Director of Economic Evaluation & Research Job Vacancy in Kenya

International Rescue Committee

Posisiton Title: Director of Economic Evaluation & Research


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. We work in over 40 crisis-affected countries to improve people’s safety, health, education, economic well-being and power. We also work throughout the U.S. and Europe to support refugees and people seeking asylum.

The IRC’s Research and Innovation Department—Airbel Impact Lab—designs, tests, and scales life-changing, cost-effective solutions for people affected by conflict and disaster. By applying the IRC’s deep technical expertise and field experience with a range of skills from the behavioral sciences, human-centered design, rigorous research, and multi-disciplinary problem-solving in humanitarian contexts, we develop breakthrough solutions that combine creativity and rigor, openness and expertise, and new thinking with the experience of a large-scale implementing organization.

Job Overview:

This position will lead the Best Use of Resources team and the Economic Research team.

The IRC launched the Best Use of Resources (BUR) initiative to provide information and analysis about cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness for key interventions. Through building cost evidence and then partnering with internal and external collaborators to apply the lessons learned in programming, the BUR team compares and costs different approaches and their related impact, allowing decisions that achieve the greatest use of available resources for the highest reach and impact, both by IRC and other humanitarian actors.

The Economic Research team studies critical questions to improve economic outcomes for IRC’s programs and for the broader humanitarian sector. The portfolio includes studies on anticipatory cash programming, livelihoods for urban refugees, and women’s economic empowerment, ranging in questions and methods from impact evaluations to qualitative formative studies.

Major Responsibilities:

Lead cost analysis, planning, and technical support for delivery of IRC’s Scale ambition

  • Identify IRC-wide planning and budgeting processes with the largest impact on program cost-effectiveness, and work with process owners to improve IRC’s approach and achieve greater impact per dollar.
  • Serve as a point of reference for issues of “value for money” across the organization, providing advice, data, and strategic feedback on-demand to teams.

Oversee the Best Use of Resources team

  • Lead a team of 7 full-time staff who conduct economic analysis for IRC teams and offices and promote the use of cost evidence in program design and decision-making.
  • Develop the strategy and set and deliver on objectives, aligned with the needs of IRC’s Global Research & Innovation Priorities and Strategy 100.
  • Work closely with the Airbel operations team to engage in financial and work force planning: Maintain high-level overview of funding for BUR practice team members in order to successfully cover staffing needs across BUR’s portfolio.
  • Fundraise for BUR team and initiatives, individually and by contributing to proposal writing for projects led by other teams.

Influence the humanitarian sector to make decisions about resources to maximize the impact and reach per dollar

  • Provide high level oversight of and input into an established consortium of 7+ INGOs to collectively follow a consistent approach to measuring value for money (i.e. cost-efficiency), which is feasible and useful given partners’ needs and available data.
  • Engage with FCDO, USAID and other key donors to develop guidelines and influence policy related to cost analysis and costing requirements.
  • Present and publish in high-impact journals, practitioner-focused outlets, and media opportunities, to push the sector on “value for money” and the need for transparency in cost analysis.
  • Use cost-effectiveness evidence to develop relationships and scope specific opportunities with high-value private donors, particularly “Effective Altruism” groups and donors focused on ROI, in partnership with colleagues in Technical Units and IPP

Lead and oversee the IRC’s economic research agenda and team

  • Provide strategic leadership on research and evidence across IRC’s global economic work, driving towards improving impact and scale.
  • Oversee high performing economic research team to develop research projects and deliver on ambitious workplans to carry out research agenda, and to share the latest relevant research with the economic technical unit and field programs to support evidence-based programing
  • Oversee and strengthen research processes across the economic research portfolio, including standards and support for high quality data collection, cleaning, analysis, writing and dissemination.
  • Develop and maintain effective partnerships for research priorities at global and country levels that will amplify IRC’s ability to generate evidence and influence targeted policy and practice.
  • Develop the fundraising strategy and lead business development processes for economic research, including identifying opportunities, gathering information ahead of proposals, and gathering the technical and financial resources for needed for quality proposal development.

Publish and present research economic research and evaluation externally and internally

  • Publish (and support research team members to publish) research findings in academic journals and practitioner-focused outlets, and collaborate with Technical Units, Communications and Advocacy teams on research communications to key audiences.
  • Represent the economic research agenda across the organization
  • Represent IRC’s economic research agenda and outputs in key external meetings and forums with researchers, donors, other non-governmental organizations, and other practitioners in the field.

Steward Diversity, Equality and Inclusion both in the culture of IRC, as well as in our research and partnerships

Job Requirements:

  • PhD in economics or related field
  • 10+ years of research and economic evaluation experience, with significant experience in humanitarian or development contexts.
  • Experience developing and driving strategy and change across a large, complex international organization.
  • Strong quantitative skills.
  • Demonstrated skills and competencies in managing teams, including in low resource environments.
  • Record of publication and authorship/co-authorship of peer-reviewed articles.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising for projects with public and private donors.
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in a multi-cultural environment
  • Solid organizational skills: the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure, dealing with competing priorities, in a fast-paced team environment;
  • Interest in and ability to think and plan at the ‘big picture’ level;
  • Fluent in English; French, Spanish or Arabic language a plus

Working Environment:

  • Standard office work environment
  • Travel required 25%

The IRC is an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity:

IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

US Benefits:

We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.


Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

How to apply