The Policy team at J-PAL South Asia (J-PAL SA) at the Institute of Financial Management and Research (IFMR) disseminates findings of J-PAL’s research; develops relationships with government, civil society, and academic stakeholders; catalyses 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.
J-PAL South Asia seeks a Policy Manager to contribute to its mission of evidence informed policy-making and lead policy outreach for J-PAL’s Governance; and Crime, Violence and Conflict sector activities in the region. J-PAL’s Governance sector works to identify policies and programmes that improve service delivery and make governments more responsive to citizens’ needs. Research and policy outreach focuses on increasing citizens’ political participation, reducing corruption and leakages, and building state capacity to deliver services. The Crime, Violence and Conflict sector seeks to expand the narrow base of rigorous evidence on best ways to prevent, reduce, and manage crime, violence, and conflict. Descriptions of the programmes, key responsibilities, and other requirements for the role are as detailed below:
1. Support J-PAL’s Policy Team in its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy in the Governance; and Crime, Violence & Conflict Sectors: This will entail understanding, summarizing and supporting the dissemination of J-PAL evidence in these sectors; coordinating and communicating with the global policy lead for the sectors; and working with government, civil society partners, and donors to promote the production and use of rigorous evidence in these sectors:
- Evidence Generation: Lead networking and follow-up with relevant government partners, civil society partners, donors and media to understand their policy priorities and promote the use and production of rigorous evidence. Catalyse new randomized evaluation research by matching innovative projects in the region with J-PAL affiliated professors in these two sectors. Secure buy-in from governments and other organizations to launch pilots and evaluations of governance-related and crime-related reforms.
- Research: Work closely with the research team to document implementation and prepare for any future scale-up.
- Evidence Synthesis and Dissemination: Draft internal reference materials and policy outreach materials summarizing evidence from J-PAL evaluations related to Governance; and Crime, Violence, and Conflict (e.g., summaries, briefs, policy memos, concept notes, letters, presentations). Write about J-PAL’s evaluations in relevant documents with clear, accurate, and non-technical language. Analyse and contextualize research results from J-PAL’s ongoing and completed governance and crime and violence work for evidence dissemination through customized decks, briefs, reports and op-eds. Represent J-PAL SA at policy-relevant events and in meetings with relevant stakeholders, to share and present evidence. Track policy developments in the governance space and communicate these developments internally to the team. Help prepare senior management for meetings with background research and meeting notes/memos.
- Stakeholder Engagement: Build and maintain relationships with key partners in governments, NGOs, foundations, and multilateral aid agencies in the region.
- Provide additional support to the P&T teams as needed.
- People Management: Manage and mentor P&T Associates and/ or Sr. P&T Associates, giving them support to perform better and prioritizing their learning and skill development.
- Cross-vertical collaboration: Participate in cross-vertical collaboration opportunities such as providing systematic support to an ongoing research project, capacity building of internal staff, etc.
- Education: Master's degree (preferably in economics, public policy or international development). A strong technical understanding of economics and/or evaluation is necessary to ensure that J-PAL SA’s findings are translated into general policy conclusions in a way that is both simple to follow but also accurate and undistorted.
- Experience: This position requires three or more years of relevant experience in addition to a relevant Master's degree - experience of working with state/central governments in India and previous managerial experience is a requirement.
- Understanding Randomized Evaluations: Demonstrate a keen understanding of the value of randomized evaluations and their usefulness for policy decisions
- Previous work experience in governance and related sectors would be an advantage.
- Skills and Competencies:
- Communication: Attention to detail and excellent writing and presentation skills for communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand. This requires clear, precise, non-technical writing, and creativity in presentation.
- Proven ability to handle several different projects/tasks at one time, successfully complete tasks assigned, and meet deadlines;
- High level of attention to detail;
- Strong interest in international development policy, South Asia development, and/or programme evaluation as demonstrated by coursework and professional experience.
- Language: Fluency in English (written and oral). Fluency in Hindi will be an added advantage.
- Travel: 4-5 days of travel in a month within India on average.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. Choose the Policy job category, then select the “Policy Manager – Governance - J-PAL South Asia” position.
On the documents page, please upload a PDF files for cover letter, CV, transcripts for Policy Manager position with the filename “Policy Manager_Governance SA_Last Name_First Name”, and click submit.
In addition, we require two letters of recommendation. If you think your references will not 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.