Associate Director, Research at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Field Officers - 35 Positions at Innovations for Poverty Action (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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Associate Director, Research

Requisition ID: 1460
Location: Nigeria
Employment Type: Full-time


  • We need an Associate Director of Research to support the Nigeria country program. As a member of the country management team, the Associate Director (AD) will work closely with the Country Director to provide strategic direction, research oversight, and capacity building to a team of local and international staff.
  • The AD will have a strong focus on research management for the Nigeria office, represent IPA in Nigeria, and provide oversight to a portfolio of impact evaluations that are expected to span across multiple sectors over time: financial inclusion, peace and recovery, social protection, health, education, agriculture,  and enterprise development.
  • He/she will contribute to IPA Nigeria’s continued expansion by initiating new partnerships and projects in the country and will support the dissemination of results to development practitioners and policymakers.
  • This position provides a unique opportunity to gain high-level management experience in a growing country program, and to be closely involved in policy-relevant research, working with top academics, donors, governments, and other practitioners to foster evidence based-policy making.

Ensure high-quality research projects in Nigeria:

  • Manage a team composed of Research Managers/Associate Research Managers whose responsibilities include project design, management of data collection, data management, and analysis, and writing of research reports, all in close collaboration with the Principal Investigators.
  • Ensure that IPA research is implemented according to IPA’s quality standards and Principal Investigators’ direction.
  • Lead with transitions, on-boarding/off-boarding of new Research Managers/Coordinators staff, and maintaining institutional memory of project activities.
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take the lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal training for staff.
  • Work to incorporate best practices and lessons learned in research and data quality by other IPA offices and research affiliates.
  • Build systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality.
  • Directly manage research project(s), as needed, including providing technical/field support, liaising with researchers, overseeing grant management, data collection and reporting.

Contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by supporting new partnerships and projects in Nigeria:

  • Share leadership of business development with the Country Director to grow the two country offices and identify new research and policy project opportunities.
  • In collaboration with potential partners and Principal Investigators, identify and develop potential projects with meaningful research and policy implications in line with IPA’s mission.
  • Conduct partner outreach, including meetings with interested organizations/researchers and review of new project ideas.
  • Participate in research project design and lead budgeting/proposal materials development for new and ongoing projects to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards.
  • Review proposal materials, including budgets, in collaboration with Country Director.
  • Participate in capacity building of staff on project development tasks and responsibilities.

Policy Impact and External Relations:

  • Represent IPA in national and local government agencies and partner organizations
  • Develop and maintain relationships with current and potential IPA partner organizations, implementing partners, the government and academia for the country office to maximize its impact
  • Engage government partners and other stakeholders to identify research questions of interest and cultivate potential research projects in those areas
  • Oversee/participate in capacity building of local development partners in evidence-based policy-making and rigorous impact evaluations
  • Oversee targeted dissemination, encourage scale-up of successful interventions

General Management and Operations Support:

  • Work with the Country Director to set the vision and strategic plan for the country program and track progress
  • Support the supervision and management of the operations function including compliance, procurement, finance, and administration

Education and/or Work Experience Requirements

  • Master’s Degree in Project Management, Development Economics, International Affairs, International Public Policy, or a field related to International Economic Development
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience, including 3 years in a management position; preferably experience in research and policy engagement, ideally in West Africa.
  • Strong technical research skills
  • Demonstrated ability to lead large teams and multiple projects
  • Experience in randomized controlled trials preferred
  • Experience developing research projects, experience with budgeting and project planning
  • Passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works in development
  • Commitment to leading a diverse team in a multicultural environment and building staff capacity
  • Ability to communicate effectively across cultures with multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants
  • Experience in people and financial management, including managing funds from multiple donors preferred
  • Experience in grants and contracts management, preferably in a research setting, preferred
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently with proven ability to multi-task
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required

Application Closing Date
Not Specified.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


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