Deputy Country Director (DCD) - IPA

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

NGO / Nonprofit Charitable Organizations

rwanda - Kigali full-time Closing date - 02/05/2022

Job Summary

Minimum qualification: Masters degree

Minimum years of experience: 5

Job Description


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. 

Deputy Country Director (DCD

IPA seeks a Deputy Country Director (DCD) based in Kigali, Rwanda to support the Uganda and Rwanda country programs. As part of IPA’s ongoing efforts to strengthen country office operations to make them sustainable moving forward, the Rwanda and Uganda offices will be managed as one office. This means there will be one Country Director and one Deputy Country Director working together to support both countries. The Country Director sits in the Uganda office.  The Deputy Country Director will sit in the Rwanda office.  However, their roles will be split based on the task rather than geography with an effort to fully integrate the functioning of this one office across both countries.  This will give IPA’s work and staff in Uganda and Rwanda a chance to better leverage resources and to benefit from the strengths in both places and to ultimately improve our ability to deliver the IPA mission.

As a member of the IPA Uganda/Rwanda executive management team, the Deputy Country Director will work closely with the Country Director to provide strategic direction, research oversight, and capacity building to a team of about 50 full-time local and international staff. The DCD will oversee several impact evaluations that are expected to span across multiple sectors over time: health, agriculture, financial inclusion, and enterprise development. This position provides a unique opportunity to be closely involved in cutting-edge policy-relevant research and work with top international academics in the field of experimental development research.


Ensure high-quality research projects across both Rwanda and Uganda:

  • Manage a team composed of Research Managers/Coordinators whose responsibilities include project design, management of data collection, data management, and analysis, and writing of research reports, all in close collaboration with the Principal Investigators;
  • Ensure that IPA research is implemented according to IPA’s quality standards and Principal Investigators’ direction;
  • Oversee the data management team building their capacity to provide top-notch data support to all projects within both offices;
  • Lead with transitions, on-boarding/off-boarding of new Research Managers/Coordinators staff, and maintaining institutional memory of project activities;
  • Promote inter-project best practices and take the lead in sharing best practices with projects through formal and informal training for staff;
  • Work to incorporate best practices and lessons learned in research and data quality by other IPA offices and research affiliates;
  • Build systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality.

Contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by supporting new partnerships and projects in both countries:

  • Share leadership of business development with the Country Director to grow the two country offices and identify new research and policy project opportunities;
  • Oversee project design during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards;
  • Develop new and manage existing relationships with IPA partner organizations and Principal investigators to enhance the relevance of IPA’s research;
  • Lead a portfolio of project development efforts with researchers, funders, and partner organizations.

Serve as day-to-day high-level contact for government officials and other partners in Rwanda:

  • Maintain and develop positive relationships with key government officials and other partners based in Rwanda
  • Coordinate communication with the Country Director and the Senior Research and Policy Manager (both based in Uganda) to keep them abreast of government initiatives, interactions, and other relevant happenings so the team can plan effective CD and/or SRPM visits to Rwanda for partner interactions as and when needed.
  • Identify opportunities to deepen relationships with government or develop new ones through presentations at key forums for sharing project results or examples of evidence co-creation
  • Take steps to mitigate risk and to safeguard the organization’s reputation
  • Act as IPA’s in-place legal representative


  • Master’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, project management or a field related to social science and economics research or international development
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience, more experience preferred.
  • Strong technical research skills and quantitative analysis skills required
  • Experience with randomized controlled trials preferred 
  • Experience managing large teams
  • Ability to communicate effectively across cultures with multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants
  • Experience managing funds from multiple donors preferred
  • Excellent organization and multitasking skills, self-motivating, ability to work under pressure and to prioritize effectively
  • High emotional intelligence, self-knowledge, flexibility, and a team player
  • Excellent English communication skills, ability to speak Kinyarwanda is not required but would be favored
  • Experience living and working in a developing country
  • Commitment to leading a diverse team and building staff capacity
  • Passion for connecting rigorous research to policymakers and practitioners
  • Innate curiosity, analytic reasoning, and a sense of humor are required

Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Deputy Country Director”. Applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

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. 

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Deputy Country Director”. Applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

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