Francophone West Africa Project Development (Student Volunteer)

Francophone West Africa Project Development (Student Volunteer)

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Please Note:  Due to COVID-19 IPA Student Volunteerships will be remote until further notice.

The Francophone West Africa, Sierra Leone and Liberia country offices are developing new research projects in its various sectors: Employment; Education; Consumer Protection; Energy; Agriculture; Peace & Recovery; Social Protection; Governance and Health. This involves in-depth reviews of existing academic literature, conducting preliminary research and interviews with local experts, coordination with local partner organizations, research design, and the preparation of grant applications.

Position Summary

The Student Volunteer(s) will work closely with the IPA Francophone West Africa, Sierra Leone and Liberia Project Development team on all aspects of new project development. The post would be well suited to a candidate with a strong technical and theoretical background with interest in gaining experience in how to design and execute impact evaluations in practice. The Student Volunteer(s) will have the opportunity to contribute to identifying funding opportunities, developing proposals to donors, securing grant funding for research, identifying potential Global North and Global South researchers, creating systems for enhanced efficiency in project development and attending various business development meetings with external stakeholders and potential partners. Note that while there may be opportunities for travel within the countries and some field work, most, if not all, of the work will be office-based. Candidates should expect to spend at least 80% of the time working on grant applications and stakeholder & donor mapping.


  • Bachelor’s Degree (minimum) preferred in Political Sciences, International Relations or Economics.
  • Interest in development issues
  • Good understanding of impact evaluation methodologies (particularly randomized controlled trials) and terminology;
  • Academic background
  • Comfortable doing background research on organizations, development sectors or funding;
  • Excellent writing, analytical, synoptic, and communication skills (English and French);
  • Ability to work with autonomy, self-starter and reliable
  • Candidates should expect to be available for a minimum of 10 weeks up to 16 weeks, should be flexible and self-disciplined;
  • Previous experience working in a developing country is a plus

Reports to

Policy and Project Development Coordinator

Deadline to apply

Rolling basis


2-3 months


Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Bamako, Mali, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Monrovia, Liberia, Freetown (or remote depending on the COVID-19 evolution), Sierra Leone

Application Instructions

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 FWA/SLL - Project Development – Student Volunteer


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.