The Small & Medium Enterprise Program at Innovations for Poverty Action is a coordinated research effort that brings together policymakers and researchers to test innovative solutions to the most binding constraints to SME growth. Over the past ten years, IPA’s research portfolio in the SME sector has grown to include more than 180 projects in over 40 countries, leading to a large body of evidence to inform policy making in low and middle income countries. Current priority initiatives include the RECOVR- Women’s Work, Entrepreneurship, and Skilling Initiative launched in response to COVID-19’s disproportionate impacts on women and girls, and a Consolidation Research Initiative focused on advancing innovative ideas from a proof-of-concept stage to having a more widespread impact at scale.

The SME Program seeks a highly motivated and qualified candidate to coordinate different activities with respect to the Program’s different lines of work. The Program Coordinator will contribute to growing and strengthening the existing body of evidence on SME development and entrepreneurship, and increasing the policy impact of the Program. The role combines knowledge management, desk research, internal and external communications, policy engagement and grants management and reporting, with a special focus on the SME sector. The Program Coordinator will report directly to the Program Manager and work collaboratively with the Program Director, researchers, country office, and other global IPA staff.


External Communications and Policy Engagement

  • Coordinate and contribute to SME Program’s evidence syntheses and external communication activities. This includes working with senior SME Program and other IPA staff on literature reviews, evidence syntheses, policy briefs, program overview documents,10-year anniversary publication, blogposts, newsletters, and project summaries.
  • Keep track of external presentation opportunities and support the development of concept notes, evidence retrieval, and draft presentations.
  • Coordinate with SME Program and other IPA staff to maintain the Program’s online presence.
  • Coordinate logistics for global policy and academic events.

Knowledge Management and internal coordination

  • Organize and maintain up to date project, partner, donor, and researcher records for the Program on Salesforce and other platforms.
  • Contribute to the implementation of the Program’s diversity, equality, and inclusion strategy, including tracking progress against metrics.
  • Respond to information requests relevant to project development, donor reporting, dissemination and policy engagement activities from country office and senior SME Program staff.
  • Contribute to building systems that improve the efficiency and internal management of the Program
  • Ensure that the Program’s procedures are aligned with IPA’s general guidelines and policies by regularly communicating with the relevant departments and teams.

Grants Management, Financial tracking, and donor reporting

  • Coordinate the management of the Program’s sub-awards, including the selection process, development of grant agreements, and tracking projects’ progress, deliverables and finances. Work with IPA Grants and Legal team as needed.
  • Support the Program's donor reporting including  collecting inputs from grantees and IPA staff, drafting progress reports and working with finance and grants staff on financial reports. .
  • Review financial transactions and support the budget review and financial oversight of the program. Work with IPA’s Finance team as needed.
  • Keep track of funding opportunities and support senior Program staff in project development and fundraising activities.
  • Assist with the administration of SME Program projects as needed.
  • Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, or a related field and at least two years of relevant work experience in international development, preferably with a focus on the private sector and SMEs.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate research findings with diverse stakeholders using clear, precise, non-technical writing.
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills and familiarity with impact evaluation methods.
  • Excellent administrative and interpersonal skills. Strong attention to detail and ability to prioritize and manage multiple assignments simultaneously with minimal supervision.
  • Experience participating in literature review and evidence retrieval activities for synthesis documents is highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience coordinating events.
  • Experience administering grants and writing grant proposals and reports are preferred.
  • Prior experience with Salesforce is a plus.
  • Ability to perform data analysis on Stata is a plus.
Application Instructions 

To apply click here.

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 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

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.