IPA is looking for a Country Representative/Research Manager to oversee the Malawi office and ongoing research projects. Current research projects draw on behavioral economics, political science, public health, psychology, and agricultural economics in their designs, and include research on credit schemes, public health system reach, graduation and livelihoods programs, tax compliance, and education. This position provides a unique opportunity to have important research and management responsibilities by overseeing the project staff as well as the human resources, finance, administration, strategic planning, research study development, and all country office operations functions of the office.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organization with offices in New York, Washington DC, New Haven, CT and worldwide.  IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate “what works” in development and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including health, education, microfinance, governance and agriculture.

Position Summary:

IPA seeks a Country Representative/Research Manager in Malawi to manage and lead IPA’s Malawi country program. The CR/RM will work closely with the Global Programs team and key stakeholders to initiate and manage the development of new research projects and oversee ongoing impact evaluations in a range of sectors, which may include finance and savings, agriculture, health, education, and others. The CR/RM will manage a team of local and international staff, liaise with leading academic researchers, and create new partnerships in Malawi. The CR/RM works closely with HQ teams to ensure that effective support is provided to projects, and that projects are working within the relevant policies and procedures. She/he will actively grow IPA’s portfolio in Malawi through strategic partnerships with researchers, donors, policymakers, implementing organizations, and others to develop new research studies.


Ensure high-quality research (40-60%)

  • Work closely with project staff to ensure that projects meet all of IPA research and administrative protocols as well as the quality standards of the independent researchers (Principal Investigators)
  • Oversee project design and budgeting during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards
  • Build systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality, including developing computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) capacity in the office
  • Directly supervise project research staff, and help with transitions, on-boarding of new research staff and maintaining institutional memory of project activities
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take a lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal trainings

Oversee finances and ensure sound operations of IPA Malawi (20%)

  • Manage a team of Research Associates/Coordinators, whose responsibilities include project design and implementation, data collection, data management and analysis, and reports;
  • Hire and supervise additional support staff, as needed
  • Oversee basic administrative tasks related to the management of the Malawi office, create and manage project budgets, participate in grant reporting, and other financial management tasks
  • Ensure proper compliance with financial procedures, approve expenditures, make accurate projections and ensure overall compliance

Lead Country Program development and manage external relations (20-40%)

  • Build IPA’s presence and portfolio of research studies in Malawi
  • Work with IPA Global, researchers and partners to initiate and manage the development of new research proposals including both the technical design as well as identifying and applying for funding support.
  • Identify priority research questions and key concerns for policymakers in Malawi
  • Build and manage relationships with current and potential IPA partner organizations in the implementation of interventions whose effect we are researching
  • Develop new relationships with researchers, government agencies, local organizations, and others to explore opportunities for collaboration
  • Represent IPA at national and regional conferences and events
  • Liaise with internationally-based and local Principal Investigators, IPA headquarters and other country programs
  • Disseminate results via local and international presentations, reports, and publications
  • Lead IPA’s policy impact efforts in Malawi, by ensuring that policy impact plans of Malawi are in strategic alignment with IPA’s overall policy strategy of impact.

Mitigate and manage risks (5-10%)

  • Set security standards and parameters for work and ensure that IPA staff follow security measures.
  • Monitor security concerns for IPA operations and act as primary contact in crisis management.
  • Take steps to mitigate risk and to safeguard the organization’s reputation; and
  • Oversee procurement, safety, billing and security and ensure organizational legal compliance.
  • Graduate degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, business, or field related to international economic development
  • Entrepreneurial, self-starter with a passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works and what does not work in development
  • Experience in economics or social science research. Field experience very highly valued.
  • Experience with data management, econometrics, and advanced knowledge of Stata.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations
  • Experience with budgeting and project planning
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player 
  • Passion for rigorous research, evidence based policy making, and communicating what works and what does not work in development;
  • Fluency in English is required. Strong oral and written communications skills
  • Willingness to travel within Malawi;


  • Experience with randomized controlled trials.
  • Experience living and working in Southern Africa
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Country Representative/Research Manager, Malawi”.  Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts.

Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application.

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 non-profit 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 400 leading academics to conduct over 600 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 


Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability. 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 jobs@poverty-action.org or via phone at 1-203-772-2216. Disclaimer: 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 jobs@poverty-action.org.

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