The Takunda Amalima Loko Study is one of the USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) supported studies under IPA’s Social Protection Program evaluation Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSAs) . BHA-supported RFSAs typically provide a combination of interventions to improve the economic and nutritional status of target households, including agricultural extension services, inputs and investments, cash for work programs, vocational training programs, direct food or cash assistance, savings groups, and water and sanitation, and nutrition-focused behavioral change communication campaigns. Current projects include Graduating to Resilience (Uganda), Titukulane (Malawi), Amalima Loko and Takunda (Zimbabwe), with potential for additional projects. Each of these projects has a randomized evaluation or other rigorous research design, often with sub-experiments to evaluate specific project components or test different approaches for improving food security and nutrition for poor households.

IPA Zambia is seeking a highly motivated and qualified individual with outstanding project management, data analysis, people management and communication skills as a Research Associate (RA) to support the implementation of the Takunda Amalima Loko Study. The RA will serve as the central point of contact for IPA research projects supported by BHA and the Implementer-Led Evaluation and Learning (IMPEL) Associate Award led by Save the Children. The RA will work with BHA, SC, and implementing partners (including CARE and CNFA) as well as leading academic researchers (at IPA and Northwestern University and other top schools) and IPA country office in Zambia to ensure that projects are carried out on time and at the highest quality. As an ideal candidate, you should not only have a rock-solid technical foundation in impact evaluation methodology, but should also be able to independently guide and direct the activities that happen both upstream and downstream of any rigorous, randomized evaluation. You should enjoy leading high-performing teams that drive the production of the highest quality research for our clients and partners. You should excel in solving problems using clear, strategic, and creative thinking. You should have a strong social acumen, and be excited about the opportunity to broaden, deepen, and manage meaningful relationships with high-level clients and partners across the public and private sector. We are looking for a minimum commitment period of two years for this position with a possibility for a longer-term position for exceptional candidates.


The Research Associate will perform a variety of tasks related to managing day-to-day research activities, from planning to implementation, and monitoring quality. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Plan, conduct and lead field research including training field staff, team planning and logistics, and data collection
  • Create annual project plans
  • Assist in questionnaire development - conduct pilot survey exercises, provide feedback on field operations and survey instruments, and refine and finalize survey instruments in collaboration with the Principal Investigators
  • Managing 1-2 long term project staff • Recruiting, training, supervising and evaluating field-based teams
  • Supervising and monitoring data collection to ensure high-quality of the data
  • Running data quality checks and fixing issues with data collected during data collection
  • Assisting in data cleaning and preliminary analysis and ensuring ready access to all data for researchers and/or supervisors
  • Ensure that research data and outputs are stored in a confidential and systematic fashion
  • Documenting in detail all activities related to the project
  • Maintaining accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary
  • Preparing high-quality progress and results reports to PIs, research partners, and funding agencies, and sharing them timely
  • Providing timely updates and responses to partner organizations, and participating in meetings with key stakeholders
  • Managing project finances including budgeting, expense tracking and financial reporting
  • Ensuring that all team members follow necessary protocols and procedures • Handling day to day PI and partner communication


  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, or other quantitative social science disciplines
  • Quantitative Skills: Demonstrated proficiency in Stata,  
  • and experience with data management, and data cleaning
  • A minimum of 1-year of work experience is required.
  • Excellent management and organizational skills; ability to successfully completing assigned tasks and meeting deadlines, required
  • Communication Skills: strong oral and written communication skills in the English language required
  • Master’s degree preferred
  • Experience managing field work/staff in developing countries strongly preferred
Application Instructions 
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.