In 2008, the Mexican Congress approved a reform to overhaul the country’s criminal justice system to promote better, timelier, and more transparent access to justice. Many of the promises offered by the reform have yet to materialize, as evidenced by increasing rates of high-impact crimes, impunity, and unreported crimes. While the motives behind these figures are complex and multifactorial, one overwhelming contributor is criminal investigators’ systematic failure to effectively undertake high-impact crime investigations at both the federal and state levels.

At the individual level, criminal investigators have not received the training necessary to ascend the steep learning curve involved in carrying out the new and complex tasks required of them under the reform. Many investigators have also found the paradigm transformation from reactive and punitive work in favor of holistic, intelligence-based investigations technically challenging and cognitively counterintuitive. At the organizational level, the legal transformations did not generally contemplate a thorough review and adjustment of structures, processes, and organizational incentives; this in many cases led to a lack of organizational coherence, and consequently, frequent tensions and contradictions. The complexity of the system moreover creates incentives for public officials’ underperformance and/or corruption. Finally, states have been hesitant in their implementation of state judicially authorized communications systems – a promising tool for enhanced investigations related to high-impact crimes—due to the lack of rules and regulations and the potential for political misuse of private communications.

The objective of the project is to improve high-impact crime investigations effectively and sustainably at the state and federal levels with a focus on organizational design. This will be achieved through the thoughtful deployment of three intertwined objectives: (i) improving knowledge, skills, and dispositions of federal and state investigators, (ii) improving organizational policies and mechanisms with prosecutors’ offices, and (iii) increasing the use of state judicially authorized communications intercept investigations.

The Associate Manager is the overall coordinator for the project, responsible for carrying out the project’s daily activities and—in coordination with IPA Mexico’s managing team—defining project objectives for the medium and long term. The Associate Manager will supervise implementation and evaluation activities in six states. Additionally, they will coordinate the communication with the project’s other implementing partners, the principal investigator and stakeholders in government and civil society.

  • General program coordination.
  • Manage, support and coach project team members.
  • Coordinate the communication between government partners, civil society stakeholders, methodological partners and IPA.
  • Design indicators, methodologies and other tools that ensure quality in the program’s implementation.
  • Plan and update project implementation timelines.
  • Proactively identify risks for the implementation and prepare mitigation proposals.
  • Develop presentations, policy briefs, summaries and reports.
  • Manage and support field work. 
  • Generate working relationships with organizations and institutions relevant to the project.
  • Bachelor’s degree in public policy, public administration, sociology, law, international relations, political science, economics, development studies, or similar. A graduate degree in any discipline related to the project’s objectives is a plus. 
  • Fluency in Spanish and proficient in English, preferably be able to provide proof of a TOEFL iBT of at least 90 or a IELTS score of at least 7.
  • At least 4 years of experience managing projects and teams.
  • At least 2 years of experience working in projects related to justice procurement.
  • Previous experience working on projects related to organizational design.
  • Previous experience working with international donors, managing financial and programmatic reporting requirements.
  • Previous experience working with attorney general’s offices (fiscalías).
  • In depth knowledge of the Mexican justice system,
  • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written, including the ability to present ideas and negotiate with senior officials.
  • Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies.
  • Analytical and strategic vision. 
  • Exceptional organizational skills, with strong administrative skills and outstanding attention to detail.
  • Ability to lead productive interactions with different project stakeholders: consultants, service providers, researchers, police, and at-risk populations.
  • Creative problem solver.
  • Ability to carry out assignments with limited supervision; enforce timelines and deliver high-quality work.
  • Excellent computer proficiency: Google Drive, MS Office, Slack, etc.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Mexican working visa is required.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the APPROPRIATE CATEGORY job category, then select “Associate Manager”. Applications require you to include a statement of purpose (cover letter) and CV.

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

About IPA 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. In recent decades, trillions of dollars have been spent on programs designed to reduce global poverty, but clear evidence on which programs succeed is rare, and when evidence does exist, decision-makers often do not know about it. IPA exists to bring together leading researchers and these decision-makers to ensure that the evidence we create leads to tangible impact on the world. Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 600 leading academics to conduct over 900 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

IPA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) 

As an organization, IPA is dedicated to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations through evidence and policy. We also recognize how important it is for our staff to reflect the diversity of the places where we work and the communities we work with. As such, IPA is committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates, from a range of backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. We know that this makes our work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those we work with and for and we encourage people from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Click here to learn more about IPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Innovations for Poverty Action is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class. IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at or via phone at 1-202-386-6200. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the specified position. The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.