Innovations for Poverty Action seeks a Project Development Associate who will work closely with global and local teams to drive IPA’s evidence to impact agenda in Mexico and Central America. The role will primarily be responsible for leading IPA in policy engagement and starting new research studies and strategic initiatives related to crime and violence reduction. 

Based at IPA’s office in Mexico City, the Project Development Associate will develop partnerships with government as well as NGO stakeholders in order to share existing evidence in the crime and violence reduction space, identify evidence gaps that impede the development of cost-effective programming, and work with stakeholders and principal investigators to develop research projects to fill those gaps. 

The Project Development Associate will report to IPA Mexico’s Country Director with dotted line oversight from the Peace and Recovery Program and substantial collaboration with research teams working with IPA’s Mexico office.

  • Identify and map major actors (implementers, funders) and opportunities (events, calls for proposals), and, in partnership with colleagues, develop a strategy to grow IPA’s portfolio of projects related to crime and violence in Mexico and Central America. 
  • Create and cultivate relationships that lead to developing policy-relevant impact evaluations. 
  • Proactively identify fundraising and business development opportunities for research on promising programs, develop concept notes, and pursue opportunities in collaboration with global and country office-based staff as well as principal investigators. 
  • Coordinate with IPA’s Business Development and Grants teams to ensure that all new proposals meet IPA standards.
  • Draft sections of select research proposals, concept notes and budgets with lead researchers and other IPA staff.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.
  • Master’s degree in economics, development, international relations, public administration, public policy, or a closely related field strongly preferred. Will accept additional experience in place of master’s.
  • Two or more years of relevant experience, including at least 1 year of experience working closely with local government officials.
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in international development or citizen security. 
  • Excellent verbal communication, including the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external individuals and organizations. Skilled in communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand.
  • Experience in leading business development and/or policy influence opportunities and proposal writing. This requires an outstanding ability to write clearly, quickly, and persuasively.
  • Familiarity with the partnership development and bidding process for major donor grants and contracts, including USAID, DFID, and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
  • Must be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage multiple competing deadlines.
  • Proven ability to multitask and successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision.
  •  Willingness to work hard, be self-motivated, and learn will be essential for doing well in this position.
  • Familiarity with leading researchers in crime and violence is preferred.
  • Excellent written and spoken Spanish and English required.
  • Prior experience working in Mexico and Central America a plus.
  • Ability and willingness to travel in Central and North America 15% of time.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Project Development Associate, Peace & Recovery Program ”. Most applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. 

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. 


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 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

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