Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. As its core business, 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. IPA has conducted hundreds of randomized evaluations across sectors, learning both whether programs work, and how they can work better.

IPA is seeking a Research Associate to join its Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) Socio Emotional Skills (SES) project with the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) to assess the returns to socio-emotional skills training for people working in the agri-business sector. IPA and GIL are working with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to carry out a randomized control trial across six states in Nigeria to increase the understanding of how to effectively deliver these skills and in turn impact individual earnings, employment, and entrepreneurship. This study will contribute to a larger research program studying the impacts of socio-emotional skills in a range of populations and contexts.

The Research Associate will support the Nigeria Country Director and the World Bank GIL to successfully administer and implement a range of research activities including, but not limited to: coordinating research plans with project partners, piloting survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, refining study design, managing survey teams, conducting data cleaning and analysis, drafting working papers and other publications and materials for disseminating research findings.

  • Coordinate the research project development process across all phases: project design, partnership agreements, budgeting and procurement, implementation, and dissemination.
  • Monitor project implementation to ensure quality control and adherence to the research specifications agreed upon.
  • Draft reports, working papers, briefs, blogs, and other materials to disseminate the findings of research.
  • Develop and pilot the survey instruments and manage the translation of the survey into local languages.
  • Build and support project relationships with local stakeholders, including government authorities, multilateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector to successfully implement the research projects. Make decisions and take actions to ensure research partnerships progress on track, and those political dynamics are managed to ensure successful outcomes for the research collaborations.
  • Ensure all data quality protocols are followed including auditing enumerators and performing daily checks of the incoming data; correct the errors of staff iteratively to ensure the data is of the highest quality.
  • Sort, clean, analyze, and report on data and findings from the research projects. 
  • Contribute to the delivery of high-quality policy and research outputs and activities. These include internal and external communications on the progress and outcomes of the research projects.
  • Ensure project deliverables, such as reports and financial statements, are submitted on time.
  • Take joint responsibility for project management, including drafting work plans, budget management, forecasting, and ensuring value for money.
  • 2+ years of relevant work experience in research, international development, and project management.
  • Master’s degree in development economics, international public policy, or a related field.
  • Experience supervising large data collection research projects, including leading survey design, implementation, and data management; background in randomized control trials.
  • Experience working on both quantitative and qualitative data collection.
  • Intermediate/Advanced knowledge of statistical packages such as STATA, R, Python.
  • Demonstrated capacity to produce high-quality publications.
  • Superior analytical, quantitative, and conceptual thinking skills.
  • Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally.
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility, and strong multi-tasking skills.
  • Experience working on sensitive issues related to gender and social norms.
  • Experience with data visualization.
  • Significant applied econometrics skills.
  • Passion for making data-driven decision-making a reality in the development sector.
  • Ability to manage and coordinate diverse teams across stakeholders, including academic researchers, field staff, government and private sector partners.
  • Experience working with diverse teams across multiple locations, including extensive remote locations of team members.
  • Detail-oriented, flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and under pressure.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Associate, APPEALS Socio Emotional Skills Project”. 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 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.