Innovations for Poverty Action’s Right-Fit Evidence (RFE) Unit is seeking an Advisor to join our growing Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) advisory practice.
Complementing the well-known work of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) on impact evaluations, Right-Fit Evidence (RFE) is a fast-growing unit in IPA that helps global development organizations more effectively use evidence to increase their impact. In collaboration with IPA’s sector, policy, and country teams, RFE advises organizations on designing and executing evidence-based learning strategies and plans. We are helping to improve the performance of the development sector by increasing the evidence base as well as the capacity of NGOs, funders, social businesses, and governments to learn and adapt.
RFE’s portfolio includes advisory services and capacity building as well as engagements that require us to perform our own independent empirical studies. This Advisor position will largely focus on the latter, designing and executing evaluations whilst providing guidance on other technical, evidence-, and learning-related aspects of RFE’s advisory engagements across our multi-country, multi-sector portfolio. Specifically, the role will include developing research designs, overseeing data collection for this research, conducting quantitative (and qualitative) data analysis, evaluations, and results reporting on the client’s programs to inform improvements.
We expect these evaluations to involve primarily process and outcome evaluations, although they may also involve descriptive studies and other rigorous methods from the evaluator toolkit (impact evaluations per se will be rare, as they are typically led by other teams at IPA). Parts of the evaluation process might require to work with IPA country offices and/or external researchers and to provide guidance for others working on the data collection in-situ / remotely.
An ideal candidate enjoys focusing on technical and research-related aspects of evaluations, applying interdisciplinary methods on development challenges and synthesizing various data sources to produce high-quality recommendations to advance evidence and improve programs on areas such as education, early childhood development, health, emergency settings etc. At the same time, strong candidates also enjoy engaging clients and managing project-related tasks (communication, stakeholder management, progress briefings etc).
The likely initial portfolio of this Advisor will be to design and execute evaluations for two large development implementer organizations and their education projects in emergency and fragile contexts.
Beyond project-specific technical work, the Advisor will have the opportunity to support and collaborate with colleagues on other projects and to contribute to the development of the core approaches and methodologies of the RFE Unit as it grows, setting the foundation for our ambitious growth and influence agenda within the development sector.
The position can be based in New York City, Washington DC or one of IPA’s country offices, and will likely require between 20 and 30% travel (once the COVID-19 pandemic eases).
The position will report primarily to a Senior Manager from IPA’s global RFE team, whose main role will be to look after their professional development, time use and overall well-being. In addition to this main line manager, the Advisor will work with different managers for different projects.
We encourage those with the following profiles to apply, as these skills and interests represent a particularly strong fit:
- Current evaluation and MEL practitioner in development or other social science areas who are eager to produce evidence to inform better programming
- Researchers, research management professionals, social scientists and data analysts with strong methodological training (research & evaluation design, quantitative and qualitative analysis) who are interested in both advisory and evaluative work, and feel strongly about both credibility and actionability of evidence
Note: the RFE Unit is hiring for multiple positions in other locations. If you’re open to multiple locations and/or job levels you are welcome to apply to multiple RFE positions.
IPA's compensation structure is designed based on the labor market for the specific geographic location where the employee is located. We are offering the following salary ranges for this position:
- Advisor, Right-Fit Evidence is classified as "C2" on IPA's global job structure.
- For US based employees the starting annual gross salary is $64,662 with a maximum of $74,000.
- The salary for locations outside of the US will vary depending on IPA's salary scale ranges for that specific location.
Actual base salary may vary based upon, but not limited to, relevant experience, base salary of internal peers, business sector, and geographic location.
Under the guidance of an Engagement Manager specific to each project, you will be the primary person to execute evaluations and related technical aspects for our clients (NGOs, governments, social businesses, funders, etc.) to advance their evidence base and MEL systems. You will also be regularly in touch with the client to report project updates and interim results. Parts of the evaluation process might require to work with IPA country offices and/or external researchers and to provide guidance for others working on the data collection in-situ/remotely.
- Analytical and technical contributions
- Develop and implement research designs for development challenges in the Global South
- Cooperate with others, such as IPA country offices and external researchers, on data gathering in-situ or remotely
- Execute evaluations and data analysis
- Draft result reports and various deliverables for clients
- Use evaluations to inform and draft actionable and meaningful recommendations to clients on their MEL practices and systems
- Project management & stakeholder communication
- Manage timelines and milestones in research and evaluations process
- communicate progress and challenges within RFE / IPA to advance internal learning
- Maintain strong communication with key stakeholders and clients on progress and (interim) results of the project
- deliverables, maintaining the highest standards of communication efficiency
- RFE-wide activities
- Strengthen technical capacity of the RFE team on evaluation and analytics and foster internal learning
- Contribute to the development of new RFE engagements including taking part in scoping meetings, contributing to the design of methodologies, and writing concept notes or proposals
Contribute to the development and refinement of RFE service offerings to continuously improve the work that we do with our partners
- Master’s degree in a discipline involving research design, the use of advanced quantitative methods and data analysis (economics, econometrics, public policy, social science, behavioral sciences etc.)
- In rare circumstances, Bachelor’s degree with exceptional methodological training in combination with particularly relevant work experience can be considered
- 2-5 years of relevant work experience, including experience in M&E (public sector), organizational performance / evaluations /R&D/operational research, or applied scientific research international development
- Demonstrated, strong methodological and analytical skills, including proficiency in data analysis with software (STATA, R, etc.), evaluations, and research design
- Familiarity with gathering data for real-world development challenges, for instance, with SurveyCTO, Open Data Kit or similar survey software
- Superior analytical and conceptual thinking skills
- Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally
- Interest in working with clients from various sectors on advancing evidence production and use in the field of development
- Ability to effectively engage clients and tailor communication of technical aspects to different audiences
- Self-management and dependability
Preferred additional qualifications
- Experience living and working in developing countries
- Familiarity with the concepts surrounding the Theory of Change and the core tools of M&E, and the key debates around MEL and the use of evidence
- Strong skills in qualitative data analysis (content analysis, case study design) is an asset
- Working proficiency in French and/or Spanish is a bonus
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.
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.
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