Senior Research and Policy Associate (Embedded Lab)

Senior Research and Policy Associate (Embedded Lab)

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IPA Uganda is seeking an Embedded Lab Sr. Policy and Research Associate to collaborate closely with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) in Uganda to strengthen its capacity to use evidence to improve its programs and policies. IPA is working with MoES to set up an “Ed Lab” to enable government partners at both the national and district levels to use data and rigorous research to design, test, and scale evidence-based programs and policies to improve learning for students.

The Embedded Lab Sr. Policy and Research Associate will be accountable for IPA’s support to the Ed Lab from both a policy and research perspective. The Sr. Policy and Research Associate will lead the relationship with the government partners and other key education stakeholders, coordinate activities, and manage project scope, delivery, and finances.

Given the dynamic nature of working with government stakeholders from national to school-levels, the Sr. Policy and Research Associate will be highly skilled in adaptive management and negotiation, revising project activities and timelines to support the Ed Lab. We particularly encourage Ugandan nationals to apply. The Sr. Policy and Research Associate will report to Sr. Policy and Research Manager with dotted line oversight from the Global Policy team.


The Sr. Policy and Research Associate will perform a variety of tasks related to leveraging existing data and developing
new research projects to drive greater use of evidence within the Ministry and the broader education sector. For
example, the Sr. Policy and Research Associate may conduct activities including but not limited to:

  • Leading the development of relationships with key local top-level decision-makers in the education sector and ensure the project has their buy-in and input
  • Directly supervising a highly functioning team to develop the Ed Lab, paying particular attention to their professional growth
  • Leading work planning and project management to ensure effective and timely implementation of our work
  • In collaboration with researchers and in support of the country director, representing IPA locally in policy conversations and at events
  • Directly overseeing project financial management, including supporting the creation of the project’s operating budget, being accountable for ongoing budget management, and developing and monitoring activity-specific budgets for the project
  • Leading donor reporting
  • Developing a policy-driven research agenda for the lab and facilitating the development of research projects
  • to respond to the agenda
  • Leading the development of relationships with local and international academics to provide input into the lab’s policy-driven research agenda
  • Working together with the Country Office and global policy and communications teams to lead and/or participate in strategic events for policy purposes, including but not limited to summits, conferences, workshops, technical working groups, and round tables. Supporting researchers and country management to participate


  • Master’s degree in economics, development, international relations, public administration, public policy or a closely related field and 4 or more years of relevant experience, including at least 3 years of experience working closely with large NGOs and national government officials in Uganda; or a Bachelor’s degree in economics, development, international relations, public administration, public policy or a closely related field and 6 or more years of relevant experience. Exceptions may be made for excellent candidates who do not meet this criterion
  • Hands-on experience supporting Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems
  • Experience working in the education sector of a developing country, ideally in close interaction with
    government stakeholders
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to clearly present information in a structured, non-technical, and insightful way.
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills, attention to detail, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility, and strong multi-tasking skills
  • Superior analytical, quantitative, and conceptual thinking skills
  • Ability to supervise staff and manage projects independently
  • Willingness to be a team player and identify connections between work streams
  • Cultural and political sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies
  • Passion for making data-driven decision-making a reality in the development sector

Preferred additional qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to coach and train others in statistics, data analysis or MEL methodologies
  • Background in development programs relating to education
  • Experience working with government
  • Familiarity with the concepts surrounding the Theory of Change and the core tools of MEL (both quantitative and qualitative research methods)

Application Instructions 

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 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.