The Ministry of Education of Panama (MINEDUCA), in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos (OEI) is implementing the pilot program: “Intercultural and Bilingual Preschool Mathematics.” This program, to be implemented in the Ngäbe Buglé region of Panama, aims to improve problem solving skills at an early age and to encourage the learning of mathematics through an innovative methodology using audio-programs and Intercultural approach.

The learning of mathematics is key to develop skills needed to face a fast-changing and complex world. In the context of Latin America, where learning if often constrain to memorization of history and facts (Loera et al 2013; Näslund-Hadley et al, 2014), this program is of special relevance from a policy perspective.

The Ngäbe Buglé is home to the country’s largest indigenous population, and the most impoverished region in the country. While the national poverty rate in Panama is 28%, the rate among the indigenous is 81%. Our sample will consist of 5,500 children distributed in 550 schools in the Ngäbe Buglé region. We will also survey the parents of all children interviewed as well as the pre-K teachers and principals in each of the 550 schools.

The Research Associate will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to: designing survey questionnaires and evaluation methodologies, validating survey instruments, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercise, refining study design and surveying instruments, managing survey teams, negotiating contracts with survey firms, checking and analyzing data, cleaning data and assisting in preliminary analysis, assisting in the writing of project reports and policy memos, and coordinating with key government and NGO partners.

  • Managing day-to-day research activities, from planning to implementation, and monitoring quality. This includes training, and supervising both field-based and data operations teams
  • Documenting all activities related to the project
  • Refining survey questionnaires and programming them on SurveyCTO
  • Supervising data collection and data-entry processes, and ensuring good quality of the data at both stages
  • Assisting in data cleaning and preliminary analysis and ensuring ready access to all data for faculty researchers and/or supervisors
  • Providing timely updates and responses to partner organizations, and participating in meetings with key stakeholders
  • Maintaining accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary
  • Preparing progress and results reports to PIs, research partners, and funding agencies, and sharing them timely
  • Monitoring project expenditures and timeline
  • Ensuring that all team members follow necessary protocols and procedures.
  • Manage critical high-level relationships with Local Government authorities
  • Participate in meetings with key stakeholders and present research findings
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, or other quantitative social science disciplines. A master's degree is a plus.
  • Quantitative Skills: Strong proficiency in Stata and SurveyCTO, and experience with data management, and data cleaning.
  • A minimum of 1-year of work experience is required. 
  • Experience managing field staff in developing countries.
  • Excellent management and organizational skills; ability to successfully complete assigned tasks and meet deadlines
  • Communication Skills: Attention to detail and advanced writing and presentation skills are required
  • Knowledge of Stata required.
  • Language: Spanish and English fluency required
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Associate, Intercultural and Bilingual Preschool Mathematics”.  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. 


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.