Training is a way to share the “industry standards” and over 10 years of institutional knowledge about how to effectively manage a field project.

The Global Staff Training functions much like a job orientation, reviewing some of the basic knowledge and skills that project staff need to succeed in running RCTs, as well as orienting them to the procedures, tools, resources, and team members of the J-PAL/IPA network. Global Staff Training is required to give staff the skills and resources needed for producing high-quality IPA studies. Global Staff Training is required for all Project Management Staff unless they have already attended a training event or will leave IPA within six months (experienced staff members are often encouraged to come as trainers).

You can now register for the upcoming IPA/J-PAL Global Staff Training to be held at the Brackenhurst Conference Centre near Nairobi, Kenya from February 18-23. If you would like your team member(s) to attend this training, please be sure to register no later than January 26. Space is limited, and registration may be closed early if the event fills before the deadline.

How to register: Follow this EventBrite link to register your team members. Registration is free, but you will be billed after the training for participation. If you anticipate hiring new staff, you have the option to register "placeholders" and update staff details upon hiring. You can edit the registration after submitting by clicking through on your order confirmation e-mail from Eventbrite. After registering, you will be asked to complete several additional logistical forms to accommodate your participation.

Participation information: The Global Staff Training is mandatory for all IPA research staff, strongly encouraged for J-PAL research staff, and open to non-research staff outside of the network. This program is designed for staff who have been with IPA, J-PAL, and related organizations in the IPA/J-PAL network for three to six months; however, it is open to staff with tenure outside that range. We also welcome staff who work with J-PAL-affiliated projects and those from closely-related external research organizations. If we are oversubscribed, IPA and J-PAL participants may be prioritized. Participants are expected to fully participate in learning activities during the program week. They may not have the opportunity nor the strong internet connectivity to carry on their regular project workload.

Learning Gains: Participants of the Global Staff Training will become well-versed in the key conceptual underpinnings of and debates surrounding RCTs in the social sciences, including ethics and research transparency. It will build upon the knowledge gained in the RCT 101x course, which all participants are recommended to have completed in advance. (IPA staff can read the instructions for registering for RCT 101x here.) They will also learn key skills involved in managing a research project, including coding in Stata and ODK, designing and programming effective questionnaires, project management, protocols for data quality and security, field team management, and effective communication, among other topics. 

A final agenda will be circulated closer to the training. For your reference, you can download the 2017 Kenya staff training agenda here. The 2018 agenda is unlikely to change significantly from 2017.

Visa: Kenya has switched to an e-visa system for most countries. The process is the same for all nationalities that are eligible; see here for a list of eligible nationalities. The e-visa approval is usually given within a few hours, but may take up to a week. Payments must be made with a credit card. Category 3 countries will need to submit their visa applications by paper, and should plan on a longer period of time for approval; see a list of category 3 countries here. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that s/he is able to secure a visa to Kenya, but IPA can provide visa letters of support upon request (email researchsupport+training@poverty-action.org to request a letter of support).

Fee: The registration fee is $2,000 for staff directly employed by an IPA, J-PAL or EPoD office. Other staff working directly for J-PAL affiliates (e.g. employed by an affiliate’s university or research center directly) will be charged $2,500 (which adds back in overhead costs, already covered by IPA/J-PAL-implemented projects). Any other participants will be charged $3,000. This fee covers training materials, room-sharing accommodation and meals for five days, and round-trip transportation from the Nairobi airport to the training venue. The fee does NOT include travel to Kenya, software licenses, or expenses outside of the training location and dates such as extra accommodation in Nairobi. IPA employees will be billed internally. For participants not employed by IPA, they will be invoiced the training fee no later than two weeks after the registration deadline. Please also note that proof of J-PAL affiliate status must be submitted to researchsupport+training@poverty-action.org, and confirmation must be received by the registration deadline in to be eligible for the affiliate rate.

Finally, please note that the Global Staff Training program will also be available in Goa, India from August 19-24 and in New Hampshire, USA from November 4-9.

We look forward to having your new staff join us. If you have any questions or comments, please email researchsupport+training@poverty-action.org.

“The sessions on RCTS and generalizability have helped me think more critically of the projects I’m on and properly evaluating the theory of change.”

“I got mind-opening exposure to how to deal better with organization and quality assurance.”

“Wonderful collegiality! Really warm engagements, open and creative.”

“Really well organized & coordinated! Thank you!”