Policy Manager - Government of Odisha Partnership, Bhubaneswar - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
Three years or more

Start Date: ASAP

J-PAL SA seeks a Policy Manager to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy to support its institutional partnership with the Government of Odisha. To deepen our ongoing partnership with the Government of Odisha, J-PAL South Asia is setting up an embedded team of highly-motivated individuals, passionate about development research and evidence-based policy making. The policy manager will work as part of this embedded unit, working closely with the State Partnership Lead and South Asia’s senior management. The role will focus on leveraging resources to gain government buy-in for relevant research, policy advisory, administrative data use, capacity building, and scale-up of tested programmes. The policy manager would also be guiding a team of embedded associates who will work closely with the Planning & Convergence Department. The key responsibilities and other requirements for the role are as detailed below: 


1. Institutionalising an evidence-based approach to policy: This embedded Policy Manager will play a key role in guiding strategic partnerships between J-PAL South Asia and the Government of Odisha across three main domains:

  • Gap Assessments: Coordinating between the government and J-PAL’s research and administrative data teams to support gap assessments that will be leveraged to provide rapid insights to the government and scope new areas of collaboration.
  • Stakeholder Management: Working closely with the State Partnership Lead, the Policy Manager will liaise with senior officers of the state across departments to gauge policy windows for new areas of collaboration.
  • Furthering new policy research dialogues: Frequent in-person interface with line departments, which would fast-track the policy-research discussions we plan to have with multiple departments in the coming year
  •  Supporting Partnership Management: Working closely with the State Partnership Lead to support with troubleshooting on ongoing research projects, help coordinate the Steering Committee meetings and hold regular update meetings with the State
  • Supporting scale-ups: Supporting the J-PAL SA team in exploring opportunities for scaling up tested programs in collaboration with relevant State departments, and coordinating on ongoing scale-up projects. 

2. Support J-PAL’s Policy Team in its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy: This will entail understanding, summarizing and supporting the dissemination of J-PAL evidence; and working with government, civil society partners, and donors to promote the production and use of rigorous evidence:

  •  Support policy-research dialogues with State Departments: Lead networking and follow-up with government officials in Odisha to understand their policy priorities and promote the use and production of rigorous evidence. Catalyse new scoping studies and gap assessments, and randomized evaluation research by matching innovative projects in the region with J-PAL affiliated professors.
  •  Evidence Synthesis and Dissemination: Draft internal reference materials and policy outreach materials summarizing evidence from J-PAL evaluations (e.g, summaries, briefs, concept notes, letters, presentations). Write about J-PAL’s evaluations in relevant documents with clear, accurate, and non-technical language. Represent J-PAL SA at policy-relevant events and in meetings with relevant stakeholders, to share and present evidence from the different J-PAL thematic sectors.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Build and maintain relationships with key partners in governments, NGOs, foundations, and multilateral aid agencies in the region. 

3. Others:

  • People Management: Manage and mentor Policy Associates and/or Sr. Policy 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 - previous managerial experience will be an added advantage. Candidates who have experience working with central and state government partners will be strongly preferred.
  • Understanding Randomized Evaluations: Demonstrate a keen understanding of the value of randomized evaluations and their usefulness for policy decisions 

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 program evaluation as demonstrated by coursework and professional experience:
  • Ability to work closely with multiple team members simultaneously and in a collaborative manner;
  • Language: Fluency in English (written and oral) and Odia (strongly preferred)

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the POLICY job category, then select "Policy Manager - Government of Odisha Partnership, Bhubaneswar” and include resume, cover letter, transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

You are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.