IPA seeks a Deputy Country Director (DCD) based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to support the Francophone West Africa (FWA) country program.

As a member of the IPA Francophone West Africa management team, the Deputy Country Director will work closely with the Country Director to provide strategic direction, research oversight, and capacity building to a team of about 50 full-time local and international staff. The DCD will have a strong focus on operations and financial management for the FWA office, represent IPA in Burkina Faso, and provide oversight to a portfolio of impact evaluations that are expected to span across multiple sectors over time: health, agriculture, financial inclusion, peace and security and enterprise development. He/she will contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by initiating new partnerships and projects in the country and will support the dissemination of results to local practitioners and policy makers.

This position provides a unique opportunity to gain high-level management experience in a large country program, and to be closely involved in policy-relevant research, working with top academics, donors, governments, and other practitioners to foster evidence based-policy making.


Guide and provide oversight to the operations and financial management in FWA

  • Provide oversight to the Operations and Finance functions of IPA FWA.
  • Supervise the Operations team, in charge of human resources, procurement, legal compliance, office management and other operational support in the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Mali offices.
  • Supervise the Administrative and Finance Officer, in charge of accounting, financial projections, advances and payments, and ensuring overall compliance with financial procedures.
  • Ensure proper compliance with financial procedures, approve expenditures, make accurate financial projections and ensure overall compliance.
  • With guidance from IPA global teams, strengthen finance and operations systems to ensure these are compliant with global IPA policies and with donor requirements.
  • Take steps to mitigate risk and to safeguard the organization’s reputation.
  • Oversee safety and security.
  • Ensure IPA Francophone West Africa complies with all legal and statutory requirements.

Ensure high-quality research projects in Burkina Faso

  • Manage a team composed of Research Managers/Coordinators whose responsibilities include project design, management of data collection, data management, and analysis, and writing of research reports, all in close collaboration with the Principal Investigators.
  • Ensure that IPA research is implemented according to IPA’s quality standards and Principal Investigators’ direction.
  • Lead with transitions, on-boarding/off-boarding of new Research Managers/Coordinators staff, and maintaining institutional memory of project activities.
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take the lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal training for staff.
  • Work to incorporate best practices and lessons learned in research and data quality by other IPA offices and research affiliates.
  • Build systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality.

Contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by supporting new partnerships and projects in Burkina Faso and other Francophone West African countries

  • Share leadership of business development with the Country Director to grow the two country offices and identify new research and policy project opportunities.
  • Oversee project design and budgeting during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards.
  • Develop new and manage existing relationships with IPA partner organizations and Principal investigators to enhance the relevance of IPA’s research.
  • Lead a portfolio of project development efforts with researchers, funders, and partner organizations.

Serve as day-to-day high-level contact for government officials and other partners in Burkina Faso

  • Maintain and develop positive relationships with key government officials and other partners based in Burkina Faso.
  • Coordinate communication with the Country Director and the Head of Policy and RFE to keep them abreast of government initiatives, interactions, and other relevant happenings.
  • Identify opportunities to deepen relationships with government or develop new ones through presentations at key forums for sharing project results or examples of evidence co-creation.
  • Act as IPA’s in-place legal representative.
  • Master’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, project management or field related to social science and economics research or international development
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience
  • Demonstrated experience with financial and operations management
  • Experience managing large teams
  • Experience fundraising and managing funds from multiple donors preferred
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Excellent organizational and multitasking skills, self-motivating, ability to work under pressure and to prioritize effectively
  • Commitment to leading a diverse team and building staff capacity
  • Passion for connecting rigorous impact evaluation research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works in development;
  • Understanding of randomized controlled trials is a plus.
  • Excellent French and English communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively across cultures with multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants
  • Experience living and working in Francophone West Africa
  • High emotional intelligence, self-knowledge, flexible, and a team player
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 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 jobs@poverty-action.org 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 jobs@poverty-action.org.

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