Policy Manager

South Africa
Other advanced degree
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Two years
Start Date 
March 01, 2018

J-PAL Africa seeks a Policy Manager or seasoned Senior Policy Associate to support its mission of promoting evidence-based policymaking. We are looking for a creative strategist who has an eye for opportunity, a dedication to quality and a passion for helping people.

The position will be based at J-PAL Africa, the Africa hub of J-PAL Global, which is located in the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) in the University of Cape Town School of Economics.

This role provides an excellent opportunity to engage with decision makers on the forefront of evidence-based policy making and to grow new opportunities to improve programmes and policies, thereby improving the lives of citizens across Africa. The J-PAL Africa team provides the flexibility for accelerated growth by supporting proactivity and encouraging top performers to expand and develop their portfolio. At the same time, the position is rooted in rigorous, careful evidence and backed by a system of scientific oversight and supportive management structures to promote both global sharing of ideas and the local contextualization and empowerment of policymakers on the ground. 

Responsibilities include:

• Identify policy priorities for countries in sub-Saharan Africa
• Match policy priorities with evidence, forge partnerships, and design strategies to apply policy lessons of effective interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Identify, design and support opportunities for scaling up effective programmes/ policies across sub-Saharan Africa, including distilling the relevant evidence, building appropriate relationships with policymakers and implementing partners, designing and implementing pilots and supporting transition to scale
• Fundraise to support new projects/ programmes and new policy outreach activities
• Maintain expertise and command of the evidence in J-PAL sectors
• Manage policy staff including recruitment and training of new staff, performance management and development
• Support the implementation of effective policy training events through contributing to design, presentations and relationship building with key stakeholders
• Track and manage policy budgets
• Develop and maintain relationships with policy partners, especially with key government officials

Minimum requirements:

• A Master’s Degree in Public Policy or Economics or another similar social science including graduate level courses in econometrics/statistics, microeconomics and development economics
• A minimum of three years of relevant work experience
• Demonstrated ability to analyse randomised evaluations, particularly in behavioural economics
• Advanced writing and oral presentation skills in English, particularly the ability to communicate technical research to policymakers in a non-technical manner
• Demonstrated leadership and management experience, including hiring, training, and management of staff
• Experience organising, managing and presenting at events which discuss policy lessons
• Experience writing and managing budgets
• Proven ability to handle multiple diverse assignments at one time, successfully complete assigned tasks and meet deadlines while conducting high-quality work
• Ability and willingness to travel internationally frequently and flexibly to support policy outreach, scoping research and training events. Most travel will be in sub-Saharan Africa.

Highly advantageous:

• Demonstrated experience doing policy/research work in a range of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa is strongly preferred
• Experience in identifying, designing and supporting opportunities for scaling up effective programs/ policies
• Experience leading policy outreach including strategically identifying and mobilizing appropriate policymakers, and developing and maintaining these relationships
• Experience with randomised evaluations, particularly field experience running randomised evaluations of social policies/programmes and policy experience interpreting and sharing policy lessons from randomised evaluations
• Experience fundraising and writing fundraising proposals
• Data analysis skills, particularly in Stata
• French language ability

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the J-PAL/IPA Common Application here. After completing a brief registration, choose the Policy job category, then select “Policy Manager or Senior Policy Associate - J-PAL Africa”.

Please apply by Monday, 22 January 2018. Applications for this role will be considered on a rolling basis. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a policy analysis and writing exercise and may subsequently be called for an in-person interview.

Recruitment will follow UCT’s hiring procedure and remuneration is commensurate with UCT pay-scales.  UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at http://www.uct.ac.za/downloads/uct.ac.za/about/policies/eepolicy.pdf.  UCT reserves the right not to appoint.

Only persons with South African citizenship, permanent residence or a valid work permit need apply.

About J-PAL:

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) consists of a global network of academics who specialize in conducting randomized evaluations of social policies/programmes to generate scientific evidence about what works in the fight against poverty. J-PAL’s policy group analyses and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and effective programmes are scaled up.