Please note:  IPA Volunteerships are unpaid. 

Poverty Measurement / Poverty Probability Index (PPI): The PPI is a poverty measurement tool for organizations and businesses with a mission to serve the poor. The PPI is a country- specific, statistically sound, yet simple to use tool: the answers to 10 questions about a household’s characteristics and asset ownership are scored to compute the likelihood that the household is living below the poverty line.  With the PPI, organizations can integrate objective poverty data on the people they serve into their assessments and strategic decision-making.

Position Summary:  

The Poverty Measurement development team at IPA is responsible for the improvement of the statistical learning model, analyzing household survey data to update the PPI for each country, and creating some of the PPI’s dissemination materials. The team seeks a volunteer with strong computational skills to contribute to the development of the tool for several countries. The volunteer will:

  1. Learn about data science for predictive modeling in international development
  2. Explore and analyze household survey data from several countries
  3. Create PPI documents and tools for users
  4. Automate a piece of the PPI development workflow, depending on his/her skills and interests
  5. Come to understand the development process of a tool that help more than 500 organizations reach the poorest people in the world

This position will give the student the opportunity to expand quantitative and computational skills, while gaining experience developing tools that make a global impact. We are looking for someone with the ambition and maturity to thrive as part of a small, non-hierarchical team with a big vision and a big mandate.

  • Pursuing a master’s or bachelor’s degree in statistics, economics, social science, or related field
  • Spanish and/or French language skills (at least 2 semesters, ideally in both languages)
  • Working knowledge of Stata, R or other open source language used for data analysis
  • Advanced skills in Excel (preferred but not required)
  • Experience working with household surveys from developing countries (preferred but not required)
  • Innovative, curious, creative, and willing to learn new skills to create something from scratch
  • Productive and positive worker both independently and collaboratively
  • Interest in machine/statistical learning to solve problems related to alleviating poverty in developing countries
Application Instructions 

1) Send a resume and a cover letter to

  • In the email body: Put your full name, first (given) name followed by last (family) name.
  • Attachments: Please attach your resume and cover letter.
  • In the subject line: Copy exactly the following position line: IPA Poverty Measurement – Student Volunteer Project
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 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

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