Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organization, with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., New Haven, CT, and worldwide. IPA works with partners and academic researchers to build high-quality evidence and analysis of “what works” (and doesn’t) in development and to help organizations create a culture of learning and evidence-informed decision-making.
The Deputy Regional Director, East Africa will work directly with IPAs Regional Director (RD) for East Africa to grow and strengthen IPA’s research portfolio and operational presence across the region to ensure that IPA’s work influences local and regional decision makers. The Deputy Regional Director is responsible for supporting new research project opportunities in East Africa, assisting IPA Country Offices in the region to prepare for and implement new projects, and for the alignment of IPA Global and Country Office priorities to ensure that Country Office portfolios are sustainable and well positioned to achieve IPA’s vision and mission.
Under the direction of the RD, the Deputy Regional Director will support IPA’s portfolio of Country Offices in East Africa that includes Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. This support includes, but is not limited to: working with Country Program management on project development efforts to sustain long-term, in-country presence to deliver on IPAs mission and vision; providing financial and operational oversight to ongoing award/ project management; establishing and strengthening relationships with researchers and partners and to further expand existing networks; identifying high impact policy opportunities for evidence creation and policy engagement; developing locally relevant research and policy agendas that draw upon global bodies of evidence and leverage existing research projects; and overseeing the generation of high quality research to contribute to iterative learning and evidence sharing about what works and doesn’t in development.
Building off a solid base of evidence and strong partnerships in the region, the Deputy Regional Director will be in a position to leverage existing research and networks to help guide the development of the next wave of research in IPA’s Country Offices in East Africa. To do this well, the Deputy Regional Director will need to be a strong communicator and translator between academics, researchers and private and public partners. S/he should also be intellectually curious and open to new ideas and ways of doing things.
The Deputy Regional Director also plays an important role in representing IPA globally, both internally and externally, and ensures that Country Offices are aligned and connected to each other and the global office. The Deputy Regional Director reports directly to the Regional Director for East Africa; coordinates closely with the IPA Business Development Team, other IPA Regional Directors as well as the Global Operations Director; and provides leadership as part of the Global Programs team. The Deputy Regional Director does not currently line manage any direct staff.
Project Development Support
- Identify and support potential research/ impact evaluation project opportunities with new partners and/ or academic researchers to determine feasibility, assist in research design and contribute to stronger cost-effective budgeting based on productivity assumptions.
- Oversee the development of new research projects in Country Offices ensuring that they align well with IPA’s mission and standards and that new projects are adequately planned and budgeted for; review project budgets before submission for accuracy and precision.
- Support strategic project development opportunities across the region to refine and develop IPA’s presence in East Africa, encouraging communication and collaboration between IPA Country Offices and Sector Programs and help to facilitate match-making of potential implementing partners, researchers and donors.
- Work with IPA’s Business Development team to fundraise for Country Programs in East Africa, targeting new funding sources opportunities, partnership and consortiums.
Country Office Support
- Provide oversight to the overall financial and operational health and sustainability of country offices with a focus on award/ project financial management and delivery.
- Advise and assist Country Offices on management issues centering as required.
- Guide and oversee Country Programs with annual planning and oversee country teams throughout the year to ensure that plans are executed successfully.
- Collaborate with IPA’s functional teams and Global Operations Director to support and advise Country Programs on operational issues, roll-out and troubleshoot operational manuals and policies, and coordinate necessary internal staff to achieve results for Country Programs as needed.
Research and Policy Development and Quality
- Work with Country Programs to refine their focus and grow their sector approach with key stakeholders and to set a corresponding agenda for policy engagement and project development.
- Promote high quality research and support the roll-out of innovations in research methods
- Stay abreast of IPA/J-PAL evidence and support linkages between global and local research agendas
- Present on evaluation and about IPA and IPA research and policy projects to internal and external audiences
IPA Global Programs Leadership
- Contribute to and champion global priorities including IPAs new Strategic Ambition and ensure that global goals are part of country plans and priorities.
- In coordination with IPAs Global Operations Director, play a focal point liaison role between the Global Programs team and IPA HQ functional support teams as required to ensure strong coordination and integrated support across the organization.
- Lead and oversee the implementation of IPAs Management Philosophy across IPAs Country Offices
External Representation and Partnerships
- Advise on the development and management of external relationships with donors, researchers and partners in the region.
- Provide advice and support to Country Office teams in developing and building the capacity of partners on the ground to undertake impact evaluations.
- Work closely and coordinate activities with IPA’s partners in Africa, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), in South Africa and in Europe for Francophone West Africa; donors, and researchers; both in the development and implementation of country research and policy agenda and activities.
- At minimum, MPA, MPP and/or Masters in a relevant subject area such as economics, statistics, public policy, development, etc. as well as at least 5 years of leadership and direct non-profit management experience
- Strong communication skills, ability to multi-task and a creative approach to work is required
- Ability to coordinate with members of other teams at a variety of levels.
- Ability to deal with a wide variety of cultures and personalities gracefully.
- Ability to present academic research in clear simple language and to engage policymakers and donors in discussion on using and scaling rigorous evidence
- Ability to deal with ambiguity, cope with change, and comfortably handle risk and uncertainty
- Experience advising others on how to approach complicated management, human resource, and logistical problems.
- Experience in an IPA Country Program, or similar organization, strongly preferred
- Experience working with donors, government agencies, policymakers, and researchers on evidence based policy making
- Passion for and experience with quantitative research and evidence-based policy-making
- Experience developing or managing research projects in multiple sectors, ideally randomized controlled trials, is strongly preferred.
- Experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa is strongly preferred.
- Willingness and ability to travel frequently within the region.
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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 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.
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