Deputy Country Director (Kenya)

  • Reports to: Country Director
  • Location: Nairobi, Kenya
  • Deadline to Apply: October 15, 2013
  • Start Date and Duration: Immediately Preferred or November 1st : 3 years commitment

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organization. Based in New Haven, CT, with offices in Washington, D.C. and worldwide, IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate “what works” in development and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including health, education, microfinance, governance and agriculture.

Position Summary:

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a US based, non-profit research organization, seeks a Kenya Deputy Country Director to oversee one of its large country offices. IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate what works and does not work in development and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including microfinance, agriculture, education, health and governance. IPA-Kenya (IPAK) is IPA’s oldest country program, and the site of many of its most influential projects, including seminal studies on de-worming, clean water promotion, bed-net usage and fertilizer subsidies. IPAK employs more than 400 contracted staff working on 20 different projects across multiple offices.

The Kenya Deputy Country Director (DCD) position provides a unique opportunity to oversee and direct cutting-edge research and to work with academics from top universities, including Harvard, UC-Berkeley, Stanford, Yale and MIT. The Kenya DCD will oversee multiple impact evaluations that use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) approach in a range of sectors, including agriculture, rural finance and savings, health, education and others.

The DCD will be required to manage local and international employees who are part of both research and administrative teams. In addition, the DCD will advise the Country Director on country office operations in IPA’s field offices and administrative centers in Nairobi and Kisumu, assist in strategic planning and project development for the country program, oversee capacity building of local staff and partners, and assist to disseminate results to local practitioners and policy makers. The position provides the opportunity to guide the research program in Kenya, direct in-county operations and manage relationships with key players in development organizations, donors, academia, and governments. The Deputy Country Director will also contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by initiating new partnerships and projects in Kenya.


The Deputy Country Director will be based in Nairobi and report directly to the Country Director. They will be a key member of the research management team, which includes the CD and research managers/coordinators, and will oversee the research and administrative activities of the IPA Kenya field office in the following ways:

Research Oversight and Project Backstopping (45%)

  • In close collaboration with the research management team, ensure that high-quality research support and oversight is provided to all projects by:
  1. Leading office and country-wide meetings and trainings.
  2. Creating systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality.
  3. Liaising with academic researchers and on the ground research teams to ensure that the research teams adhere to study design and research protocols.
  4. Working to incorporate best practices and lessons learned in research and operations by other IPA offices and research affiliates across all projects.
  • Directly oversee 2 or 3 projects
  1. Provide day-to-day technical support and guidance to research project staff to ensure work plans and timelines are met and data quality is high.
  2. Oversee data collection and data entry operations and ensure that projects meet IPA’s research protocols and standards.
  3. Oversee the production of quality technical reports, outputs and analysis, project briefs, surveys, and communication materials.
  4. Ensure consistent and regular researcher updates, partner liaising and updates.
  5. Support project teams to ensure that all IRB rules and regulations are met.

General Management (35%)

  • In consultation with finance team, ensure accuracy and close-tracking of project financial management:
  1. Develop and implement country-wide project financial procedures including accurate allocation of expenses, and the completion of monthly budgets and financial reports.
  2. Advise CD on country office budget strategy, ensuring cost-effectiveness and appropriate project allocations
  • Supervise Operations Manager to ensure:
  1. Efficient administration of offices, vehicle pool management, safety and security, legal compliance and inventory tracking.
  2. Relationship with and submissions to National IRB Board
  3. Other permitting needs that might arise
  • Work with administrative staff to ensure that internal communication mechanisms are running efficiently, including google groups and the monthly e-newsletter.
  • Work with the CD to set a vision and strategic plan for the country program
  • Fill in for CD as needed as senior-most representative of the Kenya Country Program
  • Provide support to CD in ensuring the overall organizational and legal compliance of IPA Kenya

New Project Development and Partner Outreach (20%)

Support CD as needed to:

  • Conduct field and background research for new projects
  • Conduct partner outreach including meetings with interested organization and review of new project ideas
  • Create and refine budgets for new projects in consultation with research management team
  • Initiate and maintain relationships with academic researchers in order to develop new studies and assist in developing a feasible research design
  • Assist with grant applications and creating project budgets for new and ongoing projects
  • Disseminate research findings to national stake holders
  • Represent IPA in Kenya to national and local government agencies and partner organizations
  • Manage relationships with current and potential IPA Kenya partner organizations

Qualifications and Experience:

  • A Masters’ Degree in economics, public policy, business, social sciences or related fields
  • Significant experience in social science field research, previous survey and field experience strongly preferred
  • Strong management skills, with a minimum 3 years of significant management experience including experience with a diverse array of direct reports and financial/budgetary responsibility
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Proven ability to show independent initiative and multi-task in a fast-paced work environment
  • Ability to give concise and direct feedback and guidance to staff, set work plans, troubleshoot problems and manage-up to busy world class academics.
  • International work experience (1 year minimum)
  • Familiarity of data analysis, and a knowledge of STATA strongly preferred
  • Flexible, self-motivated, and be able to foster team spirit
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies in a cross-cultural setting
  • Fluency in English, excellent writing, editing and communication skills
  • Willingness to travel
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials preferred

How to apply

Application Instructions:

Please follow the application instructions below. Any applications or CVs submitted outside this process will not be considered. Note, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview. Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

1) Send an email to jobs@poverty-action.organdcc, following these instructions exactly:

  • In the subject line: Copy exactly the following position line: 101007IPAKenya, Deputy Country Director (Kenya)”, REF NO: FK-2013.09.01.
  • In the email body: Put your full name, first (given) name followed by last (family) name
  • Attachments: Please attach ONLY your cover letter and resume

2) Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application.

Please do not include any text besides your name in the body of the e-mail. Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application.

IPA is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer

All persons shall have the opportunity to be considered for employment without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, alienage or citizenship status, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

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

DISCLAIMER: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the Deputy Country Director. 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

Nairobi, Kenya,
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

101 whitney ave, New Haven, Connecticut, 06510, United States