IPA Kenya’s Deputy Country Director (DCD) position provides a unique opportunity to gain high-level management experience in IPA’s largest country program and to be closely involved in policy-relevant research, working with top academics, donors, government, and other practitioners to foster evidence-based policy making. The DCD is to be based in one of Kenya’s country offices, either in Nairobi or Busia, to support the Kenya country program.

As a member of the IPA Kenya executive management team, the Deputy Country Director will work closely with the Country Director to provide strategic direction, research oversight, and operational support to an overall office size of over 200 local staff with 15-20 active projects at any given time. The Deputy Country Director will oversee multiple simultaneous impact evaluations across a variety of sectors including education, financial inclusion, social protection, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, and governance. The position provides the opportunity to guide research, oversee country operations, promote business development efforts, and to lead external-facing engagements with academic researchers, government agencies, donors, and other implementing partners.


As Deputy Country Director, Kenya, responsibilities include but are not limited to, the following:

General Management and Operational Support (15%)

  • Provide support to CD in ensuring the overall organizational and legal compliance of IPA Kenya
  • Work with the CD to set vision and strategic plan for the country program, and track progress
  • Ensure safety and security, legal compliance of research/operational teams
  • Provide supervision and support to procurement team; ensure compliance with procurement protocols and procedures
  • Oversee the data management team to ensure they have capacity and support to provide top-notch data support to all projects
  • Fill in for CD as needed as senior-most representative of the Kenya Country Program

Research Oversight and Project Backstopping (70%)

  • Oversee and manage research teams led by Associate Research Managers, 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
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take the lead in sharing lessons learned in research and data quality with projects through formal and informal training/meetings with staff
  • Build systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality
  • Lead with transitions, on-boarding/off-boarding of new Associate Research Managers, and maintaining institutional memory of project activities
  • Directly manage research project(s), as needed, including providing technical/field support, liaising with researchers, overseeing grant management, data collection and reporting

New project development and partner outreach (10%)

  • In collaboration with potential partners and Principal Investigators, identify and develop potential projects with meaningful research and policy implications in line with IPA’s mission
  • Conduct partner outreach, including meetings with interested organizations/researchers and review of new project ideas
  • Participate in research project design and lead budgeting/proposal materials development for new and ongoing projects to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards
  • Review proposal materials, including budgets, in collaboration with Country Director
  • Participate in capacity building of staff on project development tasks and responsibilities

Policy impact and external relations (5%)

  • Represent IPA in national and local government agencies and partner organizations
  • Develop and maintain relationships with current and potential IPA partner organizations, implementing partners, the government and academia for the country office to maximize its impact
  • Engage government partners and other stakeholders to identify research questions of interest and cultivate potential research projects in those areas
  • Oversee/participate in capacity building of local development partners in evidence-based policy making and rigorous impact evaluations
  • Oversee targeted dissemination, encourage scale up of successful interventions.
  • Master’s degree in project management, development economics, international affairs, international public policy, or field related to international economic development
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience, including 3 years in a management position; preferably experience in research and policy engagement, ideally in Kenya.
  • Strong technical research skills
  • Demonstrated ability to lead large teams and multiple projects
  • Experience in randomized controlled trials preferred
  • Experience developing research projects, experience with budgeting and project planning
  • Passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works in development
  • Commitment to leading a diverse team in a multicultural environment and building staff capacity
  • 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 in people and financial management, including managing funds from multiple donors preferred
  • Experience in grants and contracts management, preferably in a research setting, preferred
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently with proven ability to multi-task
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the APPROPRIATE CATEGORY job category, then select “Deputy Country Director, Kenya”. Applications require you to include a statement of purpose (cover letter) and CV.

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 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.