Project Director, Egypt Impact Lab - J-PAL MENA

Location:
  • Egypt
Education:
  • Master's
  • PhD
Start Date (Earliest):
Language Requirement:
  • Arabic
Length of Commitment:
Three years or more

About J-PAL MENA at AUC: The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab’s Middle East and North Africa regional office is based at The American University in Cairo School of Business. J-PAL (povertyactionlab.org) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of more than 300 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL draws on results from randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.

The Egypt Impact Lab (EIL) is a collaboration between the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and J-PAL MENA at AUC. EIL seeks to strengthen evidence-informed policy and improve development outcomes for Egyptians. The Lab was launched in 2022 with several strategic government and founding donor partners. The outcomes of EIL are to evaluate promising and innovative government programs and use results to inform scale decisions; build government capacity to use rigorous evidence to strengthen program design and delivery; and foster the use of partner ministries’ administrative data to generate evidence and improve decision-making.

The Egypt Impact Lab Director will lead all aspects of the Lab’s work to build a culture of evidence use in government to strengthen poverty reduction program design and delivery across Egypt. The Director will lead a dynamic team across J-PAL MENA at AUC and MPED, and will guide strategy and implementation of efforts to generate evidence on priority policy issues, adapt and apply evidence to strengthen program design and scale evidence-based programs, deliver tailored and nuanced capacity building programming for government officials, and strengthen the use of administrative data. This position will entail extensive team and project management, overseeing a research portfolio. stakeholder relationship stewardship with strategic government partners and Lab donors, engaging researchers from across J-PAL’s network and from Egypt-based scholars, high-level communication about the Lab’s work, and engaging with worldwide questions about how to institutionalize evidence use in partner organizations.

Ideal candidates for the EIL Director role will bring deep commitment to J-PAL MENA’s mission and EIL’s vision, be passionate about working with government to inform development policy, thoughtful about how to institutionalize learning in government organizations, and capable of guiding high-profile partnerships and projects. The ideal candidate will have at least 15 years of experience, including in a leadership or management position with direct responsibility for policy or strategic partnership building in service to communities affected by poverty. Additionally, they will be a proven partnership builder, a skilled trainer, and will bring a broad, strong analytical skill set with experience conducting and/or supervising impact evaluations including randomized evaluations. A Master’s or advanced degree in a relevant field such as economics, political science, or public policy is required. 

RESPONSIBILITIES

Anchor senior-most stakeholder relationships of EIL:

  • Manage relationships with EIL government principals, keeping them apprised of work, seeking guidance, input, and approval as needed, and responding to inquiries;
  • Anchor partnership with EIL Lead within government;
  • Manage relationships with EIL donor organizations;Develop relationships with NGO, INGO, and donor partners who work closely with EIL strategic government partner institutions;
  • Ensure alignment of EIL relationships with J-PAL MENA broader partnerships, in coordination with J-PAL MENA leadership team;

Lead EIL’s high-profile communications across national, regional, and global forums:

  • Manage communications at the highest level with EIL Steering Committee members, government evidence use champions, and donor leadership;
  • Explain vision, strategy, and workplan of EIL, and communicate the impact of the work;
  • Become thought leader on government-research partnerships and embedded evidence labs;
  • Extensive public speaking engagements on the EIL concept, sector-specific evidence, or other related topics;
  • Lead media outreach on behalf of EIL.

Drive development and successful implementation of high-influence impact evaluation portfolio: 

  • Lead EIL staff in developing, launching, and managing evaluations that will effectively move research into action;
  • Supervise EIL sector leads and support them to identify promising evaluation opportunities with the potential for results to have major policy influence;
  • Foster relationships with J-PAL affiliated professors and Egypt-based scholars to build diverse and engaged research teams;
  • Support EIL sector leads to matchmake and keep evaluation partnerships moving forward, particularly in the early exploratory phase;
  • Leverage technical RCT knowledge to advise implementation of randomized evaluations in the EIL portfolio, in collaboration with J-PAL MENA Director of Research;
  • Identify opportunities for administrative data to increase speed and responsiveness of impact evaluations in EIL portfolio;
  • Lay groundwork for research to inform action through expanded policy outreach and the creation of frameworks for scaling of effective social programs and policies.

Identify opportunities for evidence to inform policy decisions and build coalitions to do so related to EIL themes:

  • Leverage deep understanding of global evidence base across sectors, working with EIL sector leads, to identify opportunities to inform government policy design; 
  • Strengthen government-EIL relationship to ensure EIL is on call to share evidence-informed ideas when policy design takes place; 
  • Work with EIL team to identify what evidence generalizes and how, drilling down to deliver operational guidance to policymakers.

Oversee design and delivery of nuanced capacity building program that will build a cadre of evidence champions across government:

  • Work in collaboration with the EIL team to promote the value of evidence-based policy making, increase the demand for evidence, and translate research into policy;
  • Supervise Capacity Building Manager who will design, adapt capacity building content tailored to EIL strategic government partner needs; 
  • Deliver workshops, roundtables, and course lectures on evidence generation and use, and sector evidence dissemination;  
  • Build relationships with government champions at all levels and invest in their learning and development.

Organizational management for EIL, including developing and implementing strategy and managing team:

  • Coordinate work of a complex team cutting across AUC and government partners, bridging policy and academic expertise; 
  • Guide strategic planning, reporting, and management against logframe; Supervise Manager-level EIL staff;
  • Manage budget and subawarding, including running request for proposals process adhering to AUC and J-PAL regulations;
  • Oversee all EIL team recruitment, onboarding, and management in conjuction with EIL Lead in government and J-PAL Executive Director.

EXPERIENCE

  • Advanced coursework in microeconomics, econometrics, and development economics.
  • 15+ years of relevant and substantial work experience, including work related to impact evaluations and evidence-informed policymaking;
  • Significant training in economics at the masters’ level;
  • Experience in and strong understanding of the policy design and delivery process in Egyptian government;
  • Prior professional experience working in policy design, implementation, or evaluation;
  • Subject matter expertise related to social protection, family development, employment;
  • Prior experience in development sector and experience working on policy design, advising, monitoring and evaluation, preferably with governments and international organizations;
  • A successful track record of developing and managing external partnerships;
  • Extensive experience in high-profile communication;
  • Experience in managing teams, setting and implementing strategy in complex organizations;
  • Proven fundraising and successful donor relationship management.

SKILLS

  • Team management with a diverse team across university and government;
  • Extremely strong project planning and management;
  • Effective at linking policy priorities to impact evaluation ideas, and able to translate global evidence into actionable and context-relevant policy recommendations;
  • Ability to communicate technical concepts about impact evaluation in a range of different ways—from highly technical for academic audiences, to more intuitive ways to foster comprehension among audiences of policymakers and practitioners;
  • Detail-oriented and have advanced writing and speaking skills in Arabic and English;
  • Precise, clear communicator;
  • Strategic thinker and able to be creative;
  • Skillful at managing junior staff;
  • Willing to learn; self-motivated, work hard, and enjoy working in teams and managing others;
  • Passionate about international development policy, strengthening government capacity, and the rigorous research that can inform effective policy
  • Fluent in both Arabic and English;
  • Google Suite, MS Office skills necessary
  • Salesforce, Asana, and Stata skills strongly valued

RESPONENSIONSR

How to Apply

To apply, email [email protected] with the following. Only complete applications will be considered:

  • TAILORED cover letter explaining motivation and preparedness to direct the Egypt Impact Lab
  • Updated resume
  • Transcripts (unofficial ok) from undergraduate and graduate degrees

This position will remain open until filled.