IPA established the Peace and Recovery Sector Program to generate needed insights and innovation for improving the lives of people that live in fragile states and areas have recently experienced conflict or other crises. With affiliated researchers, IPA has carried out numerous studies including studies focused on post-conflict reconciliation, cognitive behavioral therapy for high risk youth, the effect of unconditional cash grants on marginalized populations, and the economic impact of the Ebola Crisis.  

In the coming years, under the academic leadership of Chris Blattman (U. Chicago) and with support from a new five year grant, IPA will greatly expand the activities of the Peace and Recovery Program. Through collaborating with leading academics, IPA will develop and carry-out groundbreaking research and inform policy on programs that strengthen state capacities, reduce violence, or respond to public health emergencies, natural disasters, or human-made crises.

Beyond generating new evidence, this program will be ambitious in its efforts to inform policy and practice. This will include a focus on effectively disseminating existing randomized evaluation results, as well building policy-relevant evaluations and ultimately sharing the findings from the new research projects funded by the Peace and Recovery Program. Additionally, the program will collaborate with decision-makers to ensure that this evidence is both useful and implemented at scale.


The Program Director manages and oversees all activities under the Peace and Recovery (P&R) Sector Program at IPA. The Director provides leadership and strategic guidance for the current execution and future growth of IPA’s research and policy work focused on fragile states and crises prone areas.  

The Program Director will directly manage a $5 million grant to support innovative research. This will include wide ranging work streams including high level relationship building, research project development, financial and grant management, program and donor development, developing a network of academic researchers, and management of staff. The Direct will work with affiliated researchers, IPA Country Programs, and partners to start and carry-out numerous research studies in target countries. Additionally, the Director will develop and lead a strategy to inform policy based on the evidence generated through this research. To be successful, S/he will need to be a highly dynamic, analytic and driven individual who can excel in a range of tasks from smoothly translating academic research into sensible policy recommendations to being able to think through the operational logistics of carrying out field work in difficult settings.

Core responsibilities include the following: 

  • Develop the Sector Program’s vision, scope, systems, and implementation plan with the academic lead, advisory committee, donor, and IPA senior staff;
  • Work closely with affiliated principal investigators to identify and develop research opportunities in South Asia, MENA, and Sub-Saharan Africa to answer key questions in the sector, with frequent travel to support project development and set-up.
  • Maintain key relationships among parties including the project partners, senior academics, IPA and JPAL leadership, DFID and other donors.
  • Represent IPA at high-level external policy and research functions and meetings with key players in the sector;
  • Hire and manage staff and build relationships with IPA country offices and IPA partners to implement the Sector Program’s research and policy objectives;
  • Guide the procedures through which research projects are proposed, designed, vetted, funded and implemented; liaising with the Program’s Senior Advisory Group to review research proposals for technical quality and policy relevance;
  • Ensure smooth administration of the Program, including financial and administrative oversight of the re-granting fund, project management, and grant reporting.
  • Lead the development of the Sector Program’s researcher and practitioner network and engagement; interfacing with senior researchers in determining key research questions and priorities for the initiative; engaging with in-country researchers from South Asia, MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa to bring a discussion of current evidence into local research and policy debates;
  • Potential for producing original research and policy outputs, in collaboration with the Program’s Academic lead and the Program team;
  • Overseeing the policy agenda and communication activities that stem from project results; leading global policy outreach for the Program and its Funds/Initiatives through high-quality dissemination events and materials, and coordinating with relevant counterparts for local policy outreach in individual countries;
  • Spearheading new fundraising efforts to support core Sector activities as well as on a per-project basis;
  • Master’s in Political Science, Economics, Public Policy, Business or International Development.
  • 5-10 years of work experience (2 to 7 with Ph.D) in international development/development research;
  • Strategic thinker with strong vision for how to develop key partnerships that will lead to groundbreaking research and position IPA as a major voice in the sector.
  • Demonstrates excellent communication, client management and presentation skills;
  • Familiarity with quantitative researcher, randomized trials, international development programs and issues facing fragile and post-conflict states.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry high level relationships with both western and developing country partners, including donors, international development practitioners, or academic researchers.
  • Experience managing staff and successfully working across teams, including finance and HR.
  • Project and grant management experience, including budget management, grant reporting, and coordinating diverse and diffuse co-workers.
  • Demonstrated project management skills, including budgeting, attention to operational and research details, and ability to manage multiple projects efficiently (including while traveling);
  • Ability to raise funds; experience in proposal writing a plus;
  • Notable experience with field research or program implementation in developing countries a plus.
  • Experience authoring and publishing peer-reviewed academic research in a relevant field a plus;
  • Experience developing policy events as well as producing policy resources and publications a plus.
  • Personal characteristics that are highly valued include analytic ability, curiosity, humor, self-awareness, and humility.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently (estimated 30%)
Application Instructions 

To apply click here.

Please submit a Cover Letter and Resume.

About IPA 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy non-profit 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 400 leading academics to conduct over 600 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.