The Senior Policy Associate will support the execution of IPA’s evidence-based policy and practice impact and influence strategy, working with a portfolio of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Senior Policy Associate will work closely with the global policy team, country office management, and policy staff in our offices in sub-Saharan Africa to identify, cultivate, and support strategic policy and practice opportunities that show promise in improving lives at scale . Current projects and opportunities the Senior Policy Associate might support are in the education, gender, and forced displacement sectors. 

The strategic goals of the Senior Policy Associate will be to work with colleagues to equip partners to use evidence in policy making and program design and pursue scale-up opportunities of promising programs; develop embedded evidence labs with Ministry partners; build strategic partner relationships; and host/manage policy events. The Senior Policy Associate will write policy communications materials to inform policy making and program design and will also work closely with the policy team to support the development of funding opportunities to resource strategic policy projects and initiatives across IPA. 

This position reports to a (Senior) Policy Manager.


As a Senior Policy Associate, your responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Policy Communications and Strategy 

  • Combine insights from disparate areas of research into policy lessons for decision-makers who want to apply research to their policies and programs. 

  • Write  original policy communications publications and materials to communicate IPA’s policy lessons to internal and external stakeholders. This may include writing and/or ghost writing original blog posts, policy briefs, website content, and other materials communicating IPA’s policy impact and strategy to internal and external stakeholders

  • Develop strategic tools to equip IPA staff and partners to use evidence in decision-making 

  • Investigate the use of evidence from IPA’s work and draft impact case studies that illustrate how evidence is being used to inform programs and policies

  • Support the management of key policy projects

  • Conduct cost effectiveness analysis for strategic projects

Policy or Research Dissemination Events

  • Support virtual and/or in-person events with coordination, planning, and presentation drafting and support

Business Development, Grant Coordination, and Project Management Support 

  • Support policy team with policy proposal writing to raise funds for strategic policy work

  • Coordinate grant reporting and support deliverable management for a handful of global policy grants

  • Update project information in knowledge management system

  • Other responsibilities as assigned

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in economics, international development, international education,  journalism, political science, public policy, or other relevant field and at least three years of relevant work experience; exceptions may be made for excellent candidates who do not meet this criterion
  • Exceptional ability to understand academic research studies and analyze bodies of research 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including clear, precise, non-technical written and presentation skills; requires a strong written “voice” and ability to write in various voices as needed as well as effective spoken communication and presentation style
  • Experience with business development or fundraising
  • Proven ability to multitask and successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision
  • Willingness to work hard, be self-motivated, learn, be a team-player, and adapt quickly will be essential for doing well in this position.
Application Instructions 
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. 

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 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

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.