Innovations for Poverty Action’s Commitments to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

As a global nonprofit, IPA is committed to strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workforce, with our partnerships, and through our work to reduce global poverty with rigorous evidence. We recognize that advancing these values makes our work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those we work with and for. We further recognize that it is incumbent upon us to question and act upon—instead of reproduce—the structural inequities present in development and academia. It is our ambition to direct our own work toward impact that is equitable for, empowering to, and driven by people living in the countries where we work; to ensure IPA’s policies, practices, and culture reflect the diversity of its workforce, globally; to create opportunities for staff, partners, and researchers in the countries where we work; and to influence others involved in global poverty research to do the same.

To that end, we make the following commitments:


IPA recognizes and prioritizes equitable inclusion of differences within our staff, and their values, beliefs, experiences, and preferences, including but not limited to age, disability, educational background, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and socio-economic status. We want to foster an environment where all individuals are welcomed, respected, valued, supported, and empowered to do their best by:

  • Establishing organizational commitment and accountability measures through the development of a DEI strategy and governance body
  • Creating and rolling out mechanisms for standardized, routine measurement and analysis of diversity, inclusion, and equity data across all levels of the organization 
  • Introducing resources and training opportunities for all levels of staff to build capacity for DEI topics such as implicit bias, team effectiveness, inclusive leadership, and accountability in the workplace
  • Developing and sharing an equitable and transparent compensation philosophy across the organization
  • Conducting review and external expert outreach to learn best practices in supporting LGBTQ populations in international development 
  • Developing tools and resources to support effective interactions between staff and principal investigators (PIs), such as PI onboarding, tailored to specific countries where appropriate, that introduces PIs from outside that country to norms of engagement, good communication habits, and more


As a global organization, our staff should reflect the diversity of the places where we work and the communities we work with. IPA is committed to hiring a diverse and qualified workforce at all levels, which starts with strengthening our recruitment practices to ensure job opportunities are accessible to qualified applicants regardless of backgrounds and experiences. We recognize that diversity in hiring is not enough, but that we also need to offer the support, challenges, and opportunities necessary to retain and advance the careers of all staff. We will do this by:

  • Reviewing and increasing inclusive and equitably accessible professional development and promotion opportunities
  • Assessing and updating policies and procedures to ensure the recruitment and hiring process is accessible and equitable to qualified candidates regardless of their values, beliefs, experiences, and preferences. Examples include but are not limited to: 
    • Proactively diversifying our recruitment networks
    • Ensuring job descriptions use inclusive language
    • Establishing diverse search committees and strengthening our assessment strategy 


It is not enough for our workforce to be diverse; we must also enable and reflect our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our research, and in our partnerships with researchers, implementing organizations, and governments. We believe our ability to generate high-quality evidence and advance evidence-informed programs and policies is dependent on working with researchers who are from the countries where the research and policy work takes place. These researchers bring diverse perspectives and contextual knowledge to research studies and the policy contexts. We will do this by:

  • Addressing barriers that challenge early-career and low- and middle-income country (LMIC) researchers from participating in research opportunities by taking actions such as: 
    • Facilitating matchmaking and information sharing among researchers and prospective researchers through research workshops and networking events 
    • Standardizing design and management of our competitive funding calls, including funding for project development support and pilot grants 
    • Strengthening paid national internship programs across country offices for Masters and PhD students to support professional and pipeline development of future researchers


It is not enough for IPA’s research to contribute to academic knowledge and theory; it must also answer urgent social questions, have equitable and empowering impact, and be driven by people living in the countries where we work. Likewise, our communications must reflect and foster the same beliefs and values driving our work. We will do this by:

  • Embedding DEI in regular IPA communications, and continuing to challenge stereotypical views of poverty and development
  • Developing regional communications strategies that resonate with and elevate the communities and stakeholders we work with
  • Continuing to pursue research opportunities where we can support economic and social justice efforts
  • Exploring measurement approaches for social justice and advocacy interventions
  • Building methods expertise in increasing participation of underrepresented populations in research

To help us gauge our progress towards the above commitments, we aim to achieve the corresponding targets:

  • By 2025, we aim to be publishing an annual DEI scorecard for IPA operations, research, and our partnerships.
  • By 2025, 90 percent of staff will be fluent with and have received annual anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training.
  • By 2022, we will have an equitable and transparent compensation philosophy in place.
  • By 2022, we will have improved policies and procedures in place to maximize diverse qualified candidate pools, and ensure an equitable and inclusive hiring process.  
  • By 2025, we aim to have 65 percent of IPA’s country leadership from the countries or regions where we work. We also commit to increasing female country and regional leadership to at least 50 percent. Likewise, we will increase the proportion of global leaders hired in LMIC countries where we work, and double the proportion of global leadership who are Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) or from Africa, Asia, Central or South America, and the Middle East. 
  • By 2025, our goal is for 35 percent of teams funded by IPA through competitive grants to include LMIC researchers and correspondingly, 35 percent of funds to go to grantee teams with LMIC researchers. We are committed to ensuring that at least 60 percent of IPA-related projects include LMIC researchers.

If you would like to contact IPA's DEI working group, please reach out to us.