Innovation Poverty Action Country Director Job in Kenya

Innovation Poverty Action

Job Vacancy: Country Director

About Innovation Poverty Action: IPA is a research and policy nonprofit organization 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. Since our founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries.

This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. Established in 2006, the IPA Kenya office employs nearly 500 staff members in the Nairobi headquarters, Busia, and Siaya field offices and manages approximately 30 long-and short-term complex research projects. IPA Kenya has an established strong presence in the research environment with our governmental, International organizations, private and NGO partners.

The Country Director position provides a unique opportunity to be closely involved in cutting-edge policy-relevant research and work with top academics. The Country Director will work with IPA senior Global, Regional, and Program leadership, as well as key stakeholders to set the strategic direction and oversee multiple simultaneous impact projects.

The position requires close interaction with academic researchers, donors, local government agencies, and other NGOs. The Country Director, assisted by the IPA Kenya Senior Management Team, will provide oversight of all project and office operations.

Key Role of Country Director

1. Country Office Planning and Management

  • Collaborate with Chief Global Programs Officer and Regional Director to develop IPA Kenya’s strategic plan;
  • Collaborate with Regional Director to develop sub-initiative priorities, strategies and application plans;
  • Lead strategic project management, financial management, external relations, business development, fundraising, Human Resources, and operational aspects of research projects;
  • Develop and execute project management plan to support strategic planning, resource allocation, and policy engagement;
  • Develop and lead project strategy metrics, goal and target setting, data collection, data management, data analysis, and reporting;
  • Lead IPA’s policy impact in Kenya including evidence dialogue, dissemination, and research collaborations;
  • Ensure data collection is complaint with IPA’s research protocols and data quality standards;
  • Oversee internal and external project audits.

2. Financial Management

  • Oversee project budgets management and reporting, financial risk control procedures, projections for multiple grants, and contracts;
  • Ensure compliance to donor reporting, rules, regulations, and requirements (e.g. USAID and DFID);
  • Ensure financial compliance to Kenya Government and NGO board statutory requirements;
  • Oversee internal and external financial audits.

3. External Relations

  • Manage, maintain and deepen relationships with core external academic researchers/ principal investigators (PIs) who work and partner with IPA in Kenya and expand this network of PIs;
  • Develop and maintain high-level relationships with Government of Kenya, national and international NGO partners;
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with new partnerships in sectors that are prioritized by IPA Kenya’s policy engagement;
  • Represent IPA Kenya on a global, national, and local level;
  • Represent IPA Kenya with government and NGO partners;
  • Oversee capacity building of local development partners in evidence-based policy making and impact evaluations;
  • Manage relationships with and provide services to external academic researchers.

4. Business Development and Fundraising

  • Collaborate with Regional Director and program teams project resources, financial management, human resources, and operations for proposal development;
  • Engage government partners to identify potential research projects;
  • Identify and cultivate fundraising opportunities;
  • Identify and cultivate research project opportunities, particularly through proactive reach out to external academic researchers/ principle investigators.

5. Human Resources and Operations

  • Manage Deputy Country Director, Senior Policy Manager, Finance Manager, and Human Resources Manager;
  • Oversee Research Managers, Senior Research Associates and Field Managers;
  • Oversee office operations, human resources, and information technology functions;
  • Ensure compliance to Kenyan labor and immigration laws;
  • Act as primary point of contract for emergency and crisis management;
  • Ensure Nairobi and field offices safety and security protocols are maintained;
  • Develop systems to strengthen staff capacity.


  • Master’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, or field work related to international economic development with a minimum of 8 year relevant work experience; or
  • Bachelor’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, or field work related to international economic development with a minimum of 10 year relevant work experience;
  • Project Management Professional training certificate, strongly desirable.


  • Project management; strongly desired
  • Report writing, strongly desired
  • Quantitative research skills/ experience and a familiarity with randomized controlled trials, strongly desired;
  • Experimental economics, education, health, water and sanitation and agricultural research, strongly desired;
  • Engaging multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, donors, national and local government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants, strongly desired;
  • Working knowledge of human resource and operations, strongly desired
  • Working with multiple donors;
  • Worked as Deputy Country Director or Country Director, strongly desired;
  • Experience leading diverse team of 200+ in dynamic work environment;
  • Experience building staff capacity;
  • Experience living and working in Kenya.


  • Leadership
  • Strategic Goal Setting
  • Innovation
  • Problem solving
  • Relationship Building
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Analytical
  • Prioritizing
  • Navigating Ambiguity

How to Apply

Visit to apply.

Due to the high volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Qualified Kenyan nationals are encouraged to apply.

Disclaimer: Innovations for Poverty Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and/or veteran status, or any other protected class.

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Updated: October 25, 2018 — 8:33 am