Research Associate at IPA | April 2024

April 30, 2024
Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Position Summary

Requisition ID: 1644

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) seeks two Research Associates for the Applied Research and Methods (ARM) group. Candidates will be considered to work on the Poverty Measurement team and Research Methods Initiative. 

The Poverty Measurement initiative enables researchers and social sector organizations to measure poverty rates and develop tools to better target impoverished and vulnerable households. This includes collaborating on development and maintenance of the Poverty Probability Index (PPI), a widely used tool for low-cost survey-based poverty measurement, as well as collaboration with partner organizations to develop cutting-edge methods for poverty measurement. 

The Research Methods Initiative, also housed within ARM, is a collaboration with the Northwestern University’s Global Poverty Research Lab to conduct and disseminate research on the most innovative methods for study design, fieldwork implementation, questionnaire development, and measurement. 

The Research Associates will support the team with data analysis and project management for the PPI and external research products for the ARM group. The position will provide the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects, engage with IPA’s research partners, and participate in different parts of the research process, including manuscript preparation and grant proposal writing, depending on the candidate’s skills and interests. 


We seek individuals with excellent verbal and written communication skills and a solid technical foundation in impact evaluation methodology, statistics, or econometrics with experience in data cleaning and analysis. We are looking for people who are capable of working both individually and as a part of a team, who can adapt to different environments and contexts, and who have a continuous willingness to learn. 

  • Prepare (clean, merge, recode, and document) raw data for research

  • Conduct data analysis under the supervision of a senior researcher

  • Support the analysis of research data for presentation or publication

  • Create tables, graphs, and other visualizations to tell stories with data

  • Conduct evidence reviews on sectors, topics, and outcomes relevant to IPA priorities

  • Synthesize and summarize research evidence and prepare materials to disseminate findings

  • Support other phases of research as needed, such as analysis plans, protocols, survey design and testing, IRB submissions, and proposal development

  • Provide technical support to IPA country offices and research projects through survey programming in SurveyCTO

  • Provide technical support to IPA country offices and research projects through statistical programming primarily in Stata, but occasionally in R

 Duties specific to Poverty Measurement:

  • Communicate with national statistical offices in various countries to obtain, understand, and clean survey data

  • Use statistical programming languages (Stata, R, or Python) to clean and analyze survey data and produce poverty measurement models on nationally representative survey data

  • Write and design briefs, website content, presentation slides, and other materials

  • Help prepare results for presentations and reports targeting researchers

  • Assist with the development and documentation of research tools

  • Support the other Research Associates and / or the Management team in other projects and / or project development according to their needs



  • At least 1 year of work experience related to research projects and/or data analysis

  • Strong quantitative skills and knowledge of Stata, or enough knowledge of or similar coding languages (R or Python) that can learn Stata quickly with good coding practices

  • Knowledge of statistical and econometric concepts like regression and hypothesis testing

  • Ability to conduct and interpret data analysis using Stata, R, or Python

  • Ability to manage relationships with partners and counterparts

  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, with a strong attention to detail

  • Ability to work and problem-solve under pressure and meet deadlines 

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including the ability  to concisely simplify complex information and present it clearly for a variety of audiences

  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, international development, government, political science, public policy, data science, or related disciplines with a quantitative approach


  • Previous experience working on academic research in poverty or development

  • Previous experience working with survey data

  • Previous experience and knowledge of SurveyCTO or ODK toolkit survey tools

  • Knowledge of R or other similar programming languages

Reports to

Director, Poverty Measurement

Deadline to Apply

May 15th, 2024


Any country where IPA has a country office see here for a list of the 20+ countries. Please note that this does not include U.S. based locations.

Application Instructions

To be considered for this position, applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and a code sample. 

The code sample must be in Stata or R (Stata preferred) and it should accomplish a discrete task related to data cleaning or data analysis and it should be something the applicant has substantially written and used themselves in a previous application (academic course exercise, job assignment, or personal project). Short, simple code samples are perfectly acceptable. We are looking for coding best practices. 

The cover letter must address the following things about the code:

  • What does the code do and what is the context in which you wrote it?
  • What role did you play in developing and debugging the code? Specifically, indicate if you collaborated with others and what help you received or if you used an AI assistant such as co-pilot, please describe how you used it.
  • While use of AI assistance is acceptable, the code must be your own past work. You should remove anything that is proprietary or contains sensitive information

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 of 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 a 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