Senior Program Associate

Senior Program Associate

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Position Summary

The Social Protection Program (SPP) at Innovations for Poverty Action partners with governments and other implementers working to move households out of extreme poverty by creating economic opportunities for the poor. IPA has a growing body of research on identifying and scaling effective social protection programs, including cash transfers, graduation programs, and job training. The program does this through investing in research project development with researchers, implementing partners, and IPA country offices; providing technical assistance to research projects, and interacting with implementing partners and policymakers to disseminate evidence and equip them to make use of emerging research. 

SPP has supported research projects that aim to unpack and scale multifaceted programs for the very poor in nearly 20 countries in collaboration with a wide range of leading researchers and academic institutions. In large part because of this support, the number of rigorous impact evaluations within SPP’s thematic scope has increased significantly. This includes work with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) on a portfolio of Resilience and Food Security Activities (RFSA) in East and Southern Africa; work with GiveDirectly on cash transfers and Universal Basic Income (UBI) programs in Kenya; and a government-led Adaptive Social Protection Program with the World Bank across four countries in the Sahel.

Beyond generating new evidence, SPP is ambitious in its efforts to inform policy and practice. This includes widely disseminating study results, developing policy-relevant evaluations, and working with stakeholders in the sector to be better producers and users of evidence.

The (Senior) Program Associate plays a key role in the successful implementation of the Social Protection Program's strategic vision and will support project development and policy impact goals. 


The Senior Program Associate plays a key role in the successful implementation of the Social Protection Program strategic vision and will support project development and policy impact goals. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Project Development:

  • Supporting project development activities, including but not limited to liaising with researchers implementing organizations, and coordinating collaboration 
  • Contributing to fundraising efforts by identifying funding opportunities, prospecting donors, and supporting the development of concept notes and proposals 
  • Liaising with IPA country offices to support their project development efforts 

Policy Outreach and Communications:

  • Working closely with other program staff to conduct policy outreach activities, including planning events and creating and disseminating knowledge products that synthesize research results with existing knowledge
  • Coordinating internal communication activities, such as outreach to country offices
  • ​Creating original content via blogs and other pieces 

Project Coordination: 

  • Tracking grants and projects in SPP’s portfolio, through the detailed review of grant deliverables and regular communication with research teams 
  • Liaising internally with relevant IPA teams such as research support, programs, grants, legal, finance, global operations and external relations
  • Supporting grant reporting to donors 
  • Management of SPP’s Salesforce records 
  • Contribute to the implementation of IPA’s diversity, equality, and inclusion strategy, including tracking SPP’s progress against organizational metrics
  • Other activities that support SPP to achieve its research and policy impact goals

If hired as a Senior Associate, responsibilities may also include the following: 

  • Supporting SPP's targeted engagement with key policy stakeholders
  • In some cases, leading grant reporting to donors 
  • Potentially overseeing interns or other staff supporting SPP 



Education and/or Work Experience Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics, political science, public policy, or related fields
  • 1-3 years of work experience in international development or a related field for Associate-level staff, at least three years of work experience for Senior Associate-level staff
  • Demonstrated project management skills, including attention to operational and research detail, and ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects efficiently.
  • ​Excellent communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively and clearly with internal and external stakeholders using cogent, precise, non-technical language.
  • ​Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally 
  • Flexibility, self-motivation, willingness to learn, and a team-oriented attitude


  • Demonstrated knowledge of topics related to social protection and/or impact evaluation methodologies, in particular, randomized controlled trials (preferred) 
  • Proficiency with Excel (preferred)


IPA's compensation structure is designed based on the labor market for the specific geographic location where the employee is located.  We are offering the following salary ranges for this position:

-  C1 is classified as Senior Professional on IPA's global job structure.
-  For US-based employees, the starting annual gross salary is $53k with a maximum of 65k

- The salary for locations outside of the US will vary depending on IPA's salary scale ranges for that specific location.

Actual base salary may vary based upon, but not limited to, relevant experience, base salary of internal peers, business sector, and geographic location.

Reports to

Director, Social Protection


US-based (with a preference for NYC or DC)

Application Instructions

Click here to apply now!

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 830 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.