Having conducted over 500 randomized evaluations to date, IPA has extensive experience in running randomized trials, implementing surveys and establishing partner relationships with governments, non-profits and local academic institutions.  Advances in technology, the quantity and quality of available data, and receptiveness to leveraging these for decision-making in the social sciences and public policy have propelled IPA’s growth and mission. 

The Research Methods and Quality Director is a new, strategic position at IPA reporting to the Executive Director. S/he will lead the team that is responsible for the development of research resources, standards and training programs, and lead the development of our new Research Methods Initiative focused on enhancing and innovating methods and measurement for research and policy.   This new position will be a close key collaborator with the Global Poverty Research Lab and the Research Methods Academic Lead based at Northwestern University to provide intellectual leadership and guidance on research practice to IPA’s staff and researchers globally. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic leader who is passionate about conducting research in the international development sector and committed to using data and evidence to drive change.    


Leadership & Innovation:

  • Work closely with the Research Methods Academic Lead to outline annual goals, timelines and outputs for the joint Research Methods Initiative between Northwestern University and IPA
  • Collaborate with other IPA researchers, the IPA Global Programs team and the IPA Global Research and Data Support (GRDS) team to identify research topics in the realm of measurement, and to conduct research on measurement across sectors and modules
  • Develop and refine a practical strategy for secure cross-project data access to facilitate application of data science and research methods work
  • Provide thought leadership in the development of software and technology to improve data collection and quality control
  • Interface with relevant scholars, partners and practitioner networks to facilitate IPA’s outreach work in raising the standards of evidence and building capacity to conduct high quality, credible research
  • Build IPA’s profile as a research and innovation-focused organization by sharing IPA’s research agenda and findings through academic papers, events, presentations, and written pieces such as blogs and learning briefs within relevant academic, practitioner, and donor communities
  • Participate in and represent IPA at high-level policy and research events including conferences, presentations to stakeholders and meetings with key players in the sector
  • Develop and implement a fundraising strategy for the continuation and expansion of the Research Methods Initiative

Guidance & Management:

  • Oversee the GRDS team, including directly supervising the Associate Director and supporting the professional development of a diverse team of technical staff in their design, analysis, writing, and project and client management capabilities.
  • Recruit and support a small team focused on the Research Methods Initiative as needed
  • Work with IPA’s internal Principal Investigators (PIs) and GRDS team to advise on research design and measurement, and to advance IPA’s Research Transparency and Replication Initiatives.
  • Work with the GRDS team to review and build upon IPA’s current research protocols, guiding their development based on new learnings from the field and knowledge of research best practices
  • Collaborate with IPA’s Research and Policy team to identify best methods and opportunities to use IPA’s innovations in research methods for partner engagement
  • Work with IPA’s Policy and Communications and Right-Fit Evidence teams to disseminate learnings and educate stakeholders on how to create and use high quality evidence
  • Perform other administrative, financial and clerical duties as necessary to support own or IPA’s activities
  • Master’s in economics, research methods, quantitative survey methods or related disciplines required; PhD strongly preferred
  • 10+ years of experience with quantitative research and survey methodologies required; 5-7+ years of experience leading development of research resources and strategies preferred
  • Demonstrated experience managing and supervising projects and staff required
  • Demonstrated experience analyzing data independently using statistical programs such as R and Stata required
  • Experience in developing countries preferred
  • Experience in running and managing RCTs preferred
  • Experience with advanced techniques such as machine learning preferred
  • Superior written and oral communication skills required, with a demonstrated ability to communicate complex and technical information in a sound and understandable way 
  • Experience writing research proposals, with proven success as a fundraiser for research agendas, required
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both as part of a team and as an independent researcher required
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate, influence and collaborate with others required
Application Instructions 

To apply click here.

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.