Research Coordinator, Aspirations at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

On Monday, March 27th, 2017

We have a challenging and exciting Research Co-ordinator position available to start as soon as possible. Researchers Kate Orkin, Rob Garlick, Johannes Haushofer, Richard Sedlmayr and Stefan Dercon are conducting a series of interlinked randomized controlled trials in collaboration with a large NGO providing unconditional cash transfers.

Development assistance tends to focus on the ‘external’ constraints that poor people face, while largely ignoring ‘internal’ ones. However, social psychology suggests that poor people’s sense of self-efficacy and control may be beaten down by the nature of living in poverty, limiting the options they consider. The project will examine the combined effect of providing an unconditional cash transfer and an intervention to boost poor people’s sense of self-efficacy and alter their understanding of their opportunities, encouraging poor people to set and pursue their own goals without directing their choices. The research will test if a brief, standardized psychological intervention can alter psychological outcomes and future-oriented behaviors in a developing country and examine if such interventions can enhance the already-known benefits of cash transfers. A second part of the project will examine the impact of the cash transfers on the income distribution in the localities, and on the structure of the village networks. A third part will consider citizen engagement and participation in localities. 

The managers of the team undertake to create a supportive research environment, provide structures and mentorship to facilitate the long-term career development of staff, and structure work to maximise the potential for autonomy, creativity and personal growth. 

The post provides an opportunity for an ambitious, dynamic and highly motivated person to gain valuable research, project management and field experience on a cutting-edge, large-scale development project and go on to a PhD programme or career in development practice.


IPA-Kenya seeks a Research Coordinator to oversee a large scale RCT in Oyugis, Kenya. The essential duties and responsibilities of the Research Coordinator will include the following:
•    Take overall responsibility for delivery of two interventions and two endline surveys in a challenging rural context;
•    Oversee 2-3 Research Associates managing two large survey teams;
•    Liaise with three different teams of PIs to ensure technical inputs to study design arrive on time and deliver high-quality reporting to the PI team;
•    Manage the relationship with the NGO partner, a dynamic, high-profile actor in the cash transfer space;
•    Manage the high-level logistics of two large-scale field experiments, including managing budgets, timelines, and procurement;
•    Hire, train, and manage project staff and hold them to high standards;
•    Coordinate the development and field piloting of survey instruments;
•    Ensure adherence to data quality protocols, including overseeing Research Associates in auditing enumerators, monitoring data collection, conducting data quality audits, and ensuring data security;
•    Manage data cleaning and analysis; and
•    Maintain compliance with all IPA policies and procedures.


•    Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields;
•    Training in development economics;
•    Prior work experience conducting field research in developing countries;
•    Excellent management and organizational skills, detail-oriented, and ability to work independently and be supervised remotely;
•    Knowledge of Stata;
•    Familiarity with randomized controlled trials;
•    Fluency in English with strong communication skills;
•    Able to lead, inspire and motivate a team and hold them to high standards;
•    Excellent interpersonal skills and conflict resolution skills;
•    Systematic, meticulous and well-organised with the ability to work on a variety of tasks simultaneously and cope with unpredictable volumes of work, busy periods and tight deadlines;
•    Energetic, proactive and self-motivated;
•    Resilient and flexible, with a can-do approach and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Coordinator, Aspirations”.  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. 


Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class. IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at [email protected] or via phone at 1-203-772-2216. Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the specified position. The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to [email protected].

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.

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