Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organization. Based in New Haven, CT, with offices in Washington, D.C. and worldwide, IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate “what works” in development and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including health, education, microfinance, governance and agriculture. IPA has been in Ghana since 2008, and it is now one of IPA’s largest country offices, with a permanent team of more than 50 staff managing and supporting 30 active research projects.

Position Summary: 

IPA Ghana seeks a Research & Project Development Coordinator to contribute to the management and development of research projects in multiple sectors, including, but not limited to education, agriculture, financial inclusion, health and governance. In addition to overseeing a portfolio of 1 to 2 research projects, the Research & Project Development Coordinator will invest a significant portion of their time engaging with local and global stakeholders to develop new research projects and embed existing evidence, in alignment with Ghana’s goals and challenges. Examples of influential and high-profile research borne out of the IPA Ghana office which will become part of the incumbent’s research and policy discussions include the  Impacts of Teacher Training and Parental Education on Kindergarten Quality,

Disseminating Innovative Resources and Technologies for Smallholders and the Graduation from Ultra Poor studies.

The Research & Project Development Coordinator position is a unique opportunity to combine significant management experience with an involvement in cutting-edge development research. He/she will join the very dynamic and passionate IPA Ghana team and also contribute to the development of new projects, policy outreach, and capacity building. Developing and fostering good relationships with local stakeholders and implementing partners, such as the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Ghana Health Service is another core element of the Research & Project Development Coordinator role.

This position will be based in Accra, Ghana.

Responsibilities 

Research Coordination (50%): The Research & Project Development Coordinator (RPDC) will be responsible for the overall management of a portfolio of 1-2 research projects. Each of these projects is expected to be staffed with a permanent team of 1 to 3 staff and up to 50-100 short term staff during survey periods.

In particular, as part of the research component of the position, the RPDC will:

  • Manage the projects in the RPDC’s portfolio and work with Principal Investigators to ensure their adherence to research design, sample selection, data collection, data management and general research protocols, as well as overall project objectives timelines;
  • Directly supervise 2 to 5 permanent research project staff, with an eye on their professional growth;
  • Keep the Country Director apprised of all developments on the projects within their portfolio, and serve as a key link between the field office, project staff, and Principal Investigators;
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take a lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal trainings;
  • Work with field office staff to ensure sound human resource and operational management of projects;
  • Oversee project financial management, including creation and monitoring of project budgets, and ensuring smooth integration of projects into IPA financial systems;
  • Take part in regular meetings with local government officials and other partners to ensure success of programmatic activities; and
  • Support the dissemination of interim results via presentations and reports to non-academic audiences.

Project Development & Project Development Coordination (50%): The Research & Project Development Coordinator (RPDC) will also be responsible for helping develop new education research projects for the IPA Ghana office and engaging with local stakeholders.

In particular, as part of the policy component of the position, the Research & Project Development Coordinator will:

  • In collaboration with the Country Director and the Policy team, develop and continuously review and adapt as needed, a project development and policy engagement strategy for the various sectors;
  • Develop new and manage existing relationships with IPA partner organizations and principal investigators to enhance the relevance and influence of IPA Ghana’s research, support targeted dissemination of research findings, encourage scale-up of successful projects;
  • Identify priority research questions and key concerns for policy makers in the various sectors, and initiate and manage the development of corresponding new research proposals;
  • Represent IPA at local (and potentially regional and global) forums focused on priority sectors, identified in collaboration with the Country Director and Policy team, including work groups, tasks forces, advisory committees, conferences, etc.
  • Lead and initiate a portfolio of project development efforts with researchers, funders, and partner organizations;
  • Help develop and implement capacity building efforts in rigorous evaluation to local stakeholders and funders;
  • Develop IPA Ghana specific resources for project development and ensure all internal project development files, folders and tracking systems are up to date; and
  • Support the development of new projects in other sectors, as needed.
Qualifications 

Required education skills and qualifications:

  • Masters in development economics, or a field related to international economic development or education;
  • At least 2 years of relevant experience;
  • Highly proficient in complex work planning and project management;
  • Skilled at building relationships with senior leaders and government officials and presenting technical opinions in an objective manner;
  • Ability to work independently and pro-actively with minimum oversight;
  • Strong critical thinking and judgment to quickly identify problems and devise solutions as well as escalate matters as needed;
  • Proven ability to handle multiple diverse assignments at one time successfully complete assigned tasks and meet deadlines while conducting high-quality work;
  • Experience conducting social science or economic field research; experience in conducting field research in developing countries required. Background in randomized control trials is a plus;
  • Experience developing research proposals and fundraising strategies. Grant management experience with donors such as USAID, DFID, UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, and National Science Foundation is strongly preferred.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English is required.
  • Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies required;
  • Strong quantitative, budgeting, and financial management skills required;
  • Ability to present research findings, including to non-research focused audiences; and
  • Passion for making data-driven decision a reality in the development field

We are looking for a commitment period of three years for this position.

Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research and Project Development Coordinator, Ghana”.  Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, 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 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. 

Disclaimers 

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.