Training is a way to share the “industry standards” and over 10 years of institutional knowledge about how to effectively manage a field project.

The Global Staff Training functions much like a job orientation, reviewing some of the basic knowledge and skills that project staff need to succeed in running RCTs, as well as orienting them to the procedures, tools, resources, and team members of the J-PAL/IPA network. Global Staff Training is required to give staff the skills and resources needed for producing high-quality IPA studies. Global Staff Training is required for all Project Management Staff unless they have already attended a training event or will leave IPA within six months (experienced staff members are often encouraged to come as trainers).

With the turn of the new year, we are writing to announce the upcoming IPA/J-PAL Global Staff Training to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from March 19-24. If you’d like your team member(s) to attend this training, please be sure to register by February 21.

Registration: Follow this link to register your team members.  If you anticipate hiring new staff, you have the option to register "placeholders," and update the details upon hiring. You can edit the registration after submitting by clicking through on your order confirmation e-mail from Eventbrite.

Participants: The Global Staff Training is mandatory for all IPA research staff, strongly encouraged for J-PAL research staff and open to non-research staff. This program is designed for team members who have been with IPA, J-PAL, and related organizations in the IPA/J-PAL network for 3-6 months, however, it is open to staff with tenure outside that range. We also welcome staff who work with J-PAL-affiliated projects and those from closely-related external research organizations. If we are oversubscribed, IPA and J-PAL participants may be prioritized. Participants are expected to fully participate in learning activities during the program week. They may not have the opportunity nor the internet connectivity to carry on their regular project workload.

Learning Gains: Attendees of the global staff training will become well-versed in the key conceptual underpinnings of and debates surrounding RCTs in the social sciences, including generalizability and research transparency. It will build upon the knowledge gained in the RCT 101x course, which all participants are recommended to have completed in advance. IPA staff can read the instructions for registering for RCT 101x here. They will also learn key skills involved in managing a research project, including coding in Stata and ODK, running randomizations and power calculations, designing effective questionnaires, project management, protocols for data quality and security, field team management, and effective communication, among other topics.

A final agenda will be circulated closer to the training. For your reference, you can download the 2016 Kenya staff training agenda here.

Visa: Kenya has switched to an e-visa system for most countries. The process is the same for all nationalities that are eligible. See here for a list of eligible nationalities. The visa approval is usually given within a few hours, but may take up to a week. Payments must be made with a credit card.

Fee: The registration fee is $1,750 for staff employed by an IPA office or J-PAL office. Other staff working directly for J-PAL affiliates (e.g. employed by an affiliate’s university or research center directly) will be charged $2,400 (which adds back in overhead costs, already covered by IPA/J-PAL-implemented projects). Other attendees will be charged $3,000. This fee covers training materials, accommodation and meals for five days, and round-trip transportation from the Nairobi airport to the training venue. The fee does not include travel to Kenya, computer programs, or expenses outside of the training location and dates. IPA employees will be billed internally. For attendees not employed by IPA, they will be invoiced the training fee no later than one week after the registration deadline. Please also note that proof of J-PAL affiliate status must be submitted to, and confirmation must be received by the registration deadline (February 21), in to be eligible for the affiliate rate.

We look forward to having your new staff join us. If you have any questions or comments, please email

“The sessions on RCTS and generalizability have helped me think more critically of the projects I’m on and properly evaluating the theory of change.”

“I got mind-opening exposure to how to deal better with organization and quality assurance.”

“Wonderful collegiality! Really warm engagements, open and creative.”

“Really well organized & coordinated! Thank you!”