Program Manager, Financial Services for the Poor
- Innovations for Poverty Action
- Deadline for Applications
- Reports to: Director, Financial Inclusion Program
- Location: New Haven, CT, Washington, DC or Seattle, WA
- Deadline to apply: Applicatons will be reviewed on a rolling basis
- Desired start date: TBD
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.
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global non-profit research organization that 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. In the ten years since its founding IPA has worked with over 250 leading academics to conduct over 400 evaluations in 51 countries.
The Financial Services for the Poor Initiative is an international effort seeking to develop new research as part of IPA’s work in financial inclusion. The initiative will develop over 20 impact evaluations and product tests using randomized controlled trials to identify ways to: (1) improve usage of savings products and digital payments, (2) design products that address the financial needs of poor farmers and micro-entrepreneurs, (3) tackle key constraints (gender, behavioral biases etc.) to transforming access into welfare enhancing financial inclusion. The Financial Services for the Poor Initiative is part of IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program, a large sector program overseeing three research initiatives and a portfolio of over 125 research projects testing ways to help the poor manage their money and benefit from access to financial services.
The Program Manager will work closely with the Program’s academic leads, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This position will report to the Director of IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program. The position will be based in Washington, DC, New Haven, CT or Seattle, WA with significant travel expected across these locations.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The Program Manager is responsible for liaising with partners and teams from the various initiatives comprising the Financial Service for the Poor (FSP) department of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to foster stronger knowledge sharing and explore opportunities for designing and developing randomized evaluations. The Manager will work closely with researchers from IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program and travel regularly to Seattle to meet with the FPS teams to:
- Advise the FSP team on the evidence related to particular questions and challenges relevant to their programming
- Organize and coordinate bi-annual meetings between IPA researchers and the FSP team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Manager will be responsible for coordinating content and knowledge sharing, and will follow-up with Program Officers to vet opportunities, facilitate the development and implementation of research and pilot designs
- Review the portfolio of projects and investments in digital financial inclusion supported and considered by FSP jointly with program officers to identify opportunities for applying learnings as well as designing new evaluations. The Manager is expected to prepare several proposals for embedding evaluations and product tests as part of the Foundation’s programming
- Provide technical support to the Foundation for the implementation of quick pilots of innovative interventions and ideas. Support the development of partnerships between IPA and the Foundation’s grantees to implement randomized evaluation
- Lead the authorship of evidence review bulletins and support the Financial Inclusion Program’s communication and policy dissemination activities
Education and/or Work Experience Requirements:
- Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields
- Training in microeconomics, development economics, econometrics and statistics
- 3-7 years of work experience including experience in research or relevant private sector roles
- Experience in the design and management of randomized control trials
- Strong analytical skills a plus
- Experience in project and partnership development
- Experience working in Africa or South Asia a plus
- Fluency and excellent communication skills in English
- Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently