IPA Francophone West Africa (FWA)/Sierra Leone and Liberia (SLL) is seeking an early career professional interested in working for a leading international research organization. Ideal candidates will be ambitious, excited to learn and eager to take-on new tasks in IPA’s fast paced Business Development and Country Office (CO) team. In this position the Project Development Associate will support BD and CO staff, gaining knowledge and skills in grant writing, the operations of an international non-profit, and promoting evidence based programs.

The Project Development Associate has three broad sets of responsibilities. The first is to provide Development coordination and technical support to our country programs. This will include taking the lead on several core, cross-cutting support processes and also contributing to support processes led by other members of the BD and CO team in FWA and SLL. Second, they will provide targeted, strategic support to particularly relevant or complex opportunities, including writing, editing, and packaging proposals; coordinating with multiple internal and external stakeholders; leading other targeted support activities, as needed. Third, they will contribute to outreach to organizations in the countries of operation through identifying, vetting, and sharing information on new potential funding opportunities and collaboration both internally and externally; and developing and improving the IPA COs' Business Development  resources and processes, including the maintenance of our guidelines and memos on BD processes and systems.


The Project Development Associate’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  1.  Support and increasingly lead new project development in the FWA offices. In particular, as part of the project development component of the position, the Project Development Associate will:
    • In collaboration with the Country Director, Research Managers/Coordinators and the CO and Global Business Development team, develop and continuously review and adapt as needed, a project development and stakeholder engagement strategy for the various sectors;
    • Recruit and manage a team of 2-4 student volunteers;
    • Lead and initiate a portfolio of project development efforts with researchers, funders, and partner organizations;
    • Identify priority research questions and key concerns for policy makers in the various sectors, and initiate and manage the development of corresponding new research proposals;
    • Propose cost structures and budgets for potential funding opportunities and proposals;
    • Ensure that institutional arrangements are taken care of to submit proposals applications – in line with the donors’ deadlines and requirements – and collaborate with the Grants team and the Business Development team to submit research proposals and set-up new grant awards;
    • Develop new and manage existing relationships with IPA partner organizations and principal investigators to enhance the relevance and influence of IPA’s research, support targeted dissemination of research findings, encourage scale-up of successful projects;
    • Represent IPA at local (and potentially regional and global) forums focused on priority sectors, identified in collaboration with the Country Directors and Policy team, including work groups, tasks forces, advisory committees, conferences, etc.;
    • In coordination with the Global business Development team develop resources for project development and ensure all internal project development files, folders and tracking systems are up to date.
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in economics, political science, international development, public policy, or other related field;
  • A minimum of 1-3 years of work experience in similar positions and business development experience;
  • Excellent project and partnership management skills;
  • Experience in developing research projects, experience with budgeting and project planning;
  • Previous experience working on fundraising with public and private donors;
  • Demonstrated experience in research and policy engagement;
  • Passion for connecting rigorous impact evaluation research to policy-makers and practitioners and communicating what works in development;
  • Experience in grants and contracts management, preferably in a research setting;
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently;
  • Experience working in sub-Saharan Africa preferred;
  • Advanced communication and presentation skills in French and English.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Project Development Associate, Francophone West Africa”.  Applications require you to include a statement of purpose (cover letter), and CV. 

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

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