Research Coordinator, Precision Agriculture for Development, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Research Coordinator, Precision Agriculture for Development
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a rapidly growing global organization, with extensive operations in 16 focus countries, including Kenya. We design innovative, cutting-edge approaches to solving development problems, rigorously evaluate these programs and promote the adoption of those with proven impact. This occurs both through the dissemination of results to policy makers, practitioners, and donors, as well as through supporting the large-scale implementation of evidence-based programs. 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. IPA-K employs more than 400 contracted staff working on 30 different projects across multiple offices.

Smallholder farms support more than two billion people worldwide, but many rely on inefficient practices. Various studies suggest that small changes in agricultural practices can substantially improve farm productivity. However, standardized recommendations might have a limited effectiveness due to variation in agro-climatic conditions: for example, the most profitable types of inputs, such as seeds or chemical fertilizers might depend on specific land needs (such as pH levels), which can greatly vary across small areas. Localized agricultural information could greatly improve productivity, reduce unnecessary input use and increase profits.

Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) is a non-profit organization piloting operations in Western Kenya. PAD’s goal is to sustainably improve lives for farmers in the developing world by developing and diffusing cost-effective, easily scalable, customized agricultural information services. For more information about PAD, please visit their website at

IPA is looking for a Research Coordinator to manage the initial stages of the project in rural Kenya. This position will include both research and project implementation components. The Research Coordinator will report to the IPA Deputy Country Director and will work closely with the PAD Country Director.

Deputy Country Director
June 30th, 2017
August 15th, 2017
J-PAL/IPA Common Application
CITY Busia
Serve as key link between IPA Kenya management, field –based team, PAD Kenya Management and the PAD US board of directors
Lead the development of new projects in East Africa, by establishing relationships with researchers, implementers and funders, and developing opportunities and proposals.
Manage relationships with investigators in multiple research institutions, funders and implementing partners to ensure successful projects.
Plan and supervise survey implementation, quality assurance, data cleaning, data analysis and other activities related to rigorous impact evaluation implementation.
Plan and execute program activities: identify priorities, create timelines, meet with stakeholders, monitor project implementation
Work in coordination with the Technology Lead to improve the mobile-based information product
Oversee project financial management, including the creation and monitoring of project budgets, and ensure smooth integration of projects into IPA financial systems
In collaboration with IPA finance team and senior management, produce project deliverables, such as reports and financial statements, to be submitted to donors and partners
Produce reports for donors, researchers and other stakeholders.
Coordinate Hiring and train field staff. Directly supervise the project Research Associate.
Attend meetings with local government officials and partners to ensure success of project activities
Master’s degree in related field, such as development or agricultural economics, public policy, international development, business administration
At least two years of field research or project management experience in agriculture and/or ICT4D, ideally in Africa.Demonstrated proficiency in Stata and experience with data management, data cleaning, and regression analysis.
Strong budgeting and financial management skills; experience with writing reports and/or grant proposals
Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English
Ability to work with little supervision
Experience supervising data collection, teams of field workers, survey design and implementation and data management is strongly preferred
Developing country experience required
A desire to commit to this position for two years
Additional Desired Qualifications:

Demonstrated successful entrepreneurial experience or demanding professional work experience in developing country settings
Experience with randomized control trials and/or applied statistics
Application Instructions
Complete the J-PAL/IPA Common Application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Coordinator, Precision Agriculture for Development”. Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts.

Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application.

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

About IPA
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy non-profit 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 400 leading academics to conduct over 600 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.