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Research Coordinator (Expiration 04/08/2019)

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. As its core business, 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. IPA has conducted hundreds of randomized evaluations across sectors, learning both whether programs work, and how they can work better.

IPA Sierra Leone seeks a Research Coordinator to oversee a growing portfolio of research projects in the country. The Research Coordinator will oversee an existing portfolio of 2-3 studies in the country which span the sectors of governance, health, gender-based violence, agriculture and potentially education. This is a unique opportunity for an outstanding individual to provide strong leadership and act as a critical bridge between leading academic researchers, policymakers, and staff implementing research on the ground. The Research Coordinator must possess the technical skills to ensure the highest quality and rigor in the design and implementation of our research, the communication skills (written and verbal presentation) to maintain strong connections with our clients and partners (present and potential), and the managerial skills to efficiently and effectively manage complex workflows, staff teams, and project financials (i.e. budgets, grants).


As an ideal candidate, you not only have a solid technical foundation in impact evaluation methodology, but you can also independently guide and direct the activities that happen both upstream and downstream of any rigorous, randomized evaluation (i.e. mapping theory of change, measurement design and piloting, data analysis, results communication, etc.). You enjoy leading high-performing teams that drive the production of the highest quality research for our clients and partners. You excel in solving problems using clear, strategic, and creative thinking. You have a strong social acumen, and are excited about the opportunity to broaden, deepen, and manage meaningful relationships with high-level clients and partners across the public and private sector.

This position is ideal for a bright, go-getter, energetic self-starter, who has previous research experience implementing RCTs and a strong understanding of economics, data management and analysis. The Research Coordinator will work closely with and be mentored by the Country Director on a range of topics, including new project development, stakeholder management, and staff development.

  • Directly supervise, coach and mentor 2 to 5 project research staff (Research Associates and Field Managers) in implementing complex research projects with an expectation for their professional development
  • Support with transitions, on-boarding of new research staff and maintaining “institutional memory” of project activities.
  • Manage close relationships with investigators in multiple research institutions, funders and implementing partners to ensure successful projects
  • Supervise research project teams to code high-quality technical deliverables, such as complex digital surveys, data flow and data quality control systems, advanced statistical analysis, and technical reports
  • Plan and supervise survey implementation, data quality assurance, data cleaning, data analysis and other activities related to rigorous impact evaluation implementation
  • Oversee project financial management, including creation and monitoring of project budgets, and ensuring smooth integration of projects into IPA financial systems
  • Maintain compliance with IPA’s policies and procedures as well as the country law
  • Support the development of new projects in the Sierra Leone and Liberia portfolio with the Country Director and Research Manager, by establishing relationships with researchers, implementers, and funders, and developing opportunities and proposals
  • Lead training on data management and general project management for new/incoming project research staff
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take a lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal training opportunities
  • Be the point of contact for data management and analysis support for project staff by serving as the link between projects and IPA headquarters
  • Attend meetings with local government officials and partners to ensure success of both project specific and key IPA programmatic activities
  • When requested, support the dissemination of results via presentations and reports to academic and non-academic audiences
  • Support the Country Director in the development of new research studies in cooperation with principal investigators and partner organizations
  • Perform related duties as assigned by supervisor

Required qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in a quantitative social science, such as economics, statistics, or public policy
  • 3 years of relevant work experience in research, international development, and project management
  • Experience supervising large data collection research projects, including leading survey design, implementation, and data management
  • Experience supervising staff (beyond temporary survey team); experience nurturing and growing staff for new roles in an organization
  • Excellent management and organizational skills, detail-oriented, and ability to work independently and be supervised remotely
  • Demonstrated in-depth technical knowledge of RCTs, research and economic concepts, quantitative analysis are required
  • Superior knowledge of STATA and digital data collection platforms (preference for Open Data Kit, Survey CTO) is required (Stata proficiency of short-listed applicants will be tested)
  • Experience working in a developing country required; experience working in Africa strongly preferred
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English are required
  • Ability to present information in an insightful and structured manner, both written and oral, including experience in effectively communicating with internal and external partners
  • Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies required
  • Prior experience working with academic researchers in the fields of economics or quantitative political science
  • Interest in contributing to the improvement of existing organizational and operational systems, as well as team technical capacity building
  • Detail-oriented, flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and under pressure, team player


  • Additional experience with R/Python preferred. Experience using LaTeX is preferred.
  • Past experience working with IPA or with affiliated organizations
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Coordinator, Sierra Leone”.  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 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. 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 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 


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