Chief Research & Policy Officer

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
Above 15 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th September, 2018

Job Description

IPA seeks an outstanding applicant for the position of Chief Research and Policy Officer (CRPO). The CRPO position is a key member of the senior management team, reporting to the Executive Director. S/he will be responsible for developing and leading IPA’s strategy to ensure relevant evidence is developed for and used by decision-makers and that IPA’s voice continues to lead the fields of both rigorous impact evaluation and informing practice and policy to improve opportunities for the world’s poor.

The CRPO will lead a team of senior research and policy staff encompassing IPA’s policy outreach and communications, Sector Programs, the development of policy relevant research agendas and replications, and new activities that further IPA’s goals to promote evidence. S/he will also work with IPA’s regional and country leadership to develop policy-relevant research agendas and strategies to influence practice and policy at the country level. As part of the Senior Management Team, the CRPO will participate in setting overall directions for the organization, and work to continuously build internal and external understanding of and support for IPA’s mission.

This is an exciting time to join IPA in this role. Ensuring that evidence is developed with, and is used by decisionmakers, is a key component of IPA’s mission, and one that we are emphasizing and expanding as part of IPA’s new 2025 Strategic Ambition – with a focus on deepening our engagement with, and empowering decision makers (governments in particular) through evidence. The CRPO will therefore play a key role in driving this Ambition forward. The ideal candidates will have notable accomplishments in either international development research or promoting evidence-informed policy and programs, and experience working with governments in low income countries or emerging markets.


Lead the development and implementation of IPA’s strategy to translate evidence into practice and policy

  • Lead the development and communication of IPA’s global strategy to ensure that evidence is sought and applied at scale by decision-makers (including practitioners, policymakers and funders).
  • Strengthen IPA’s capacity to deliberately and effectively engage with governments throughout the research process, with the goal of developing more research in partnership with governments, and promoting a culture of evidence-driven decision-making.
  • Advise IPA Sector and Country Programs on the development of consistent research-to-policy and practice strategies, and support them as needed in developing high level partnerships with relevant government bodies and other organizations that have the potential to adopt and scale effective ideas.
  • Work cross-functionally to advance organizational practices, staffing structures and systems that facilitate the delivery of research to policy initiatives and lessons sharing across the organization.
  • Oversee and provide leadership to policy outreach & communications functions at the global, sector and country level to ensure a consistent approach to the dissemination of evidence and that IPA’s voice and brand continues to lead the field of rigorous evaluation and policy translation.
  • Work with IPA’s large network of leading researchers to leverage their expertise and research studies to identify and inform global policy conversations on international development and aid.
  • Work with Sector and Country programs and IPA’s research network to identify and prioritize demonstrated solutions for IPA to promote at a global level, and to develop strategies and partnerships to get these ideas disseminated, adopted and scaled.

Oversee the development of sector expertise at IPA and of policy-relevant research agendas aimed at developing ideas along the path-to-scale

  • Oversee and grow a team of internal IPA Researchers with the goal of moving evidence along the path to scale by developing studies that replicate and expand on demonstrated and promising ideas.
  • Work with Sector Programs, IPA Researchers and IPA research network to identify and develop strategies to address policy relevant research gaps at the global level, and advise country leadership on the development of research focuses and agendas at the country level.
  • Expand and represent IPA’s role in raising the standards of evidence and in translating evidence into policy & implementation
  • Represent IPA externally, ensuring that we are leaders in the experimental research methods field and evidence-to-policy conversation.
  • In conjunction with the Global Programs team, identify and lead the development of potential new initiatives that further IPA’s mission to promote the use of evidence and data for decision making, such as the Right Fit Evidence Initiative or the Progress out of Poverty Initiative (PPI).
  • Support or lead fundraising efforts for expanding IPA’s leadership role in the experimental research field, for policy outreach or Sector program grants, including identifying and liaising with donors and contributing to proposal development, as needed.

Leadership and Management

  • Provide leadership and mentorship to four Sector Program Directors (Financial Inclusion, SME, Social Protection, Peace & Recovery), one IPA Researcher, the Director of Policy and Communications, the Director of Right Fit Evidence, and the PPI Director, and recruit new staff as needed to expand IPA’s strategic goals.
  • Support and motivate direct reports and their teams with strategy development, goal setting, fund raising, policy engagement activities, partner and researcher relationships.
  • Participate in setting the overall direction for the organization and the next phase of growth as a member of the Senior Management Team.
  • Strategically coordinate with the Global Programs team to ensure organizational sharing and learning, the development of consistent strategies and messages.
  • Serve as a key contributor and participant in Board meetings, and organizational cross-functional meetings.


  • 15+ years of work experience in the field(s) of international development research and/or policy
  • Masters in economics, public policy, or related field required, PhD preferred
  • Noted contributions in social science research and/or international practice and public policy required
  • Experience working directly for a government, and/or working directly with governments strongly preferred.
  • Strong understanding of randomized trials and experience in multiple sectors is strongly preferred
  • Exceptional ability to present complex information to a range of technical and non-technical audiences and to effectively translate academic research into clear policy lessons.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with key partners and stakeholders, and to interact productively, proactively, and comfortably with government agencies, NGOs, private sector groups, foundations, and multilateral aid agencies.
  • Demonstrated experience in securing large grants and fund raising.
  • Demonstrated competency in strategic planning, implementing vision, and effectively leading multiple teams on independent tracks simultaneously
  • Flexible, self-motivated, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner while being a collaborative team player
  • Proven ability and experience in public speaking to a variety of stakeholders, at various conferences and other public commitments.
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills with an ability to navigate interpersonal and interdepartmental dynamics keeping the focus on goals.
  • Demonstrated management experience and leadership skills. Experience working in a Senior Leadership Team preferred.
  • Experience working in one or more of the developing countries where IPA has country offices preferred
  • Travel 25% of time


Recommend your friend

Copyrights 2017. All rights reserved | Technology Partner: Indev Consultancy Pvt. Ltd