Country Director, Francophone West Africa

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Apply by 26 July 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 26 June 2018

Job Description

IPA seeks a Country Director to oversee its Francophone West Africa (FWA) offices, located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and Bamako, Mali. The FWA Country Director will work with IPA Global and key stakeholders to set the strategic direction for IPA in these countries, and oversee multiple simultaneous impact evaluations in a variety of sectors, rural development, financial inclusion, governance, education and public health. The position provides the opportunity to guide the research program in multiple countries, spend time in the field, direct in-country operations and to interact closely with academic researchers, local government agencies, donors, and other NGOs.

The FWA Country Director, assisted by his/her management team and more broadly a team of approximately 30 permanent staff and hundreds of short term field staff at any given time, will provide overarching oversight to all project and office operations in the three countries, lead strategic planning for the country program, oversee finance and operations teams, build and strengthen systems for high quality data collection, provide capacity building of local staff and partners, and lead the dissemination of results to local practitioners and policy makers. The FWA Country Director will also contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by initiating new partnerships and projects in the three countries.

The FWA Country Director is assisted by a Management Team comprising a few middle managers, including two Research Managers, one Finance Manager, one Policy and Business Development Associate, and one Operations Associate. The larger team is comprised of approximately 30 local and international permanent staff, and up to hundreds of short-term field staff at any given time.

Responsibilities

Oversee high-quality research

  • Oversee and manage a team composed of Research Managers/Coordinators, Research Associates, and Field Managers, whose responsibilities include project design, management of data collection, data management and analysis, and writing of research reports, all in close collaboration with principal investigators;
  • Build systems and structures to ensuring that the implementation of research activities follows IPA’s quality standards and principal investigator’s directions;
  • Spearhead skills training for staff; and
  • Work to incorporate best practices and lessons learned in research and operations by other IPA offices and research affiliates.

New Project development

  • In dialogue with potential partners, principal investigators, identify and develop potential projects with meaningful research and policy implications;
  • Participate in project design and lead budgeting during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards; and
  • Coordinate fundraising for research proposals.

Ensure sound operations and finances

  • Provide supervision and support to administrative staff, in particular in overseeing human resources, IT, operations, and finances.
  • With support from the Finance Manager and other managers, ensure compliance with financial procedures, approve expenditures, make accurate projections and ensure overall compliance.
  • Oversee the management of project budgets and donor reporting, with support from the Research Manager and administrative staff, and in coordination with IPA’s global grants team.
  • Ensure that country office structures are supported by incoming revenue.

Policy impact and external relations

  • Represent IPA FWA in national and local government agencies and partner organizations. Manage relationships with current and potential IPA partner organizations;
  • Develop and maintain high-level relationships with stakeholders in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali;
  • Engage government partners and other stakeholders to identify research questions of interest and cultivate potential research projects in those areas; and
  • Oversee targeted dissemination, encourage scale up of successful interventions.

Mitigate and manage risks

  • Set security standards and parameters for work to ensure staff safety and security; 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; and
  • Oversee procurement, safety, billing and security and ensure organizational legal compliance.
Qualifications
  • Master’s degree in international affairs, international public policy, development economics, or field related to international economic development;
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience, including 3 years in a management position;
  • Strong quantitative skills and familiarity with randomized controlled trials;
  • Experience in developing research projects, experience with budgeting and project planning;
  • Passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works in development;
  • Commitment to leading a diverse team in a multicultural environment 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;
  • Significant exposure to human resources and financial management;
  • Experience in grants and contracts management, preferably in a research setting;
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently;
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player;
  • Experience living and working in Africa; and
  • Fluency in both French and English is required; strong oral and written communication skills.

About the Organization

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.

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