Policy Associate - J-PAL Southeast Asia

J-PAL Southeast Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Language Requirement:
  • English
  • Indonesian
Length of Commitment:
One year

Job Description

J-PAL Southeast Asia, based in Jakarta at the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Indonesia (LPEM FEB-UI), seeks a  qualified applicant for the position of Policy Associate to support its mission of promoting evidence-based policy by contributing to the design and execution of J-PAL’s project development and policy outreach efforts.

Regional offices are where the heart of J-PAL’s research and policy outreach activities occur. Regional policy staff has the opportunity to help take the highest quality of academic research and translate it into action on the ground. Regional offices are housed within major economic research institutions around the world, giving policy staff access to an international network of top economists. Policy staff collaborates across regional offices and with J-PAL’s Global Office at MIT. Regional staff will develop expertise in the development challenges in their region, have the opportunity to go to the field to assist research projects or research development, and interact regularly with policymakers.

Responsibilities include:

Policy Outreach

  • Assisting in the preparation of materials for J-PAL’s policy outreach work, including drafting summaries, briefs, memos, updates, and presentations;
  • Synthesizing research papers into policy products (memo, presentation slides, briefs) for policymakers;
  • Writing about J-PAL’s evaluations in relevant documents with a clear, accurate, and non-technical format for a policy audience;
  • Assisting in organizing policy conferences, evidence workshops, and seminars around the region;
  • Building and maintaining institutional knowledge on the state of priority sectors in Indonesia (identify pressing challenges, conduct stakeholders mapping and literature reviews);
  • Representing J-PAL SEA at policy-relevant events with external partners;
  • Assisting in the process documentation of J-PAL’s scale-up programs and in data collection of cost;
  • With direction from senior management, building and maintaining relationships with key partners in governments, NGOs, foundations, and multilateral aid agencies in the region.

Project Development

  • To lead one or two sectors (among J-PAL’s 10 sectors) which the regional office focuses on, by understanding the relevant policy actors, policy context in the region, policy windows to inform policy, policy questions of interests to policymakers and researchers, and existing evidence in the sectors;
  • Support Principal Investigators in conducting desk research and engagement with government and non-government actors related to a potential research idea/project.

Capacity Building

  • Supporting stakeholder engagement, partnership development to promote J-PAL SEA training courses;
  • Take part as a teaching assistant in J-PAL SEA training courses.


  • Providing support in the on-boarding of the new staff;
  • Helping to organize evidence sharing events and building the strength and systems of J-PAL SEA’s policy group.


Education: A Master’s degree (preferably in Economics, Public Policy, Communication, or International Development). A strong technical understanding of economics, statistics or evaluation is necessary to ensure that J-PAL’s findings are translated into general policy conclusions in a way that is both simple to follow but also accurate and undistorted. Strong interest in development policy as demonstrated by coursework and/or study or work experience is a plus;

Experience: This position requires minimum 1-2 years of relevant experience;

Knowledge: All new staff at J-PAL will be introduced to the design and value of randomized evaluation and their usefulness for informing policy decisions in the first six months of their position. Prior basic knowledge on Randomized evaluation and how to understand and communicate findings from rigorous quantitative research are preferred;

Analytical thinking: Able to display strong analytical thinking in writing, executing tasks, and synthesizing academic paper into policy audience;

Communication: Attention to detail and advanced writing and presentation skills for communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand. This requires clear, precise, non-technical writing, and visual creativity in the presentation.

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.

Willingness to travel: Position may require travel throughout the region to meet with policymakers in government agencies, NGOs, foundations and international development organizations as well as follow-up work to promote research projects and other policy and capacity building initiatives

Languages: High-level of proficiency (fluent or native) in both Indonesian and English.

How to Apply

How to Apply

Please send an email to [email protected] following these instructions exactly:

  1. Use the following as the email subject line: “J-PAL SEA, Policy Associate.” Please do not include any other text in the body of the e-mail. Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application
  2. Attach PDF copies of your CV, relevant education certificate and academic transcripts, and a cover letter no longer than 500 words. The cover letter should discuss how you meet the aforementioned position requirements, emphasizing relevant skills and experience, as well as why you are interested in working with J-PAL SEA

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates are advised to apply at the earliest. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a policy analysis and a written exercise and may subsequently be called in for a virtual interview.