Associate Director of Policy, Francophone West Africa

Associate Director of Policy, Francophone West Africa

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We thank all applicants for their interest. This position has been reposted, if you had applied for the previous posting (Head of Policy & Right Fit Evidence Unit), we have your application. There is no need to re-apply for this role. Thank you for understanding.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is seeking an Associate Director of Policy to lead its policy impact in Francophone West Africa (FWA). This exciting leadership role will take on a portfolio of high-profile projects including strengthening evidence use within government in education, early childhood development, and employment. You will report primarily to IPA’s Country Director for Francophone West Africa, and also work closely with the Right-Fit Evidence Unit at IPA, and advisory team focused on helping organizations efficiently use data and evidence to learn and adapt their programs to increase effectiveness.


As the Associate Director of Policy, you will oversee a team of approximately 5-6 Associates, Senior Associates and Coordinators working on various engagements, with an eye on their professional development. Specifically, you will:

Lead IPA’s Policy Strategy in Francophone West Africa, in coordination with the Country Director

  • Cultivate relationships with key top-level decision-makers in multiple sectors (including the education, early childhood, and employment sectors in Côte d’Ivoire), particularly those with decision-making authority over identified evidence-to-impact opportunities.
  • In support of the Country Director and in collaboration with IPA researchers, represent IPA in policy conversations and at events, and train and coach other country office staff on their own policy outreach.
  • Develop IPA’s embedded lab program in Francophone West Africa, which aims to support selected government ministries to collect and use data and evidence for decision making.
  • Launch high impact policy opportunities, including scale-up technical assistance, and either manage engagements personally with global policy staff support, or collaborate with the country director and global teams to raise funds to hire additional in-country policy staff to realize these opportunities.

Support Right-Fit Evidence engagements

  • As the primary senior point of contact for a wide range of clients (foundations, government agencies, NGOs, private companies, etc.), work closely with a team of RFE unit staff to develop tailor-made solutions for their Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) needs, and support their implementation.
  • Design and facilitate various kinds of external MEL-related workshops.
  • Support other RFE team members in the design, implementation, write-up, and presentation of various types of engagements, studies, and analysis, keeping an eye on quality, budgets, and timelines at the same time as impact.
  • Support the development of new RFE engagements, both self-initiated and assigned, including through the cultivation of fundraising opportunities.

When joining, the successful candidate will start by overseeing a large portfolio-engagement involving the provision of technical assistance and independent evaluation to a wide range of government, NGO, and philanthropic partners in the education and early childhood sectors in Côte d’Ivoire, with the overarching goal of helping players in those sectors make better use of data and evidence.


We are seeing four typical profiles that could fit this position particularly well (and if you don’t fall in any of these categories but feel like you meet the qualifications below, please do apply as well!)

  • Management consultants with international development experience who would be excited in a career shift to an entrepreneurial and impact-focused environment leveraging their skillset.
  • M&E practitioners who are interested in broadening their scope and impact on the field by advising multiple organizations on state-of-the-art MEL and research practices.
  • Researchers and research management professionals in international development who enjoy working closely with practitioners and are interested in broadening their scope to all the types of data and evidence that can inform policy and practice, and ensure evidence leads to large-scale impact.
  • Public sector partners, consultants, or experts who have had extensive experience working closely with governments in Africa and can also demonstrate a strong technical understanding of MEL and research.

Required qualifications

Master’s degree in international development, economics, public policy, public health, education policy, social sciences, or a related field, including coursework in quantitative methods. MBAs also welcome.

  • 6-15 years of experience, including significant experience in the development and/or humanitarian sectors.
  • Basic level of interest in M&E/research experience while motivated by data and evidence for decision making.
  • Experience working in developing countries.
  • Superior analytical, quantitative, conceptual, and critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and train others on technical matters.
  • Strong communication and relationship building and management skills for high level interactions.
  • Strong client facing and presentation skills with the ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally, to a variety of audiences.
  • Experience working with government stakeholders, and understanding of government policy making processes, systems for nation-wide program implementation and development financing is highly desirable.
  • Self-starter approach, growth mindset, versatility, and strong multi-tasking skills.
  • Complete fluency in both French and English.
  • Passion for making evidence-informed policy-making a reality

Desired qualifications

  • Experience working in Francophone Africa. Applicants coming from the region are particularly encouraged to apply, even though the position is open to all applicants.
  • Experience working on policy outreach, research or MEL on programs relating to early childhood developmentand/or basic education
  • Experience in management consulting or other professional services
  • Deeper MEL/research experience including familiarity with tools and debates around M&E and the use of evidence.
  • Understanding of causal inference and Randomized Control Trials (RCTs)
  • Experience supervising quantitative and qualitative data collection
  • Exposure to common M&E and statistical software

Application Instructions 

Apply now

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 600 leading academics to conduct over 900 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

IPA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) 

As an organization, IPA is dedicated to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations through evidence and policy. We also recognize how important it is for our staff to reflect the diversity of the places where we work and the communities we work with. As such, IPA is committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates, from a range of backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. We know that this makes our work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those we work with and for and we encourage people from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Click here to learn more about IPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Innovations for Poverty Action is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer. 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 1-202-386-6200. 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.