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16 May 2016

Country Director NGO Employment Opportunity - Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Job Title:        Country Director
Organization: Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda

About IPA:
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA designs, rigorously evaluates, and refines these solutions and their applications together with decision-makers to ensure that the evidence created is used to improve opportunities for the world's poor. Since our founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 350 leading academics to conduct over 450 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.

Job Summary: The Country Director will lead a rapidly growing country program that is establishing a strong presence in the local research environment with governmental, IO, private and NGO partners.  This position provides a unique opportunity to be closely involved in cutting-edge policy-relevant research and work with top academics in the field of experimental economics and political science research. The Country Director work with IPA Global and key stakeholders to set the strategic direction of the office and oversee multiple simultaneous impact evaluations in a range of sectors, including education, agriculture, finance, health, entrepreneurship, governance and others. The Uganda Country Director will also manage a team of more than 40 local and international staff, oversee country office operations, lead strategic planning and project development for the country office, inspire capacity building of local staff and partners, and lead the dissemination of results to local practitioners and policy makers. The Uganda Country Director will also actively contribute to IPA's continued expansion by initiating new partnerships and projects in the country, and by focusing on strategic organizational development within the country program. The Uganda Country Director, assisted by the IPA Uganda Senior Management Team, will also provide overarching oversight of all project and office operations, including finance and human resource systems, data collection, in-house data entry, and a short-term staff payroll of up to 500 contractors at any given time.

Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
1. Oversee and initiate high-quality research:
  • Manage the project design and budgeting during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards and costing structure
  • Build and manage relationships with and provide services to Principal Investigators (academic researchers)
  • Build systems and structures to build staff capacity and ensure overall data quality; including spearheading skills training for staff
  • Ensure that IPA research, including data collection and data entry is implemented according to IPA's research protocols and data quality standards and Principal Investigator's direction
  • Provide research management for IPA project teams
  • Oversee the management of project budgets and donor reporting with support of the Finance Manager, in coordinating with IPA's global Grants team on all ongoing research grants and studies
  • Work to incorporate best practices and lessons learned in research and operations by other IPA offices and research affiliates
  • In charge of capacity building, crisis management, data collection, data entry, data management, data quality, economic development, entrepreneurship financial management, human resources, impact evaluation, information technology, local development, local government, office administration, organizational development, political science research, procurement public, policy research grants, trainings, USAID
2. Policy Impact:
  • Responsible for leading IPA’s policy impact in Uganda; including evidence dialogue and dissemination as well as research collaborations for policy and oversight of the development of a policy engagement plan to be led by the Deputy Country Director
  • Build and maintain high-level relationships with partners in the Government of Uganda, including Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture, and the Office of the President
  • Build working relationships, studies, and new partnerships in sectors that are prioritized by for IPA Uganda's policy engagement
  • Engage government partners to identify research questions of interest and priority to key leadership and cultivate potential research projects in those areas
  • Build and maintain close relationship with the International Growth Centre office in Uganda for policy events and engagement
3. Develop and implement IPA Uganda's strategic plan, in line with IPA’s global plan and mission:
  • Identify priority research questions and key concerns for policy makers and initiate and manage the development of corresponding new research proposals
  • Develop new relationships in order for the country office to maximize its impact
  • The Country Director will lead and initiate project development with researchers, funders and partner organizations
  • Ensure that country office structures can be supported by incoming revenue
4. Ensure sound operations of IPA Uganda:
  • Oversee and manage a team of Research Managers, (Senior) Research Associates and Field Managers, whose responsibilities include project design and implementation, data collection, data management and analysis, and reports
  • Coordinate office and country-wide meetings and trainings, in coordination with the Research Manager
  • Oversee and manage human resources, IT, operations, and finance; manage the Finance Manager and Deputy Country Director
  • Develop and oversee office administration, including human resources, information technology, project budgets and accounting; and hiring of long-term IPA staff in the country program
5. Oversee finances for IPA Uganda:
  • Ensure proper compliance with financial procedures, approve expenditures, make accurate projections and ensure overall compliance
  • Strengthen finance systems to ensure the systems are robust for country program growth and compliant with strict donor requirements (e.g., USAID, DFID)
6. Mitigate and manage risks:
  • Set security standards and parameters for work and ensure that IPA Uganda staff follow security measures
  • Keenly monitor security concerns for IPA operations and act as primary contact in crisis management
  • Take steps to mitigate risk and to safeguard the organization's reputation
  • Oversee procurement, safety, billing and security and ensure organizational legal compliance
  • Manage annual NGO legal registration process
  • Manage work permit applications and renewals for international staff
7. Manage external relations:
  • Represent IPA Uganda in national and local government agencies and partner organizations, including presentations on IPA's work in Uganda and globally
  • Strengthen local presence of IPA in Uganda
  • Build and manage relationships with current and potential IPA partner organizations.
  • Oversee capacity building of local development partners in evidence-based policy making and rigorous impact evaluations
  • Work closely with IPA Uganda's regional partner, J-PAL Africa, on research, policy and capacity building.
  • Oversee targeted dissemination, encourage scale up of successful projects

Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The ideal candidate for this vacancy should hold a Master’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, or field related to international economic development
  • At least five years of relevant work experience
  • Previous J-PAL/IPA work experience or experience developing new RCTs or working with researchers on RCTs highly desired.
  • The position requires experience in grants and contracts management, preferably in a research setting, and familiarity with grants compliance is a strong asset.
  • Experience living and working in Africa /Uganda is desired
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required.
  • Broad working knowledge of human resource and financial management
  • Previous experience with budgeting and project planning
  • Passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works and what does not work in development
  • Ability to lead a large and complex country program and oversee rigorous impact evaluations
  • Show commitment to leading a diverse team and building staff capacity
  • Ability to communicate effectively across cultures with multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player
  • Strong quantitative skills and familiarity with randomized controlled trials

How to Apply: 
All suitably qualified and interested candidates should complete the J-PAL/IPA common application online, Click Here. After completing a brief registration, choose the Finance and Admin job category, then select “Country Director, Uganda.” Most applications to admin/finance positions require you to include a statement of purpose (cover letter) and CV.

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