IPA Liberia seeks two student volunteers to work on the very first study evaluating unconditional cash transfers seeking to alleviate poverty and reduce hunger in rural Liberia. We wish to have one volunteer during spring 2020, and the other summer 2020. The study evaluates the impact of cash transfers delivered by GiveDirectly in partnership with USAID. The study entails multiple activities such as an agricultural market access intervention, phone suveys to households and crop vendors as well as endline follow-up household survey in Bong and Nimba counties across 300 villages. The purpose of the market access intervention design and coordinated by IPA research team is to illustrate how market access affects investment in productivity-enhancing goods.

The study will be implemented in close coordination with GiveDirectly and USAID. The Principal Investigators are Jonathan Robinson (University of California, Santa Cruz), Jenny Aker (Tufts University), Alan Spearot (University of California, Santa Cruz) and Shilpa Agarwal (India School of Business).

Position Summary:  

The student volunteers will work closely with the research staff and other IPA country office staff to oversee all aspects of the research study. These positions provide an excellent field research opportunity to gain extensive experience in a high-quality research setting and to have significant responsibilities in a vibrant organization undertaking cutting-edge development research, as well as the opportunity to work in close collaboration with a private sector developing country partner.

The Spring Volunteer (February –  April):

The timing of this internship will allow the selected candidate to actively engage with both implementation of the agricultural market access intervention as well as preparation for a large household endline survey. Key areas of focus for the student volunteer will be: supporting research staff in coordinating and collaborating with the partners; assisting in refining, designing, monitoring, and reporting on the agricultural market access intervention; revising survey questionnaires on SurveyCTO; designing training materials for field teams with IPA field manager; and coordinating field logistics for upcoming field activities and undertake monitoring of the intervention and incoming data with the IPA SRA. For a high-performing volunteer, this role has the potential to turn into a full-time (senior) research associate position with IPA Liberia for the same project by summer 2020.

The Summer Volunteer (mid May –  August):

The summer volunteer will work with the senior research associate and field manager to oversee all stages of the household endline survey. This volunteer will be involved in field staff hiring and training as well as running daily data quality checks on incoming data throughout the survey period. He/she will gain extensive experience in: collaborating with stakeholders; managing a large survey team and coordinating survey logistics; maintaining an extremely high standard of data quality; and conducting data cleaning and preliminary analysis with the research team.

  • Master’s degree in public policy, economics, international development, or related fields; applicants with a bachelor’s degree and research experience will also be considered.
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills; meticulous attention to detail and planning skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • A strong understanding of research methods and/or prior training/experience in conducting quantitative research in economics, political economy, statistics or related disciplines.
  • Proficiency in STATA and MS Office. Highly prefer someone with electronic survey coding experience.
  • Creativity and intellectual curiosity in experimental methods, ability to find quick and effective solutions to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Flexible, independent, self-motivating, ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and work under pressure.
  • Ability to work in a diverse, multi-cultural environment and sensitivity towards the local Liberian context
Application Instructions 

To apply, follow this link and follow the 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 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. 


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.