Policy Manager - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL Office 
Country 
India
Education 
Master's
Language Requirement 
English
Hindi
Length of Commitment 
Three years or more
Start Date 
ASAP

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 SA seeks a Policy Manager to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy. The key responsibilities and other requirements for the role are as detailed below: 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

1. 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:

  • Evidence Generation: Lead networking and follow-up with governments, 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. 
  • 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.

2. Institutionalising an evidence-based approach to policy: This will entail working closely on strategic partnerships between J-PAL SA and State Governments in India, such as the Government of Punjab, with the aim of institutionalising a data and evidence-informed approach to policy decisions. This would include:

  • Coordination and communication with top state-level officials to support the generation, dissemination, synthesis and scale-up of rigorous evidence-based policymaking in concerned states from J-PAL’s thematic sectors.
  • Drafting policy-research memos, proposals, presentations - working closely with the Associate Director for Policy, Senior Policy Managers, J-PAL affiliated professors, J-PAL’s Research team and various State Governments to support these activities. 
  • Any other activities to strengthen J-PAL SA’s institutional partnerships with governments in India.

3. Others:

  • 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.

QUALIFICATIONS

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

Travel: 4-5 days of travel in a month within India on average. 

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application . On the ‘Submit Application’ page, select the “Policy Manager – New Delhi” position.  

On the documents page, please upload PDF files for cover letter, CV, transcripts for Policy Manager position with the filename “Policy Manager 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.