MDP alum Papai with Innovations for Poverty Action in Ghana

From Christine Papai (MDP '13):

I have been the Deputy Country Director for the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) field office in Ghana for nearly two years now, and I'm enjoying the work more each day. Currently I am functioning as the Acting Country Director for a few months while the Director is on leave, and I am truly appreciating the growth this new challenge has brought about. IPA Ghana has two offices--our primary office in the capital city of Accra, and another in the northern city of Tamale. We employ nearly 60 long-term staff, most of them Ghanaian nationals, plus up to 300 short-term field enumerators at a time. The high caliber, committed, and fun-loving nature of the staff here impresses me daily and makes my job a true joy.

In my role I get to wear many hats, which means there is never a dull day. In addition to overseeing the office's finance and administrative teams, I have recently taken on oversight of the office's policy team and education research portfolio. One of our recent major accomplishments was the launch of the maiden Ghana Education Evidence Summit with the Ministry of Education, where policymakers, researchers and practitioners came together to share evidence on education in Ghana and identify ways in which evidence can be used for better decision-making. Aside from education, I am currently leading the charge to help IPA Ghana become more embedded in the health sector through the development of new projects, the dissemination of relevant findings from past research, and engagement with key players in the sector to determine what evidence gaps IPA can help address.

Some background on IPA: IPA is a is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. This is achieved by bringing together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. IPA's work is focused in 20 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

I believe Humphrey alumni make excellent candidates for employment at IPA due to the rigorous evaluation, global policy, and international development curriculum the school offers. I encourage recent graduates, especially those with advanced STATA skills and field research experience, to peruse IPA's current employment opportunities in both the US and abroad Graduates who also have prior management experience may fit the profile for our Coordinator, Manager, and Director level positions. Humphrey alumni are welcome to reach out to me directly for additional insights at

To learn more about what I've been doing outside of work while living in Ghana, check out my personal blog at
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