; location may be flexible depending on the candidate’s needs/preferences.  

Reports to: Private Sector Lead


  • Provide ‘hands on’ technical leadership, working with the project team members, in the following areas: health systems and health financing research.
  • Support and collaborate with exceptionally talented analysts with diverse skill sets, from qualitative research to econometric analysis, fostering a cooperative and collaborative work environment.
  • Engage in policy dialogue with country research partners, senior health and finance officials, and donors and development partners to translate research findings into country and regional engagement strategies;
  • Develop and ensure the execution of a research and dissemination strategy for strategic projects for the private sector portfolio.
  • Promote collaboration and learning among local, national and regional-level intergovernmental bodies, donors, partners and other stakeholders.
  • Frame research questions and subsequent analyses to achieve high impact and be globally relevant.
  • Support ThinkWell team members and country research partners in the development of high-quality policy and technical deliverables, including presentations, reports, and policy notes;


  • Graduate (Masters or higher) in Global Health, Health Policy, Health Economics, Health Financing, or Health Care Management;
  • Experience working with ministries of health and finance;
  • Proven experience in supervising a diverse research and analyst team;
  • Ability to guide a range of research programs;
  • Strong global network of contacts in the health systems and policy researcher community;
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience in health financing policy design and implementation in low- and middle-income countries, with experience in policy reform and implementation, including planning and budgeting;
  • Experience of working in a low income or lower middle-income country;
  • Knowledge of primary health care, with knowledge of immunization and family planning a bonus;
  • Native or complete fluency in written English;
  • Willingness to travel essential, including to low income countries.

Skills and Competencies

  • Proven ability to conceptualize research that is timely, policy relevant, and of contemporary global interest;
  • Strong understanding of and connection with funding landscape for health policy and systems research;
  • Willingness to supervise the research of others as well as directly conduct your own portfolio of research;
  • Effectively management of multiple projects, tasks and deadlines;
  • Use of independent judgment and to perform tasks on own initiative, many of which have no precedent;
  • Ability to process complex research findings into pointed, meaningful policy-oriented narratives;
  • Strong presentation skills to diverse, global audiences;
  • Hungry to influence global agenda with meaningful evidence;
  • Thrives on asking innovative questions and using innovative methods;
  • Nurturing to junior researchers, especially from developing countries; and
  • Open to and empowered by critical feedback.


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