IPA seeks a Country Representative to oversee its Malawi office. The Country Representative will be based in Lilongwe with travels across the country as required. The CR will work with IPA Global and key stakeholders to set the strategic direction for IPA in Malawi to develop and oversee multiple simultaneous impact evaluations in a variety of sectors, rural development, financial inclusion, governance, education, and public health. The position provides the opportunity to guide the research program in Malawi, spend time in the field, direct in-country operations and to interact closely with academic researchers, local government agencies, donors, and other NGOs.

The Country Representative, supported by the IPA Regional Director, will provide overarching oversight to all project and office operations, lead strategic planning for the country program, oversee finance and operations teams, build and strengthen systems for high-quality data collection, provide capacity building of local staff and partners, and lead the dissemination of results to local practitioners and policymakers. The Country Representative will also contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by initiating new partnerships and developing new research projects in Malawi.

The Country Representative will supervise a team comprising human resources, finance, operations, and field research staff, including both local and international employees, as well as up to hundreds of short-term field enumerators at any given time. IPA Malawi is also supported by finance and administrative staff from the IPA Kenya team.


Ensure high-quality   research (40-60%)

  • Work closely with project staff to ensure that projects meet all of IPA research and administrative protocols as well as the quality standards of the independent researchers (Principal Investigators)
  • Oversee project design and budgeting during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards
  • Build systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality, including developing computer-assisted interviewing (CAl) capacity in the office
  • Directly supervise project research staff, and help with transitions, on-boarding of new research staff and maintaining institutional memory of project activities
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take the lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal training

Oversee finances and ensure sound operations of IPA Malawi (20%)

  • Manage a team of Research Associates/Coordinators, whose responsibilities include project design and implementation, data collection, data management and analysis, and reports;
  • Hire and supervise additional support staff, as needed
  • Oversee basic administrative tasks related to the management of the Malawi office, create and manage project budgets, participate in grant reporting, and other financial management tasks
  • Ensure proper compliance with financial procedures, approve expenditures, make accurate projections and ensure overall compliance

Lead Country Program development and manage external relations (20-40%)

  • Build IPA's presence and portfolio of research studies in Malawi
  • Work with IPA Global, researchers and partners to initiate and manage the development of new research proposals, including both the technical design as well as identifying and applying for funding support.
  • Identify priority research questions and key concerns for policymakers in Malawi
  • Build and manage relationships with current and potential IPA partner organizations in the implementation of interventions whose effect we are researching
  • Develop new relationships with researchers, government agencies, local organizations, and others to explore opportunities for collaboration
  • Represent IPA at national and regional conferences and events
  • Liaise with internationally based and local Principal Investigators, IPA headquarters and other country programs
  • Disseminate results via local and international presentations, reports, and publications
  • Lead IPA's policy impact efforts in Malawi, by ensuring that policy impact plans of Malawi are in strategic alignment with IPA's overall policy strategy of impact.

Mitigate and manage risks (5-10%)

  • Set security standards and parameters for work and ensure that the IPA staff follow security measures.
  • Monitor security concerns for IPA operations and act as the primary contact in crisis management.
  • Master’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, or a field related to international economic development;
  • A minimum of 4 years of relevant work experience, including 3 years in a management position;
  • Strong quantitative skills and familiarity with randomized controlled trials;
  • Experience in developing research projects, experience with budgeting and project planning;
  • Passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works in development;
  • Commitment to leading a diverse team in a multicultural environment and building staff capacity;
  • Ability to communicate effectively across cultures with multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants;
  • Significant exposure to human resources and financial management;
  • Experience in grants and contracts management, preferably in a research setting;
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently;
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player; 
  • Experience living and working in Africa; 
  • Fluency in English is required; strong oral and written communication skills.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Country Representative, Malawi”. Applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

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. 


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 jobs@poverty-action.org 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 jobs@poverty-action.org.

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