Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. As its core business, 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. IPA has conducted hundreds of randomized evaluations across sectors, learning both whether programs work, and how they can work better.

The Financial Inclusion Program (FIP) at IPA partners with financial institutions, governments, and researchers to design and test financial products and services that help households better manage and grow their finances. Our ideas and tools apply insights from economics and other behavioral social sciences. With over 125 completed and ongoing randomized evaluations in 29 countries, the FIP identifies effective solutions to promote healthy financial behavior and shares results with financial service providers and policymakers. Our portfolio currently includes research projects and major initiatives related to financial consumer protection in emerging markets; digitization of cash transfers for COVID-19 relief; digital finance and interoperable payments; women’s economic empowerment; behavioral economics; and financial health.

 

Responsibilities 

IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program is seeking a Research Manager to contribute to two research projects on digital payments, dedicating approximately 50% to research management. The first is a cross-country descriptive study on the true costs of mobile money transactions and an impact evaluation exploring the effects of remittances on sender and recipient financial behavior. The Research Manager will oversee in-country data collection, including managing IPA staff and data collection firms, coordinating the pilot study, and ensuring adherence to IPA’s data quality protocols. The Research Manager will contribute to data analysis and report writing.

The Research Manager will also spend 50% time working with an external researcher/Principal Investigator to develop new research opportunities in the field of digital financial services, including impacts of digital payments, mobile money agent networks, digitizing cash transfers, and the barriers and costs to take up of mobile money.  The Research Manager will work closely with the PI to provide support on academic and grey literature research review projects, conduct background landscaping and market ecosystem research activities with researchers and other stakeholder organizations, and support the development of broader concepts to advance new research in these areas under the supervision of the principal investigator. The Research Manager will also support work on alternative measurement methods for evaluating the cost of financial service provision, and review and summarize new academic articles related to financial inclusion, in addition to other tasks required by the principal investigator as needed.

As a member of the Financial Inclusion Program team, s/he will work closely with FIP project directors, IPA’s Policy & Communications team, IPA research staff in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and some of the world’s top academic researchers in order to create and coordinate production of accurate and highly readable content, including research reports, policy summaries and briefs, presentations, blog posts, website updates, and project summaries. The Program Manager will also engage with implementing partners and other external stakeholders, including high-level government officials and financial institution executives, through events, webinars, trainings, and other outreach strategies. Finally, the Program Manager will manage data collection and coordinate data analysis and reporting. The Program Manager must not only possess exceptional skills in writing, editing, and project management, but also have a strong grasp of a range of financial inclusion topics, as well as familiarity with academic research and randomized control trials.

Qualifications 
  • Bachelor’s, advanced degree, or equivalent combination of education and experience in economics, international development, financial inclusion, public policy, or other relevant field.
  • Four to six years of prior professional experience in economics research, impact evaluations, financial inclusion, international development; or financial sector policy.  
  • Existing professional writing experience; Exceptional and efficient writing and copy-editing skills.
  • Excellent desktop publishing skills and an eye for good design and presentation.
  • Experience with RCTs strongly preferred.
  • Experience with events planning and execution.
  • Experience interacting with researchers and practitioners, especially high-level government officials and c-suite executives.
  • Demonstrated project management skills, including budgeting, attention to operational and research detail, and ability to manage multiple projects efficiently.
  • Understanding of survey methods, sampling, and research design.
  • Fluency and excellent communication in English; professional proficiency in at least one other language spoken in an IPA program country preferred.
  • Strong client facing and presentation skills.
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills.
  • Experience working in developing countries preferred.
  • Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector.
  • Team player, with the ability to lead and coordinate across teams and external partners.
  • Experience with data analysis using Stata or R a plus
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.