Senior Policy Associate (Bihar) - J-PAL South Asia

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline





The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab South Asia (J-PAL South Asia) regional office is based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR). J-PAL is globally headquartered within the Economics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and J-PAL South Asia is one of the five independent regional offices based around the world hosted at local universities. Capacity building, along with research based on randomized evaluations and evidenced-based policy outreach, is one of J-PAL’s three core objectives. For more information on J-PAL South Asia, please see

The Policy team at J-PAL South Asia (J-PAL SA) at the Institute for Financial and Management Research (IFMR) disseminates findings of J-PAL’s research; develops relationships with governments, civil society, and academic stakeholders; catalyzes scale-ups and replications of effective projects; and assists in conceptualizing new research projects. The team works closely with the global J-PAL office based at MIT to align the regional strategy with broader organizational objectives.

This position focuses on supporting state-wide scale-up of a specific evidence-based livelihoods intervention in India: Graduation Approach (also called the Targeting the Ultra-Poor Programme). This is one of our core scale-up recommendations given the rigorous evidence from multiple studies, and the policy relevance for India’s population in extreme poverty. The Graduation Approach targets improving the livelihoods of ultra-poor households through a holistic, multi-dimensional approach, which includes an asset transfer, a temporary consumption allowance, savings services, enterprise skills training and intensive weekly mentoring over a long duration. The idea is a one-off big-push approach to bring households out of extreme poverty through building sustainable livelihoods. Our work with the Government of Bihar will be an important evidence generation and policy learning for how governments can utilise evidence to scale effective interventions across large populations for poverty reduction.

Key Responsibilities

The Senior Policy Associate will be responsible for coordination of J-PAL SA’s policy support on the state-wide scale-up including, but not limited to, the following activities:

  • Engaging with state, district and block level stakeholders in scaling-up the evidence-based program in the state.
  • Working with the implementing partner on their monitoring plan including indicator selection, data visualisation etc. 
  • Working closely with the research team at J-PAL SA to support process evaluation along with programme roll-out
  • Process documentation of implementation and administrative processes (informed by regular field visits, at least one week a month).
  • Data analysis of monitoring data to inform review and support our technical assistance for system changes for the scale-up.
  • Producing knowledge products that support the scale-up, as well as capture general learnings useful for other evidence-informed scale-ups
  • Supporting the team to conduct seminars, workshops and training for government or other stakeholders on evidence-informed policy design.
  • Supporting the team for conducting policy outreach in other states as and when necessary

The Senior Policy Associate (Bihar) will fulfil these responsibilities under supervision of the Senior Policy Manager, J-PAL South Asia and, as stated above, this position is based out of Patna, India.


  • Education and Years of Experience: Master’s degree in economics, public policy, international development, or a related field plus a minimum of 2 years of experience.
  • Previous experience with: relationship building/management with government officials (at local and state levels). Experience in field research (including process documentation and qualitative analysis) is an added advantage.
  • Communication: Attention to detail and advanced communication skills (both written and verbal) for interaction with relevant stakeholders. Ability to build relationships with stakeholders at both, the policymaker and field level. 
  • Time Management: Proven ability to handle several different projects/tasks at one time, successfully complete tasks assigned and meet deadlines. A willingness to work hard, be self-motivated and learn will be essential for doing well in this position.
  • Language: Fluency in both Hindi and English is required.
  • Travel: Frequent travel within state and other domestic locations.
  • Note on Work Authorizations: Candidates must have work authorization to work in India. This covers citizens of India, Nepal, or Bhutan, Persons of Indian origin (PIO), and an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). 

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in both Hindi and English is required.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

  1. Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application . On the ‘Submit Application’ page, please select the “Senior Policy Associate (Bihar) - J-PAL South Asia” position. 
  2. On the documents page, please upload PDF files for cover letter, CV, transcripts for the Senior Policy Associate (Bihar) position with the filename “Senior Policy Associate (Bihar) SA_Last Name_First Name”, and click submit
  3. In addition, we require two letters of recommendation. If you do not think your references will be submitted before the application deadline, please submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview. 

Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a written test and may subsequently be called in for an interview.