Innovations for Poverty Action seeks a qualified manager to provide overall technical leadership for IPA’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) advisory and technical support to partners in Ghana, with a particular emphasis on the education sector, especially the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service.

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

IPA’s Right-Fit Evidence Unit helps organizations build strong and tailored Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) systems, which balance the need for information on impact with operational data to support management decisions. The unit helps implementers, donors, and governments figure out what data and evidence to gather, how to do it in a cost-effective way, and ultimately how to turn the promise of data-informed program and policy decisions into reality.

IPA Ghana has been engaging with the Ghanaian Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) for over 10 years and has led multiple policy-relevant education research projects in close collaboration with them. In recent years, based on those strong relationships and IPA Ghana’s reputation in the education sector, various units within the ministry have reached out regularly to IPA for MEL-related support of various kinds, beyond impact evaluations. As a result, IPA has decided to strengthen its ability to be responsive and offer more comprehensive MEL support to the education sector, while putting a strong focus on long-term empowerment and capacity strengthening. This position will take the lead on these activities, working closely with IPA Ghana’s Education Policy team, and with dual reporting to the director of the Right Fit Evidence Unit at the global level and to IPA Ghana’s country director. The successful candidate will also be the Right-Fit Evidence Unit focal person within Ghana, and as such will develop and lead other engagements.

A primary goal of the manager will be to lay the groundwork for an embedded evidence unit within the Ministry of Education. As part of this, the manager may conduct activities like the following:

  • Map the data needs of various departments within the Ministry of Education against the existing data available, complemented with an assessment of its quality
  • Coordinate the iterative provision of relevant evidence along GES’ upcoming preprimary education operational planning process.

The manager may also conduct other technical and advisory support, for example:

  • Support an NGO with carrying out a nimble RCT and strengthening their M&E systems more broadly
  • Provide M&E strategy and systems advisory for a large partner of IPA, as a synergetic complement to an RCT being implemented with IPA

This position is ideal for a bright, energetic and versatile individual, who has previous experience designing and implementing MEL strategies in education, excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, exposure to government partnerships, and experience in data management and analysis. This position provides a unique opportunity to launch and lead a cutting-edge and ambitious MEL advisory program.

Responsibilities 
  • Lead the execution of a portfolio of advisory and technical support engagements, as the primary interface for a wide range of clients – with a relative focus on governmental partners in the education sector.
  • Work closely with clients and partners to develop tailor-made solutions for their MEL needs, and support their implementation
  • Design and facilitate external MEL workshops and trainings
  • In partnership with IPA Ghana’s broader team, lead the design, implementation, write-up and presentation of various types of studies and analysis for a variety of organizations, keeping an eye on quality, budget, and timelines
  • Participate in policy engagement activities of IPA Ghana in the education sector, in support of IPA Ghana’s policy team
  • Take an active role in the development of new engagements for the Unit, including networking and proposal development
  • As the work of the Right-Fit Unit grows in Ghana, oversee Associates or Coordinators working on various engagements
Qualifications 

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in international public policy, education, development economics, statistics, business administration, or related fields. PhD holders with significant experience outside of academia are also encouraged
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience
  • Expertise and significant hands-on experience designing and managing Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems. Familiarity with the challenges surrounding causal attribution
  • Experience leading 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:

  • Knowledge of best practices around Education Management Information Systems (EMIS)
  • Prior experience in a management consultancy
  • Experience engaging with policymakers
  • Familiarity with debates around M&E and the use of evidence
  • Familiarity with RCTs
  • Knowledge of a statistical package (STATA preferred)
  • Experience in capacity development and the conduct of trainings
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Ghana Manager, Right-fit Evidence Unit”.  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 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. 

Disclaimers 

Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability. 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 1-203-772-2216. Disclaimer: 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.