IPA Uganda is seeking a highly motivated and qualified Research Associate/Senior Research Associate (RA/SRA) to manage a research study comparing the cost-effectiveness of different variations of graduation programming (including a full graduation program and lower cost versions) on consumption, assets, food security and other measures of wellbeing for refugees and host communities. The study involves a randomized experiment using several interventions that try to identify the most effective model of the program. The Principal Investigators are Dean Karlan (Northwestern University), Christopher Udry (Northwestern University), Lasse Brune (Northwestern University), Nathanael Goldberg (IPA), and Doug Parkerson (IPA).

This position provides an excellent opportunity to gain extensive hands‐on experience in a field setting and to have significant management responsibility in a vibrant organization undertaking cutting‐edge development research. Key areas of involvement will include: piloting, designing survey questionnaires, recruiting, training and managing survey teams, designing and supervising logistics for the field activities, cleaning and analyzing survey data, managing a mixed-methods process evaluation and assisting in the writing of project reports and policy memos.

Background on the Study

IPA, in collaboration with the AVSI Foundation and the US Agency for International Development’s Office for Food for Peace, is conducting an evaluation of the Graduating to Resilience program, a graduation approach livelihoods program working with refugees and host community households in Uganda’s Kamwenge District and Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement. The program seeks to improve food and nutrition security and self-reliance in both populations through three experimental treatment arms to identify the most cost effective model: (1) the full graduation program with consumption support, an asset transfer and individual household-level coaching; (2) the full graduation program with consumption support, an asset transfer and group coaching and (3) the graduation program with consumption support and individual, household-level coaching, but without an asset transfer. IPA completed baseline data collection of 11,145 households in November 2018. Midline and endline data collection are scheduled for 2020 and 2021, respectively. Currently, IPA is conducting a process evaluation to assess the quality of the intervention and any challenges to implementation.

See https://www.poverty-action.org/study/impact-graduation-program-livelihoods-refugee-and-host-communities-uganda for more information


The Research Associate/Senior Research Associate (RA/SRA) will perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:


  • Developing and piloting the survey instruments and interventions, including programming digital data collection; managing the translation and back-translation of the survey into the local language.
  • Refinement of the methodology, data collection tools, and data analysis plan of the process evaluation
  • Finalizing cleaning of baseline data and process evaluation data
  • Hiring, training, and managing the field teams that will conduct the data collections.
  • Managing all field logistics, procuring products, and getting approvals from local authorities.
  • Ensuring all data quality protocols are followed including auditing enumerators and performing daily checks of the incoming data; correcting the errors of staff iteratively to ensure the data is of the highest quality.
  • Managing the data from collection at the household to delivery of a final, cleaned dataset.
  • Managing the budget including tracking all expenses to ensure costs are within project funds.
  • Managing the project budget and field expenses. formulation of direction and strategy
  • Act as a liaison between the research team and the AVSI implementation team and manage communications and relationships with Principle Investigators and other members of the research team
  • Perform related duties as assigned by supervisor
  • Maintain compliance with all IPA policies and procedures
  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in economics, statistics, data science, international development, social sciences, or related field;
  • Minimum two years of research project experience at a field research management or analyst position in developing countries;
  • Proficiency with Stata, SurveyCTO programming language and Microsoft Office tools; programming and other technical knowledge a plus
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials
  • Demonstrated ability to manage relationships with stakeholders (especially principal investigators and partner organizations);
  • Strong written communication skills;
  • Excellent command of English, both spoken and written;
  • Demonstrated commitment to IPA’s high standards of data quality;
  • Excellent management and organizational skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate work effectively over email and phone:
  • Flexible, self-motivating and team player.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Senior Research Associate, Uganda Graduation Study”.  Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts.

Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application.

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 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.