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  • Posted: Nov 20, 2019
    Deadline: Not specified
  • 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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    Research and Project Development Coordinator

    Position Summary: 

    IPA Ghana seeks a Research & Project Development Coordinator to contribute to the management and development of research projects in multiple sectors, including, but not limited to education, agriculture, financial inclusion, health and governance. In addition to overseeing a portfolio of 1 to 2 research projects, the Research & Project Development Coordinator will invest a significant portion of their time engaging with local and global stakeholders to develop new research projects and embed existing evidence, in alignment with Ghana’s goals and challenges. Examples of influential and high-profile research borne out of the IPA Ghana office which will become part of the incumbent’s research and policy discussions include the  Impacts of Teacher Training and Parental Education on Kindergarten Quality,

    Disseminating Innovative Resources and Technologies for Smallholders and the Graduation from Ultra Poor studies.

    The Research & Project Development 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 also contribute to the development of new projects, policy outreach, and capacity building. Developing and fostering good relationships with local stakeholders and implementing partners, such as the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Ghana Health Service is another core element of the Research & Project Development Coordinator role.

    This position will be based in Accra, Ghana.


    Research Coordination (50%): The Research & Project Development Coordinator (RPDC) will be responsible for the overall management of a portfolio of 1-2 research projects. Each of these projects is expected to be staffed with a permanent team of 1 to 3 staff and up to 50-100 short term staff during survey periods.

    In particular, as part of the research component of the position, the RPDC will:

    • Manage the projects in the RPDC’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 project staff, with an eye on their professional growth;
    • Keep the 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;
    • 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; and
    • Support the dissemination of interim results via presentations and reports to non-academic audiences.

    Project Development & Project Development Coordination (50%): The Research & Project Development Coordinator (RPDC) will also be responsible for helping develop new education research projects for the IPA Ghana office and engaging with local stakeholders.

    In particular, as part of the policy component of the position, the Research & Project Development Coordinator will:

    • In collaboration with the Country Director and the Policy team, develop and continuously review and adapt as needed, a project development and policy engagement strategy for the various sectors;
    • Develop new and manage existing relationships with IPA partner organizations and principal investigators to enhance the relevance and influence of IPA Ghana’s research, support targeted dissemination of research findings, encourage scale-up of successful projects;
    • Identify priority research questions and key concerns for policy makers in the various sectors, and initiate and manage the development of corresponding new research proposals;
    • Represent IPA at local (and potentially regional and global) forums focused on priority sectors, identified in collaboration with the Country Director and Policy team, including work groups, tasks forces, advisory committees, conferences, etc.
    • Lead and initiate a portfolio of project development efforts with researchers, funders, and partner organizations;
    • Help develop and implement capacity building efforts in rigorous evaluation to local stakeholders and funders;
    • Develop IPA Ghana specific resources for project development and ensure all internal project development files, folders and tracking systems are up to date; and
    • Support the development of new projects in other sectors, as needed.


    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;
    • Highly proficient in complex work planning and project management;
    • Skilled at building relationships with senior leaders and government officials and presenting technical opinions in an objective manner;
    • Ability to work independently and pro-actively with minimum oversight;
    • Strong critical thinking and judgment to quickly identify problems and devise solutions as well as escalate matters as needed;
    • Proven ability to handle multiple diverse assignments at one time successfully complete assigned tasks and meet deadlines while conducting high-quality work;
    • 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 developing research proposals and fundraising strategies. Grant management experience with donors such as USAID, DFID, UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, and National Science Foundation is strongly preferred.
    • Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English is required.
    • Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies required;
    • Strong quantitative, budgeting, and financial management skills required;
    • Ability to present research findings, including to non-research focused audiences; and
    • Passion for making data-driven decision a reality in the development field

    We are looking for a commitment period of three years for this position.

    Method of Application

    Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research and Project Development 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.

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