Innovations for Poverty Action is seeking an Associate Director to develop and oversee the delivery of a portfolio of advisory services in the area of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (broadly defined), and co-lead the development of IPA’s Right-Fit Evidence Unit.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. As its core business, 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.

Complementing this core business, the Right-Fit Evidence Unit at IPA is an effort aimed at helping organizations use data and evidence to learn and adapt their programs to increase effectiveness. In close collaboration with IPA’s sector programs, policy team, and country office teams worldwide, the unit advises organizations on how to use data and evidence to design more effective programs and create meaningful measurement routines and accompanies them through the process of analysis and adaptation. Clients include NGOs, funders, social businesses and governments.


You will report to the Director of the Right-Fit Evidence Unit. You will be part of a 5-member management team leading the unit at the global level. Specifically you will:

Lead the execution of a portfolio of advisory engagements (approximately 60%)

  • As the primary intellectual lead for a wide range of RFE engagements, lead teams on the implementation of those engagements, often in partnership with IPA’s country office and other global teams, keeping an eye on quality delivery, positive impact on the client’s work, and adherence to budgets and timelines. Those engagements typically involve developing tailor-made solutions for the MEL needs of clients (NGOs, governments, private companies, donors, etc.), and supporting their implementation.
  • Serve as primary manager for various team members (Senior Associate(s), Coordinator(s), Manager(s) and possibly Engagement Manager(s)), including looking after their professional development, time use, and well-being.

Take part in new business development and external relationship management (approximately 20%)

  • Lead the development of a portfolio of new potential engagements, including a large portion of self-initiated threads
  • Be the main interface for the Right-Fit Evidence Unit for a set of active or potential clients and funders
  • Occasionally represent the Unit in conferences or other events

Play a leadership role for the RFE Unit (approximately 10%)

  • Together with the RFE Unit Director and the other Associate director, provide strategic oversight of the Unit
  • Take the lead on whole sections of RFE’s strategic plans (TBD based on profile and interest)

We are seeing three different types of profiles that could fit this position particularly well (and if you don’t fall in any of these categories but feel like you meet the qualifications below, please do apply as well!)

  • Management consultants with some international development experience who would be excited in a career shift to an entrepreneurial and impact-focused environment leveraging their skillset
  • Senior leaders in the M&E and Learning space who are interested in broadening their scope and impact on the field by advising multiple organizations on state-of-the-art M&E practices
  • Researchers and research management professionals in international development who enjoy working closely with practitioners and are interested in broadening their scope to all the types of data and evidence that can inform decisions.

You’ll likely be working across multiple sectors, but if you’re bringing expertise and/or interest from a particular sector (e.g public health, education, livelihoods etc) we will use the flexibility we have to get you engaged with opportunities in that sector as much as we can – and you will help create those opportunities too!

Required qualifications

  • Master’s degree with coursework in quantitative methods as well as development economics, international public policy or related fields. PhDs and MBAs also welcome.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant work experience.
  • Significant exposure to the design and management of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems.
  • Familiarity with debates around M&E, RCTs, and the use of evidence.
  • Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and train others on technical matters.
  • Strong client facing and presentation skills. Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally.
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills.
  • Experience working in developing countries.
  • Ability to travel (up to 20% post-pandemic).
  • Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector.

Preferred additional qualifications

  • Experience with qualitative research work.
  • Experience leading project or program evaluations
  • Familiarity with M&E technology
Application Instructions 
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 830 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

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.