The IPA Sierra Leone and Liberia Country team seeks a highly motivated Research Coordinator / Manager with outstanding project, data, and people management to oversee a growing portfolio of research projects in the two countries. The Research Coordinator / Manager will oversee an existing portfolio of 3-5 studies in the countries which span the sectors of governance, health, gender-based violence, agriculture, peace, and education. This is a unique opportunity for a highly qualified individual to provide strong leadership and act as a critical bridge between leading academic researchers, policymakers, and staff implementing research on the ground. The Research Coordinator / Manager must possess the technical skills to ensure the highest quality and rigor in the design and implementation of our research, adequate communication skills (written and verbal presentation) to maintain strong connections with our clients and partners (present and potential), and the managerial skills to efficiently and effectively manage complex workflows, staff teams, and project financials (i.e. budgets, grants).

As an ideal candidate, you not only have a rock-solid technical foundation in impact evaluation methodology, but you can also independently guide and direct the activities that happen both upstream and downstream of any rigorous, randomized evaluation (i.e. mapping theory of change, measurement design and piloting, data analysis, results communication, etc.). You enjoy leading high-performing teams that drive the production of the highest quality research for our clients and partners. You excel in solving problems using clear, strategic, and creative thinking. You have a strong social acumen, and are excited about the opportunity to broaden, deepen, and manage meaningful relationships with high-level clients and partners across the public and private sector.

This position is ideal for a bright, go-getter, energetic self-starter, who has previous research experience implementing RCTs and a strong understanding of economics, data management and analysis. The Research Coordinator / Manager will work closely with and be mentored by a senior Research Manager and Country Director on a range of topics, including new project development, stakeholder management, and staff development.

Responsibilities 
  • Directly supervise, coach, and mentor project research staff (Senior Research Associates, Research Associates, and Field Managers) in implementing complex research projects using high standards set by IPA;
  • Represent the office and team at important partner meetings, steward relationships, as well as policy implementation of evidence produced in strong coordination with other Country Office leadership members
  • Support with transitions, on-boarding of new research staff and maintaining “institutional memory” of project activities;
  • Manage close relationships with investigators in multiple research institutions, funders, and implementing partners to ensure successful projects;
  • Supervise research project teams to code high-quality technical deliverables, such as complex digital surveys, data flow, and data quality control systems, advanced statistical analysis, and technical reports;
  • In dialogue with the Country Director, potential partners, principal investigators, identify and develop potential projects with meaningful research and policy implications;
  • Supervise survey implementation, data quality assurance, data cleaning, data analysis and other activities related to rigorous impact evaluation implementation;
  • Produce and ensure that project deliverables, such as reports and financial statements, are submitted to donors and partners per the deadline;
  • Contribute to project design and lead budgeting during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standard;
  • Ensure that project deliverables, such as reports and financial statements, are submitted to donors and partners on time and lead on a report on agriculture with a multilateral organization;
  • Support the development of new projects in the Sierra Leone and Liberia portfolio with the Research Manager and Country Director, by establishing relationships with researchers, implementers, and funders, and developing opportunities and proposals;
  • Lead training on data management and general project management for new/incoming project research staff;
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take a lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal training opportunities;
  • Lead as the point of contact for data management and analysis support for project staff by serving as the link between projects and IPA headquarters;
  • Co-design meetings with local government officials and partners to ensure success of both project specific and key IPA programmatic activities as well as in strong collaboration with the Country Director liaise with implementers and donors to develop new mission relevant projects as the point person on the ground;
  • When requested, support the dissemination of results via presentations and reports to academic and non-academic audiences;
  • Perform related duties as assigned by supervisor.
Qualifications 
  • Education: Master’s Degree in a quantitative social science, such as economics, statistics, or public policy
  • Work experience: A minimum of 4 years of relevant professional experience in research, international development, and project management
  • Data oversight: Experience supervising large data collection research projects, including leading survey design, implementation, and data management
  • People management: Experience supervising staff (beyond temporary survey team); experience nurturing and growing staff for new roles in an organization
  • Project management: Demonstrated ability to successfully manage implementation plans and project budgets for complex and dynamic projects with quick-moving parts
  • Partner management: Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations to ensure efficient completion of work and mitigation of implementation risks
  • Communication: Strong communication skills and complete fluency in English are required as basis to present information in an insightful and structured manner, both written and oral, including experience in effectively communicating with internal and external partners
  • Quantitative research skills: Demonstrated in-depth technical knowledge of RCTs, research and economic concepts, quantitative analysis, as well as superior knowledge of STATA and digital data collection platforms (preference for Survey CTO) are required (Stata proficiency of short-listed applicants will be tested)
  • Regional experience: Experience working in a developing country required; experience working on the continent strongly preferred
  • Openness and reflexivity: Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies required
  • Systems-building: Interest in contributing to the improvement of existing organizational and operational systems, as well as team technical capacity building is required
  • Detail-oriented, flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and under pressure
  • Additional experience with R/Python and LaTeX is preferred.
  • Prior experience working with academic researchers in the fields of economics or quantitative political science is desirable
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Coordinator/Manager, Sierra Leone & Liberia”. Most 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 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 600 leading academics to conduct over 830 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

Innovations for Poverty Action is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer. 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 1-202-386-6200. 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.