Innovations for Poverty Action seeks a Research and Policy Coordinator who will be responsible for driving the early childhood development agenda for the Tanzania Research and Innovation Hub. A partnership with the IRC and the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), the Tanzania Research and Innovation Hub is developing a global strategy to advance innovation and learning in the humanitarian sector: designing new solutions to unsolved problems, rigorously evaluating the effectiveness of programs and policies, and equipping decision-makers to use evidence to inform policies and programs.

Based in IPA offices in Tanzania, the Research and Policy Coordinator will build the foundation of an evidence and research partnership to find what works to improve early childhood development in humanitarian settings, and develop the Hub’s long-term research and impact strategy in this sector. Major responsibilities include: leading on-the-ground scoping in humanitarian settings in Western Tanzania, development of pilots and impact evaluations, policy and stakeholder engagement, event planning, and coordination among Hub partners.

The Research and Policy Coordinator will report to IPA’s Tanzania Country Director and will work closely with other IPA-Tanzania Research and Innovation Hub staff,  IRC Tanzania staff, including the IRC’s Hub Coordinator. The Research and Policy Coordinator will also regularly engage with IPA’s global Policy & Communications and Peace & Recovery teams, and the Hub leadership team comprised of representatives from IPA, the IRC, and BIT.



    • Initiate exploratory conversations with IRC Tanzania Country Office and technical unit staff who work in the area of education, child protection, health,  and other cross cutting sectors related to ECD, and with other ECD experts.
    • Perform desk research to identify existing evidence, gaps in the literature, and innovative interventions in other humanitarian contexts related to early childhood development, in partnership with the Hub partners’ global teams.
    • Identify concrete innovation and evaluation opportunities for ECD programming. 
    • Conduct formative research in humanitarian settings. This will involve in-depth interviews and exploratory conversations with refugee residents and host community members (in particular caregivers, teachers, and children), IRC and other NGO staff who work with the target population.

    Policy and stakeholder engagement:

    • Map influential NGO, government, and development partner stakeholders who influence ECD policy and programs impacting refugees and host communities in Tanzania.
    • Participate in policy and stakeholder engagements with Hub partners as necessary (such as building the relationships required to engage decision-makers around large-scale evaluations of promising ECD programs and executing a successful convening of ECD stakeholders).
    • Coordinate the convening of a network of ECD stakeholders in Dar es Salaam to share relevant evidence around what exists, what works, and what doesn’t to improve ECD outcomes in crisis-affected settings, with a specific focus on Tanzania.

    Project development:

    • Work with partners to establish a pipeline of promising ECD programs and support IRC’s Airbel Impact lab to explore and develop these ideas. Support the piloting and evaluation of promising programs, and build and/or deepen relationships with local and global ECD Principal Investigators focused on crisis-affected children.
    • Proactively identify fundraising and business development opportunities for research on promising ECD programs, develop concept notes, and pursue opportunities in collaboration with global and country office-based staff. 


    • Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.
    • Maintain compliance with all organization policies and procedures.


    • ​​​​​​Master’s in early childhood development, development studies, social sciences, or other relevant field, or a Bachelors’ degree with significant field experience. Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in early childhood development is essential.
    • Demonstrated expertise in research, innovation, and stakeholder engagement in ECD, humanitarian, or development sectors.
    • 3-5 years of experience. Experience working in the field, conducting interviews and focus groups, and working with large NGOs and government partners strongly preferred.
    • Exceptional ability to understand academic research studies, analyze bodies of research, and communicate research and policy lessons to various audiences.
    • Experience in leading business development opportunities and proposal writing.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to effectively convene and liaise with a variety of people in multiple organizations in a multi-cultural environment and across many time zones.
    • Willingness to work hard, be self-motivated, learn, and adapt quickly will be essential for doing well in this position.
    • Excellent oral and written communications skills in English required.
    • Ability to travel frequently to field sites in difficult environments in the Kasulu region.

    Preferred additional qualifications 

    • Oral communication skills in Swahili a strong advantage.
    • Experience working in East Africa is preferred.
    Application Instructions 

    Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “ Research and Policy Coordinator,Tanzania ”. Applications require you to include statement of purpose (cover letter) and CV. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

    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.