Policy Manager - J-PAL South Asia

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

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 promoting evidence-informed policy and to support certain cross-sectoral outreach for the team. J-PAL South Asia has been working with several state governments in India to embed evidence-based solutions within existing Government systems to reach millions of households and individuals. Across these different partnerships, J-PAL South Asia has played a critical convening role followed by a knowledge and learning role that provides continued support to partners for the successful at-scale implementation of these solutions. This role will focus on supporting the policy team at J-PAL South Asia and J-PAL affiliated researcher Prof. Karthik Muralidharan (UC San Diego) and colleagues on the ICDS system strengthening project which seeks to institutionalise effective interventions in early childhood development within government systems across India.

Descriptions of the key responsibilities and other requirements for the role are as detailed below:

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic support to J-PAL’s policy team and affiliated researchers: This will include
    • Supporting the development of a strategy for setting up and executing the project
    • Analysing and synthesising relevant policy developments as part of internal memos
  • Establish partnerships for evidence generation: As part of this project, J-PAL-affiliated researchers will test interventions at scale within government systems. The Policy Manager will support the researchers by securing necessary documentation and administrative data from government partners, following established protocols. They will also lead discussions on securing buy-in from government partners on scoping studies and subsequent evaluations. As part of this, they will manage communications with the government partners, sensitise officers to the research design, establish roles and responsibilities between the government partners and J-PAL SA etc.
  • External partnership management: In this role, the Policy Manager will be expected to:
    •  Build and manage partnerships with senior government officials in government departments
    • Build and manage partnerships with NGO partners
  • Evidence synthesis and dissemination: As part of setting up and managing partnerships with government stakeholders, the Policy Manager will draft collateral summarizing evidence from J-PAL evaluations (e.g., summaries, briefs, policy memos, concept notes, letters, presentations). This will require writing about J-PAL’s evaluations in relevant documents with clear, accurate, and non-technical language; representing J-PAL SA at policy-relevant events and in meetings with relevant stakeholders, to share and present evidence.
  • Fundraising: The Policy Manager will support the researchers on fundraising for evaluations, by drafting grant applications and coordinating with senior leadership and internal teams at J-PAL SA to put together grant application materials.
  • 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, public health, 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. Demonstrated interest and experience in early childhood development will be considered favourably.
  • 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 programme evaluation as demonstrated by coursework and professional experience. 

How to Apply

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

2.      On the documents page, please upload PDF files for a cover letter, CV, and transcripts for the Policy Manager position with the filename “Policy Manager _Last Name_First Name”, and click submit.

3.      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.