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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 wor...
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IPA Ghana seeks a (Senior) Policy Manager to engage with local and global stakeholders to embed existing evidence in programs and policies and develop new research projects in alignment with Ghana’s goals and challenges in various sectors. The (Senior) Policy Manager will lead IPA Ghana’s policy impact strategy, focusing on creating and managing high impact policy opportunities for using evidence in decision-making. Reporting to the Country Director, with dotted line functional oversight from the global policy and communications team and substantial collaboration with Ghana research teams, this position will grow IPA’s policy outreach and impact work in Ghana, building and deepening relationships and identifying and creating evidence-to-impact opportunities.
Lead Ghana in Policy Outreach Strategy (35%)
- Build expertise on the global and local evidence base in 1-2 sectors and cultivate relationships with key local stakeholders in those sectors.
- Work together with the global policy and communications team to lead and/or participate in strategic events for policy purposes, including but not limited to summits, conferences, workshops, technical working groups, and round tables. Support researchers and country management to participate.
- In collaboration with researchers and in support of the country director, represent IPA locally in policy conversations and at events.
- Support research management staff in executing the “Policy Impact Minimum Must Dos” and in identifying and stewarding high potential partner relationships, particularly with senior levels within government or large organizations.
Cultivate and Manage High Impact Policy Opportunities (50%)
- Lead Ghana in continuously identifying and prioritizing high impact policy opportunities for evidence to be used.
- Cultivate relationships with key local decision-makers in 2-3 sectors (education, financial inclusion, social protection, health, agriculture), particularly those with decision-making authority over identified evidence-to-impact opportunities.
- Launch high impact policy opportunities, including scale-up technical assistance, and either manage small-scale engagements personally with global support, or collaborate with global teams to raise funds for additional staff to realize these opportunities.
- Manage IPA Ghana’s embedded labs program, which supports selected government ministries to collect and use data more effectively for decision making.
- Directly supervise a team of 3-5 to advance these high impact policy opportunities, paying particular attention to their professional growth.
Develop Research Projects with Policy Embeddedness (15%)
- Identify opportunities and cultivate relationships that lead to developing large-scale policy evaluations with key decision-makers. Support research teams and researchers in development and execution.
- Identify opportunities and cultivate relationships that lead to developing field replications to consolidate research on key policy-relevant research questions. Support research teams and researchers in development and execution.
- Together with the country director, act as lead steward to key partner relationships and support key research partner conversations.
- Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.
- Maintain compliance with all company policies and procedures.
- Master’s degree in economics, development, international relations, public administration, public policy or a closely related field strongly preferred (will accept additional experience in lieu of education for exceptional candidates).
- 5 or more years of relevant experience, including at least 2 years of experience working closely with large NGOs and/or national government officials in an African country, preferably in Ghana.
- Master’s degree in economics, development, international relations, public administration, public policy or a closely related field.
- 7 or more years of relevant experience, including at least 3 years of experience working closely with large NGOs and national government officials in Ghana.
- Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in the use of rigorous evidence for international development policy required.
- Expertise in one or more IPA Ghana priority sectors (education, financial inclusion, social protection, health, agriculture).
- Knowledge of government policy making processes, systems for nationwide program implementation and development financing.
- Experience organizing events, such as conferences, workshops or round table discussions.
- Attention to nuance and advanced presentation skills for communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand. This requires clear, precise, non-technical writing, and confident, effective spoken communication and presentation style.
- Proven ability to multitask and successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision.
- Willingness to work hard, be self-motivated, and learn will be essential for doing well in this position.
- Ability to supervise staff and manage projects independently.
- Ability and willingness to travel to various project sites
- Ability to safely and successfully perform the essential job functions consistent with government standards, including meeting qualitative and/or quantitative productivity standards
- Ability to maintain regular, punctual attendance consistent with IPA standards
- Must be able to talk, listen and speak clearly on telephone
go to method of application »
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.
We are looking for a commitment period of three years for this position.
Method of Application
For Senior Policy Manager
Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Policy job category, then select “Senior Policy Manager, Ghana.” Applications require a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts.
For Research Coordinator
Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Coordinator, Ghana”. 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.