Research Manager, Education AT Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) 26 views0 applications

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organization. Based in New Haven, CT, with offices in Washington, D.C. and worldwide, IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate “what works” in development and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including health, education, microfinance, governance and agriculture. IPA has been in Ghana since 2008, and it is now one of IPA’s largest country offices, with a permanent team of more than 50 staff managing and supporting 30 active research projects. Through the evaluation of the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative and other efforts, IPA has become embedded in the education sector in Ghana, and therefore its research has the potential to directly influence government policies.

IPA seeks a Research Manager to oversee a portfolio of 3 to 5 research projects most of which will be related to Education and Early Childhood Development, such as the Fast Track Transformational Training program and the Returns to Secondary Schooling study, amongst others. Lead researchers that the Research Manager will work with include Pascaline Dupas and Sharon Wolf.

The Research Manager position is a unique opportunity to combine significant management experience with an involvement in cutting-edge development research. He/she will join the very dynamic and passionate IPA Ghana team and contribute to the development of new projects, policy outreach, and capacity building. Developing and fostering good relationships with local stakeholders and implementing partners, such as the Ghana Education Service, is another core element of the Research Manager role.

This position will be based in Accra, Ghana.


The Research Manager (RM) will be responsible for the overall management of a portfolio of 3-5 research projects, most of which will be in the preschool and basic education sectors and will include wide scale surveys across multiple regions of Ghana. Each of these projects is expected to be staffed with a permanent team of 1 or 2 staff and up to 50-100 short term staff during survey periods.

In particular, the Research Manager will:
•    Manage the projects in the RM’s portfolio and work with Principal Investigators to ensure their adherence to research design, sample selection, data collection, data management and general research protocols, as well as overall project objectives timelines;
•    Directly supervise 4 to 8 permanent research staff, including project staff, as well as the cross-project Education Survey Coordinator, with an eye on their professional growth;
•    Keep the Deputy Country Director apprised of all developments on the projects within their portfolio, and serve as a key link between the field office, project staff, and Principal Investigators;
•    Participate in the development of new projects, in coordination with the (Deputy) Country Director and the Education Policy team, as well as potential researchers, implementing partners, and donors;
•    Promote inter-project best practices and take a lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal trainings;
•    Work with field office staff to ensure sound human resource and operational management of projects;
•    Oversee project financial management, including creation and monitoring of project budgets, and ensuring smooth integration of projects into IPA financial systems;
•    Take part in regular meetings with local government officials and other partners to ensure success of programmatic activities; and
•    Support the dissemination of interim results via presentations and reports to non-academic audiences.


  •  Masters in development economics, or a field related to international economic development or education;
    •    At least 3 years of project/research management experience;
    •    Experience in/knowledge of the education sector;
    •    Experience conducting social science or economic field research; experience in conducting field research in developing countries required. Background in randomized control trials is a plus;
    •    Experience supervising data collection and teams of field workers, designing and implementing surveys, preferably in education;
    •    Experience with data analysis. Advanced knowledge of Stata or any statistical package is  preferred;
    •    Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies required;
    •    Strong quantitative, budgeting and financial management skills required;
    •    Ability to present research findings, including to non-research focused audiences;
    •    Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English is required.

Application Instructions

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Manager, Education”.  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 non-profit 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 400 leading academics to conduct over 600 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.

More Information

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Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is an American non-profit research and policy organization founded in 2002 by Yale economist Dean Karlan.

Since its foundation, IPA has worked with over 400 leading academics to conducted over 600 evaluations in 51 countries.[2] The organization also manages the Progress out of Poverty Index.

IPA conducts randomized controlled trials (RCTs), along with other types of quantitative research, to measure the impacts of development programs in sectors including microfinance, education, health, peace & recovery, governance, agriculture, social protection, and small and medium enterprises. Its partner organizations include over 400 governments, nonprofits, academic institutions, foundations, and companies.

IPA was founded in 2002 by Dean Karlan, an economist at Yale University, as a non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between academia and development policy. IPA is a 501 (c)(3) organization headquartered in New Haven, CT with over 1000 colleagues working on projects in 51 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America.

IPA is a research and policy non-profit 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.

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