Innovations for Poverty Action seeks a qualified Embedded Labs Coordinator to collaborate closely with the Ministry of General Education in Zambia to strengthen its capacity to use evidence to improve its programs and policies.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is an international research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems.

IPA has been engaging with Zambia’s Ministry of General Education (MoGE) for almost 10 years and has conducted multiple policy-relevant education research projects in close collaboration with them. Responding to MoGE demand for support beyond impact evaluations, IPA has developed an embedded evidence lab with MoGE, putting a strong focus on equipping them to regularly use evidence to improve their decision-making, policies, and programs. This position will support these activities, reporting to the IPA Zambia’s Policy Manager and dotted line oversight from the Global Policy team.

Responsibilities 
  • The Coordinator will perform a variety of tasks related to leveraging existing data and developing new research projects to drive greater use of evidence within the Ministry. For example, the Coordinator may conduct activities including but not limited to:
  • Mapping the data needs of various directorates within the Ministry against the existing data available, complemented with an assessment of its quality
  • Assessing existing datasets and indicators according to criteria of relevance, objectivity, and reliability
  • Identifying opportunities to test low cost “nudges” to improve service delivery
  • Developing and executing opportunities to leverage administrative data for analysis to inform key MoGE programs and decisions
  • Developing and executing “learning-by-doing” capacity building projects with MoGE counterparts
  • Developing opportunities to leverage administrative data for research; connecting local and international researchers to pursue these openings
  • Producing “policy briefs” on key policy questions that can be answered using the Ministry’s own data
  • Developing a policy-driven research agenda for the lab and facilitating the development of research projects to respond to the agenda
  • Sharing existing evidence to inform MoGE program design and delivery
  • Advising MoGE directorates on developing and maintaining MEL plans
  • Deliver capacity building trainings on M&E, impact evaluations, etc. 
  • Provide guidance to MoGE directorates’ ongoing monitoring activities, including by recommending implementation quality indicators and data sources
Qualifications 
  • Master’s degree in international public policy, education, social science, or related fields.
  • 2-5 years of relevant work experience
  • Hands-on experience supporting Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems. Familiarity with the challenges surrounding causal attribution
  • Experience in quantitative and qualitative data collection, management and analysis
  • Experience working in the education sector of a developing country, ideally in close interaction with government stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and train others in MEL methodologies
  • Superior analytical, quantitative, and conceptual thinking skills
  • Strong client-facing and presentation skills
  • Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies
  • 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
  • Passion for making data-driven decision a reality in the development sector

Preferred additional qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to coach and train others in statistics, data analysis or MEL methodologies
  • Background in development programs relating to education
  • Familiarity with the concepts surrounding the Theory of Change and the core tools of MEL (both quantitative and qualitative research methods)
  • Familiarity with SurveyCTO, Open Data Kit or similar survey software, SMS or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology
  • Ability to use Stata, R or similar statistical software
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Embedded Labs Coordinator”.  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 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 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.