Innovations for Poverty Action is seeking a qualified team member to lead its Right-Fit Evidence advisory and policy work in Francophone West Africa.

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. Complementing this work, the Right-Fit Evidence Unit at IPA is an advisory team focused on helping organizations effectively and efficiently use data and evidence to learn and adapt their programs to increase effectiveness. Its clients include NGOs, funders, social businesses and governments.

You will report primarily to IPA’s Country Director for Francophone West Africa. In addition, you will get support and oversight from other IPA leaders, including the Director and Associate Director of the Right-Fit Evidence Unit within the context of RFE advisory engagements.

Responsibilities 

Lead Right-Fit Evidence engagements

  • As the primary senior point of contact for a wide range of clients (foundations, government agencies, NGOs, private companies, etc.), lead a team of RFE unit staff working closely with them to develop tailor-made solutions for their MEL needs, and support their implementation.
  • Design and facilitate various kinds of external MEL related workshops
  • With support from other RFE team members, lead the design, implementation, write-up and presentation of various types of engagements, studies and analysis, keeping an eye on quality, budgets and timelines at the same time as impact
  • Lead the development of new potential RFE engagements, both self-initiated and assigned, including through the cultivation of fundraising opportunities
  • Oversee a team of approximately 5-6 Associates, Senior Associates and Coordinators working on various engagements, with an eye on their professional development

 

Lead IPA’s Policy Strategy in Francophone West Africa, in coordination with the Country Director

  • Cultivate relationships with key local top-level decision-makers in multiple sectors (starting with emphasis in the education, early childhood development sectors, and possibly the employment sector in Côte d’Ivoire), particularly those with decision-making authority over identified evidence-to-impact opportunities
  • In support of the country director and in collaboration with IPA researchers, represent IPA locally in policy conversations and at events, and train and coach other country office staff on their own policy outreach
  • Develop IPA’s embedded lab program in Francophone West Africa, which aims at supporting selected government ministries to collect and use data more effectively for decision making
  • Launch high impact policy opportunities, including scale-up technical assistance, and either manage engagements personally with global policy staff support, or collaborate with the country director and regional/global teams to raise funds to hire additional in-country policy staff to realize these opportunities.

When joining, the successful candidate will start by overseeing a large portfolio-engagement involving the provision of technical assistance and independent evaluation to a wide range of government, NGO and philanthropic partners in the Education and Early Childhood sectors in Côte d’Ivoire, with the overarching goal of helping players in those sectors make better use of data and evidence.

Qualifications 

We are seeing four typical profiles that could fit this position particularly well (and if you don’t fall in any of these categories but feel like you meet the qualifications below, please do apply as well!)

  • Management consultants with international development experience who would be excited in a career shift to an entrepreneurial and impact-focused environment leveraging their skillset.
  • M&E practitioners who are interested in broadening their scope and impact on the field by advising multiple organizations on state-of-the-art MEL and research practices.
  • Researchers and research management professionals in international development who enjoy working closely with practitioners and are interested in broadening their scope to all the types of data and evidence that can inform policy and practice, and ensure evidence leads to large-scale impact
  • Public sector partners, consultants, or experts who have had extensive experience working closely with governments in Africa and can also demonstrate a strong technical understanding of MEL and research.

Required qualifications

  • Master’s degree in international development, economics, public policy, public health, education policy, social sciences, or a related field, including coursework in quantitative methods. MBAs also welcome.
  • 6-15 years of experience, including significant experience in the development and/or humanitarian sectors and experience in the design and management of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems (or some equivalent in the private sector)
  • Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and train others on technical matters
  • Strong client facing and presentation skills. Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally, to a variety of audiences
  • Experience working with government stakeholders, and understanding of government policy making processes, systems for nation-wide program implementation and development financing
  • Experience working in developing countries, and preferably in Francophone Africa. Applicants coming from the region are particularly encouraged to apply, even though the position is open to all applicants.
  • Self-starter approach, growth mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills.
  • Complete fluency in both French and English
  • Passion for making evidence-informed policy-making a reality

 

Preferred additional qualifications

  • Experience working on policy outreach, research or MEL on programs relating to Early Childhood Development and/or Basic Education
  • Experience in management consulting or other professional services
  • Familiarity with tools and debates around M&E and the use of evidence.
  • Understanding of causal inference and RCTs
  • Experience supervising quantitative and qualitative data collection
  • Exposure with common M&E and statistical software
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Policy job category, then select “Head of Policy & Right-Fit Evidence Unit, Francophone West Africa”. Most applications require at minimum 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.