Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is seeking a Manager or Senior Manager (depending on the profile of the successful candidate) to develop and oversee the delivery of a portfolio of evidence- and learning- related advisory services and play a lead role in the development of IPA’s Right-Fit Evidence Unit in the East Africa region.

Complementing the well-known work of IPA in the production and promotion of rigorous impact evaluations, the Right-Fit Evidence Unit is a fast-growing team at IPA focused on helping organizations make better use of data and evidence themselves to learn and adapt their programs and increase their effectiveness. In collaboration with IPA’s sector programs, policy team, and country office teams worldwide, the unit advises organizations on designing tailored and meaningful data- and evidence-related strategies and practices, and accompanies them through the process of analysis and adaptation. Clients include NGOs, funders, social businesses, and governments.

You will provide technical leadership and management for a set of multi-partner engagements providing such advisory and technical assistance services to NGO, funders and government partners. While you will likely get involved in work across sectors, your portfolio is expected to have an emphasis on the early childhood education sector in East Africa.

You will report primarily to one of the three director and associate directors from the RFE Unit at the global level, although you may work with other leaders from the RFE Unit and beyond on different engagements. You will also receive complementary oversight and support from the leadership of the country office where you will be based.

Responsibilities 

Learning support & capacity building to clients

  • As the primary management-level point of contact for a wide range of clients and partners, lead teams of RFE unit staff and work closely with them to develop tailor-made solutions for the learning needs of those organizations, and support their implementation
  • Design and facilitate various kinds of external workshops related to data, evidence and learning
  • Advise and support IPA country office teams in the East Africa region on their own technical assistance engagements with partners, and collaborate with them to ensure optimal synergies
  • Occasionally lead and/or work on the design, analysis and write up of different types of studies or evaluations
  • Oversee multiple Associates and Advisors based in the region, and support their professional development

Take part in the development of the Right Fit Evidence Unit, with particular focus on East Africa

  • Lead or support the development of a small portfolio of new potential engagements, mostly assigned, and possibly some self-initiated
  • Be the main interface for the Right-Fit Evidence Unit for a set of active or potential funders and occasionally represent the Unit in conferences or other similar events
  • Contribute to the development and ongoing adaptation of the strategy of the Unit at the global level and of its various advisory services
  • Other responsibilities as assigned

The title (Manager or Senior Manager), and in turn some aspects of those responsibilities (e.g expected level of autonomy, expected level of contribution to the strategy of unit as a whole, size of the portfolio, and expected level of autonomy), will depend on the profile of the successful candidate.

Qualifications 

We are seeing three different types of profiles that could fit this position particularly well (and if you don’t fall in any of these categories but feel like you meet the qualifications below, please do apply as well!)

  • Management consultants with international development experience who would be excited in a career shift to an entrepreneurial and impact-focused environment leveraging their skillset.
  • M&E practitioners who are interested in broadening their scope and impact on the field by advising multiple organizations on state-of-the-art MEL practices.
  • Researchers and research management professionals in international development who enjoy working closely with practitioners and are interested in broadening their scope to all the types of data and evidence that can inform policy and practice.

Required qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a related field such as international development, economics, public policy, public health, education policy or social sciences, including significant coursework in quantitative methods. PhDs and MBAs also welcome.
  • 4 to 10 years of relevant experience
  • Strong client facing and presentation skills, and ability to build relationships of trust with stakeholders at various levels
  • Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally, to a variety of audiences
  • Significant exposure to the design and management of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems (or similar area of work that may be called differently in other sectors)
  • Experience supervising quantitative and qualitative data collection
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and willingness to learn
  • Strong time management and multi-tasking skills
  • Experience working in developing countries, and preferably in Africa.
  • Fluency in English, familiarity with other languages spoken in East Africa is a plus

Preferred additional qualifications

  • Experience working on research or MEL on programs relating to Early Childhood Development and/or Basic Education
  • Experience in management consulting or other professional services
  • Experience working with government stakeholders
  • Experience of managerial responsibilities
  • Familiarity with the concepts surrounding the Theory of Change and the core tools of MEL (both quantitative and qualitative research methods)
  • Understanding of causal inference and RCTs
  • Exposure to SurveyCTO, Open Data Kit or similar survey software
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and train others on MEL methodologies data analysis or statistics
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “(Senior) Manager, East Africa, Right-Fit Evidence”. Applications require you to include a statement of purpose (cover letter), and CV. 

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 900 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

IPA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) 

As an organization, IPA is dedicated to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations through evidence and policy. We also recognize how important it is for our staff to reflect the diversity of the places where we work and the communities we work with. As such, IPA is committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates, from a range of backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. We know that this makes our work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those we work with and for and we encourage people from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Click here to learn more about IPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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.