Innovations for Poverty Action seeks a qualified Research Associate to manage a project focused on developing and testing an insurance product to meet the needs of rural populations in Zambia. This project is led by Prof. Peter Hangoma at University of Zambia, Prof. Jack Willis at Columbia University, Prof. Michael King at Trinity College, University of Dublin, and Aldina Mesic at University of Washington.

In rural Zambia, many individuals are excluded from formal and informal financial services, including insurance. These individuals are also more susceptible to risks and household shocks such as illness, hospitalization, death, natural disasters, and unexpected expenses, and therefore could largely benefit from access to financial institutions. This project aims to improve the access to, and affordability and utilization of a microinsurance product. The main activities of this project will include the development of a product and the testing of delivery channels (e.g. savings groups, community-based financial institutions) and then conducting a pilot research study to understand uptake, feasibility, and acceptability of the product.

The Research Association will work closely with the researchers, staff from the implementation partners (including an insurance company and savings group implementer), consultants and donors. This position offers an opportunity to gain first-hand field management experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. The work will develop your analytical and management skills and require your full commitment. This position will be based in Lusaka and require occasional travel to field sites.


The Research Associate will perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Lead research activities and oversee monitoring and evaluation of the pilot.
  • Formulate plans for operationalizing field activities with the project team in close collaboration with the implementation partners.
  • Hire, train, and manage teams during data collection.
  • Coordinate the logistics of a large-scale project, including participant tracking, related data entry, transportation, expenditure tracking, contract worker payroll, and purchasing equipment.
  • Manage communication and coordination with various stakeholders.
  • Prepare reports detailing research findings and managing grant reporting.
  • Ensure compliance with regulations by local research ethics boards and other regulatory bodies.
  • Participate in meetings with key stakeholders and present research findings.
  • Assist in project development and preparation of funding proposals.
  • Bachelor's degree in public health, economics, international development, public policy or related fields; Master's Degree preferred.
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills; meticulous attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • A strong understanding of research methods and/or prior training/experience in conducting quantitative research in economics, public health, statistics or related disciplines.
  • Proficiency in MS Office.
  • Creativity and intellectual curiosity in experimental methods, ability to find quick and effective solutions to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Flexible, independent, self-motivating, ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and work under pressure.
  • Ability to work in a diverse, multi-cultural environment and sensitivity towards the local Zambian context
Application Instructions 

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