IPA’s Right-Fit Evidence Unit is seeking a Senior Manager to lead our work conducting independent evaluations for selected partners. The Senior Manager will develop and oversee the delivery of a portfolio of independent evaluations and other evidence- and learning-related advisory services, as well as contribute to the development of IPA’s Right-Fit Evidence Unit as a member of our leadership team.
Complementing the well-known work of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) on impact evaluations, Right-Fit Evidence (RFE) is a fast-growing unit in IPA that helps global development organizations more effectively use evidence to increase their impact. In collaboration with IPA’s sector, policy, and country teams, RFE advises organizations on designing and executing evidence-based learning strategies and plans. We are helping to improve the performance of the development sector by increasing the capacity of NGOs, funders, social businesses, and governments to learn and adapt.
While most of our work involves advisory services and technical assistance, some engagements of involve performing our own independent empirical studies. Most of the engagements you will be leading will still involve some advisory and technical assistance services, but compared to other senior managers in the RFE Unit, your portfolio is expected to have a relative focus on the performance of independent evaluations and other types of empirical studies. You should therefore bring expertise and a strong interest in independently designing and leading evaluations of various kinds.
We expect these evaluations to involve primarily process and outcome evaluations, although they may also involve descriptive studies and other rigorous methods from the evaluator toolkit (impact evaluations per se will be rare, as they are typically led by other teams at IPA).
Your role will usually not involve in-depth involvement with the day-to-day management of data collection itself, as it will typically be the responsibility of IPA country offices teams, partners themselves, or third parties. However, you will provide intellectual leadership, and be the principal investigator leading the design, analysis, and write-up of those studies.
While you will likely get involved in work across multiple sectors, your portfolio is expected to have some emphasis on the early childhood development and education sectors.
You will report primarily to an Associate Director within the RFE Unit, but will work with different directors, associate directors, and other managers of the RFE unit on different engagements. You will also get complementary oversight and oversight from the leadership of the country office where you will be based, if relevant.
You will be in charge of:
Leading the execution of a portfolio of evaluation and advisory engagements (~80 to 85%)
- As the primary management-level point of contact for a wide range of clients (foundations, government agencies, NGOs, private companies, etc.), lead a team of RFE unit staff working closely with them to develop and implement tailor-made solutions for their MEL needs.
- Lead the design, analysis and write up of various kinds of evaluations and other studies
- Advise and support IPA country office teams worldwide on non-impact evaluation studies on which they may need technical support
- Design and facilitate various kinds of external MEL related workshops
- Oversee multiple Analysts, Associates, or Advisors and working on various RFE engagements, and support their professional development
Take part in the development of the Right Fit Evidence Unit (~10 to 15%)
- Lead 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
- Take an active role in the refinement and implementation of the strategy of the RFE Unit at the global level, and in the continuous improvement of its various services
We are seeing two 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!)
- Evaluators and M&E practitioners who are interested in both advisory and evaluative work, and feel strongly about both credibility and actionability of evidence
- 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 decisions.
You’ll likely be working across multiple sectors, but it will be a plus if you bring some expertise in the early childhood development and education sectors.
- A PhD (or Master’s degree with similar work experience) in a discipline involving the use of advanced quantitative methods
- 5-10 years of relevant work experience (including research work during PhD if applicable)
- Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills
- Experience leading project or program evaluations
- Knowledge of STATA or similar statistical software
- Familiarity with Survey CTO, ODK or similar data collection software
- Exposure to the design and management of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems
- Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills
- Demonstrated ability to coach and train others on technical matters
- Strong client facing and presentation skills. Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally
- Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills
- Experience working in developing countries.
- Experience with qualitative data collection and analysis.
- Ability to travel (up to 20% post-pandemic)
- Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector
Preferred additional qualifications
- Prior experience in consultancy or similar professional services
- Familiarity with debates around MEL and the use of evidence
- Familiarity with RCTs
- Working knowledge of Spanish and/or French
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.
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.
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