Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a rapidly growing global organization, with extensive operations in 20 focus countries, including Kenya. We design innovative, cutting-edge approaches to solving development problems, rigorously evaluate these programs and promote the adoption of those with proven impact. This occurs both through the dissemination of results to policy makers, practitioners, and donors, as well as through supporting the large-scale implementation of evidence-based programs.IPA-Kenya (IPA-K) is IPA’s oldest country program, and the site of many of its most influential projects, including seminal studies on de-worming, clean water promotion, bed-net usage and fertilizer subsidies. IPA-K employs more than 400 contracted staff working on 30 different projects across multiple offices.

The Senior Research and Business Development Manager (RBDM) will oversee a portfolio of rigorous research studies in Kenya and will play a key role in the growth of new business for IPA-K. These studies will span a number of sectors, including health, education and agriculture, and will require closely managing the partnership with researchers from top-tier academic and non-academic institutions. The RBDM work closely with the Kenya Country Director and Deputy Country Director to ensure that effective support is being given to projects in their portfolio and that staff in Kenya are adequately trained in the best practices of research and equipped to represent IPA’s work through policy dialogue. The RBDM will also help to grow IPA-K’s project portfolio by developing new projects with researchers and partner organizations and prepare proposals for funding opportunities as they arise.

  • Work closely with IPA Kenya Country Director and Deputy Director to discuss all developments on projects and serve as key link between the country office, project staff, IPA’s academic partners, and NGO and private partner organizations.
  • Directly supervise project research staff (Research Associates and Field Managers), and help with transitions, on-boarding of new research staff and maintaining “institutional memory” of project activities
  • Ensure project adherence to general research design, sample selection, data quality assurance protocols, data management and analysis, and provide overall project management.
  • Oversee project financial management, including creation and monitoring of program budgets, and ensuring smooth integration of project into IPA financial systems.
  • Work with field office staff to ensure sound human resource and operational management of projects
  • Ensure that project deliverables, such as reports and financial statements, are submitted to donors and partners on time
  • Work with the Country Director and Deputy Country Director in the development of new research studies in collaboration with principal investigators and partner organizations. Prepare project budgets and proposals in response to funding opportunities, at times under tight deadlines.
  • Outreach to new researchers, partner organizations, and funders to share IPA’s work and explore potential opportunities for collaboration
  • Maintain engagement with current/past researchers and partners with the aim of developing new projects and expanding existing projects
  • Coordinate IPA-K and global teams in the development of large-scale funding proposals
  • Identify and track funding opportunities, donor interests, actual/potential competition
  • Lead staff trainings on data management and general project management for new/incoming research staff.  Promote inter-project best practices and take a lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal training opportunities
  • Manage select relationships with local government officials and partners to ensure success of programmatic activities and to communicate about IPA’s work and findings around the world.
  • Support IPA Kenya’s policy outreach activities such as the dissemination of results to academic and non-academic audiences by presenting IPA’s work at national and regional events.
  • Master’s degree in related field, such as economics, public policy, international development, business administration
  • At least seven years of relevant work experience in project management, research oversight, and business development
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Stata and experience with data management and data cleaning
  • Strong budgeting and financial management skills; experience with writing project reports and grant proposals
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate with internal and external customers
  • Experience supervising data collection, teams of field workers, survey design and implementation and data management is strongly preferred
  • Experience supervising staff and coordinating teams in complex projects
  • Ability to engage and network with a wide range of audiences: researchers, policy makers, practitioners
  • Experience working in a developing country is required
  • A desire to commit to this position for two years
  • Excellent computer proficiency (MS Office – Word, Excel and Outlook)
  • Must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines, while maintaining a positive attitude and providing exemplary customer service
  • Ability to work independently and to carry out assignments to completion within parameters of instructions given, prescribed routines, and standard accepted practices

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated successful entrepreneurial experience or demanding professional work experience in developing country settings
  • Experience with randomized control trials and/or applied statistics
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Senior Research and Business Development Manager, Kenya”. 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 without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

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 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 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

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