Innovations for Poverty Action Reviews | Glassdoor

Innovations for Poverty Action Reviews

Updated Mar 11, 2020

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3.2
55%
Recommend to a Friend
98%
Approve of CEO
Innovations for Poverty Action Founder & President Dean Karlan
Dean Karlan
41 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Primary Investigators resent IPA charging overheads(in 17 reviews)

  • "Long hours; Lots of travels to the field;(in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Great place to work overall, I learnt a lot."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in New Haven, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The research being conducted is at the frontier of development economics research, and so it is an excellent place to learn and contribute.

    Cons

    The organization was growing a bit fast then, and sometimes things felt organized. I have learnt that since then there have been efforts to address some of the organizational problems.

    Innovations for Poverty Action2020-02-06
  2. Helpful (5)

    "Great workplace for young people with enthusiasm for development economics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Coordinator in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - I worked at IPA for over three years (in three different country offices) and had five different supervisors, all of whom were amazing. I always had supervisors that cared about my career goals and professional development. - You get to work with high profile researchers (although as for the question of how closely, it varies by project) - The organisation puts a lot of emphasis on transparency and high rigour of research methods. Over the past years, IPA has developed great research protocols to follow, so you get to learn a lot about how to conduct and manage research projects. - IPA is well recognised in the industry. And the skills you gain from working at IPA will certainly land you a similar job relatively easily (e.g. consultancy with the world bank or other international organisations) - IPA provides a very good insurance policy and a good number of vacation days. Plus, if you're based in a country office, IPA also observes national holidays on top of the regular vacation days. - There is no politics and there always is great team spirit. People are always willing to help even if it falls beyond the scope of their job description. - You get to save a decent percentage of your income if you're living in a developing country.

    Cons

    - It's still a growing organisation and the rules may apply differently depending on the country office and your supervisor. - High turnover means there often are gaps in institutional knowledge and you might be unlucky to be the one who has to deal with the aftermath of poorly managed projects. - I think the benefits are fairly good if you compare IPA to similar organisations in the area. If you were to compare IPA to international organisations, it definitely lacks family-related benefits. I do not think IPA is a good employer for a parent with children because IPA does not subsidise housing or education of children which can be expensive in developing countries if you want to send them to international schools of high standard. - It's a fairly simple organisation with not many levels of jobs. Once you reach the manager level (which many do in their late 20s or early 30s), there is not much more to do from there unless you want to become a country director.

    Continue reading
    Innovations for Poverty Action2019-05-16
  3. "Organizational growing pains cause excessive stress for employees if not managed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very intelligent coworkers. Fast paced environment. Interesting research.

    Cons

    The organization has expanded significantly since it was founded, but it hasn't evolved in a planned or strategic way. Improvised, inconsistent and unclear processes are manageable within a smaller organization, but will break down as an organization grows. Teams are siloed and don't work well across functions, which causes a lot of tension and unnecessary stress. There isn't a clear career path, which means that staff hit a point where their only option is to leave the organization if they want to continue to advance in their careers. Project staff shoulder a lot of responsibility without support or guidance. Training or professional development for non-research staff is non-existent. Since this is applied research, there should be training on financial management, budgeting, project management, etc. Organization is dispersed geographically with poor internal communications, which contributes to a lack of organizational cohesion.

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    Innovations for Poverty Action2019-07-05
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Potential for interesting work but management could be improved"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Associate 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you have an interest in development economics it gives the chance to work on interesting research projects in a wide variety of places. They generally have a good reputation with schools, so work at IPA looks good on a PhD application. Good job for a recent graduate who is interested in pursuing a PhD.

    Cons

    Oversight is divided between IPA managers and researchers, which can lead to poor communication. Work can get extremely hectic and there is little effort to mitigate this.

    Innovations for Poverty Action2018-09-19
  5. Helpful (7)

    "Lots of Mismanagement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time

    Pros

    - Great place to make a difference - Lots of talented people to learn from - Great locations available

    Cons

    - Most the talent is at the bottom, not the top (or even middle) - More focused on credentials than expertise, experience - Poor HR and poor workplace harassment policy and reporting guidelines - NYC office has a terrible culture

    Continue reading
    Innovations for Poverty Action2018-05-14
  6. Helpful (6)

    "No structure due to lack of good management staff."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The benefits and the ability to work remotely. If you’re manager allows it. The work done in the field is important to fully understand how to assist people in need.

    Cons

    Unprofessional management, whom think it’s appropriate to speak about their staff in the open, usually slandering their good name. Finance department takes months to close, yes I said months to close the books. There is no training, you will be thrown on a computer and expect to know what to do. Since everyone is so busy no one has the time to explain or train, yet they tell you they do. A week of training upon starting would be awesome or at least webinars, something! Managers will throw people under the bus to save themselves. The employees are nice, but you never know who to trust! Very minimal employee socialization, since everyone is too busy. One task can take you all day, while your emails are piling up. The emails can be in the vicinity of 40-70 per day. Emails must be deciphered and researching anything is nearly impossible, due to the fact they don’t standardize anything needed to be standardized. Very high turn over due to the jobs burn people out. I have seen people never come back and just disappear. A few weeks later people finally notice they are no longer there and that’s it! It goes the other way as well, people get fired after years of service, apparently they made too many mistakes. Unstable environment!

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    Innovations for Poverty Action2018-04-24
  7. "Research Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action

    Pros

    Great experience in Impact Evaluation and working with hot shot Economists in top places.

    Cons

    Long hours; Lots of travels to the field;

    Innovations for Poverty Action2017-06-10
  8. Helpful (4)

    "Statisticians are not managers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time

    Pros

    Flexibility to build amazing local team

    Cons

    Leadership is young and turnover is high. On top of being overworked, we are overwhelmed with continuous change efforts that always fail.

    Continue reading
    Innovations for Poverty Action2016-12-21
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Summer internship (outside of the US)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action

    Pros

    a great deal of responsibility a variety of insights into desk-based work and field trips for data collection great team atmosphere

    Cons

    the work load can be significant internship is unpaid

    Innovations for Poverty Action2016-11-03
  10. Helpful (2)

    "Research Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Innovations for Poverty Action full-time

    Pros

    IPA provides a great place to learn and grow, with an enjoyable office culture and great colleagues. The work is often challenging but rarely boring, and there is a real appreciation for scientific rigor in conducting RCTs.

    Cons

    IPA is having some serious growing pains. The organizational structure and academic influence tend to hold it back from putting in place efficient or even logical procedures and standards. Compensation is often appallingly low, especially for field contractors.

    Continue reading
    Innovations for Poverty Action2016-11-07
Found 106 reviews