IPA seeks a Research Associate to lead a country-wide needs assessment for Sesame Workshop, the non-profit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street. This qualitative study aims to understand how people in Myanmar perceive tolerance and mutual respect. Based on interviews with children, care givers and social workers, the project will help to inform the development of a country-specific Sesame Street project.

Reports to: Research Manager

Location: Yangon, Myanmar (with travel to the field research sites)

Length of contract: 5 months

  • Preparing for qualitative data collection: hiring and training field officers, piloting interview  instrument, managing field logistics, procuring products, and getting approvals from local authorities.
  • Managing data collection: implementing data quality protocols, auditing enumerators, monitoring data collection, and conducting data quality audits.
  • Manage relationships with local organizations and authorities in various areas of the country (exact location of field work to be defined, but Kachin and Northern Shan are confirmed)
  • Post-data collection: supervise transcription of interviews, coding and analysis, preparing reports and deliverables for donors.
  • Budget: keeping track of the project expenses and timeline.
  • Communication: permanent communication with the field team during data collection, direct reporting to Research Manager.

We are looking for someone that is proactive and able to work independently. The ideal candidate will communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner and be able to adapt messages to different interlocutors. The position will be based in Yangon and will require extensive fieldwork.

  • Proficiency in English is required.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a field related to social sciences. Master’s in social work, education or media is a plus. 
  • At least one year of relevant experience designing, implementing, or managing qualitative research projects. Ideally, this should include managing and supervising field teams in developing countries.
  • Analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills
  • Strong client facing presentations skills, and ability to build relationships of trust with stakeholders at various levels
  • Ability to present information in a structured and insightful manner, both written and orally.
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and willingness to learn.
  • Demonstrated ability to take significant initiative and carry out thorough, focused exploratory research to build the qualitative basis for Sesame Workshop’s programs

Desirable experience

  • Fluent in Burmese (Myanmar) language is a plus.
  • Master’s degree in a field related to the social sciences.
  • At least one year of experience working in Myanmar.
  • Good understanding of the social and cultural landscape of Myanmar
  • Proficiency in analysis software (e.g. ATLAS.ti, NVivo) is a plus.
  • Background in social work, education or media.
  • Experience working in different areas of Myanmar (with a focus on Kachin and Northern Shan state).
Application Instructions 

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

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 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.