Project Development Associate

Project Development Associate

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For purposes of attracting candidates with research/NGO sector business development experience, the position is currently advertised as Project Development Associate (PDA).  
Please note that at contracting of the successful candidate, the Business Development Associate (BDA) job title will be used for internal consistency with IPA Global Job structure and Titles.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a rapidly growing global organization, with extensive operations in 20 focus countries, including Uganda. We design innovative, cutting-edge approaches to solving development problems, rigorously evaluate these programs and promote the adoption of those with proven impact. This occurs both through the dissemination of results to policy makers, practitioners, and donors, as well as through supporting the large-scale implementation of evidence-based programs. In Uganda, IPA has an established local body of evidence in the education, health, governance, and financial inclusion sectors. We have conducted research studies on market linkages for smallholder farmers, the provision of sexual and reproductive health advice via SMR, the success of government intervention to combat youth unemployment in post-conflict settings such as Northern Uganda and the use of mobile technology to enhance communication between levels of the health system and to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health is a key health priority.

The Project Development Associate (PDA) will play a key role in the growth of new business for IPA Rwanda and Uganda and with additional business development support to other East Africa offices. The BDA will work closely with country office leadership to grow IPA’s project portfolio by developing new projects with researchers and partner organizations and preparing proposals for funding opportunities as they arise.


The Project Development Associate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Work with country office leadership to develop new research studies in collaboration with principal investigators and partner organizations. Prepare project budgets and proposals in response to funding opportunities, at times under tight deadlines.
  • Outreach to new researchers, partner organizations, and funders to share IPA’s work and explore potential opportunities for collaboration
  • Maintain engagement with current/past researchers and partners with the aim of developing new projects and expanding existing projects
  • Working closely with IPA’s global business development team and be an active member of IPA’s global business development community of practice
  • Coordinate country offices and global teams in the development of large-scale funding proposals for East Africa
  • Identify and track funding opportunities, donor interests, actual/potential competition
  • Coordinate record-keeping of proposals through updating of Salesforce and PD trackers
  • Seek feedback from funders on proposals that are not successful
  • Develop training/onboarding materials for project development
  • Lead staff trainings on the budget template (specifically as it relates to new budgets at the proposal stage) and on project development


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field, such as economics, public policy, international development, business administration, Master’s degree preferred
  • At least seven years of relevant work experience in project management, research oversight, and business development
  • Strong budgeting skills; experience with writing project reports and grant proposals, preferably in the Not-for-profit NGO space/industry.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate with internal and external customers
  • Experience supervising staff and coordinating teams in complex projects
  • Ability to engage and network with a wide range of audiences: researchers, policy makers, practitioners
  • A desire to commit to this position for at least one year
  • Excellent computer proficiency (MS Office – Word, Excel and Outlook)
  • Must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines, while maintaining a positive attitude and providing exemplary customer service to IPA’s partners and PIs
  • Ability to work independently and to carry out assignments to completion within parameters of instructions given, prescribed routines, and standard accepted practices

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated successful entrepreneurial experience or demanding professional work experience in developing country settings
  • Experience with randomized control trials and/or applied statistics

Application Instructions

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the APPROPRIATE CATEGORY job category, then select “Project Development Associate”. 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.

Reports to

Deputy Country Director

Deadline to apply

Rolling basis

Desired start date