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.
IPA seeks a Research Coordinator to oversee a portfolio of 2 to 3 research projects, which will be in various sectors including education, financial inclusion and agriculture. This portfolio may include for example evaluations of cash grants for female entrepreneurs, seed markets for maize producers or a kindergarten teacher training program. Lead researchers that the Research Coordinator will likely work with include Prof. Christopher Udry, Prof. Dean Karlan and Prof. Sharon Wolf.
The Research Coordinator 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 of external stakeholders. Developing and fostering good relationships with local stakeholders and implementing partners, such as the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, is another core element of the Research Coordinator role. Furthermore, the Research Coordinator will be involved in developing new research projects in close collaboration with the Country Director, IPA Ghana Policy team, and researchers.
The Research Coordinator (RC) will be responsible for the overall management of a portfolio of 2-3 research projects, most of which will be in the education, financial inclusion or agriculture 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 Coordinator will:
- Manage the projects in the RC’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 2 to 5 permanent research staff 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;
- Support in the development of new projects, in coordination with the (Deputy) Country Director and the 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;
- Support in the development of new projects, in coordination with the Country Director and the Policy team, as well as potential researchers, implementing partners, and donors; and
- Support the dissemination of interim results via presentations and reports to non-academic audiences.
Required education skills and qualifications:
- Masters in development economics, or a field related to international economic development or education;
- At least 2 years of relevant experience;
- 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;
- Experience with data analysis. Advanced knowledge of Stata or any statistical package is required;
- Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies required;
- Strong critical thinking and judgment to quickly identify problems and devise solutions as well as escalate matters as needed;
- 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; and
- Passion for making data-driven decision a reality in the development sector.