Research Associate- Boosting Immunization Demand- J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
Start Date (Earliest):

Start Date (Earliest): ASAP

Language Requirement: Hindi, English

Length of Commitment: 9 months

Joining Location: Patna, Bihar

Name of the Project: Boosting Immunization


Sector- Social Networks, Health

About the Organization

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of 194 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL South Asia, based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research in India, leads J-PAL’s work in the South Asia region. J-PAL South Asia conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs. Over more than ten years of existence, J-PAL South Asia has conducted 193 ongoing and completed randomized evaluations.

About the position 

J-PAL South Asia at the Institute for Financial Management and Research seeks qualified applicants for the position of Research Associate to lead impact evaluations in India. The position offers an opportunity to gain first-hand field management experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. The Research Associate will join a team of world-class researchers from leading universities in the world and will gain first-hand experience implementing randomized control trials in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research Read more about our work and projects here. 

Project Specific Details-

This project is a scale-up pilot of a previously evaluated study done in collaboration with the Government of Haryana. It was found that a package of interventions combining well-connected local immunization ambassadors, targeted reminders and incentives to caregivers increased routine immunization by approximately 55%. This project aims to test the effectiveness of a new model for identification of ambassadors to spread information on routine immunization. The study will focus on verifying the centrality of gossips/ambassadors selected through a model of phoney surveys conducted by the NGO Suvita. The study will be conducted in a sample of 450 villages. During the first phase of the study, gossips will be identified by field surveys by J-PAL, phone surveys by Suvita and through random selection by Suvita from Suvita’s database. The second phase of the study would be information dissemination. In each of the 450 villages, J-PAL SA surveyors would seed the information to a maximum of five ambassadors who would in turn inform the villagers to register onto a text messaging service to receive information on immunization. The centrality of the nodes will be assessed through the number of people who register on the service.

The RA will be responsible for a series of primary data collection exercises. The RA will work with the Research Manager and Principal Investigators, who will guide and supervise them in various tasks. The PIs for this Project are Arun Chandrashekar (Stanford University) and Esther Duflo (MIT).

Key Responsibilities 

Research Associates work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to: 

  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and survey instruments
  • Managing teams: Recruit, train, and supervise both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff 
  • Supervising data collection and data entry to ensure good data quality during both these phases 
  • Co-ordinating with the Administrative and Finance team on a variety of tasks related to field staff contracting and payments
  • Overseeing the implementation of the evaluation in accordance to the research design in association with our partner organization 
  • Ensuring that the project complies with IRB and JPAL data collection and security protocols with the help of the Research Manager 
  • Maintaining relationship with partner organizations at both headquarters and field levels Assisting with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis 
  • Assisting in preparation of documents and presentations for donor reporting as well as dissemination activities 
  • Reporting to PIs on all of the above mentioned activities 
  • Any other task as assigned by the Research Manager, AD Research or ED 

Desired Qualifications 

  • A Bachelor's/Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, education or related fields 
  • Experience living in a developing country is a strong plus 
  • Previous experience in development research preferred 
  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills 
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in English 
  • Some conversational-level skills in regional languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Kannada etc. 
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations 
  • Knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) or other data analysis software is preferred 
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials/clinical trials/quasi-experiments preferred 
  • Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments 
  • Ability to work independently and in rural field locations 

Note on Work Authorizations:

Candidates must have work authorization to work in India.

How to Apply

If you are interested in this position, please click on the apply button on the JD here; the first-time users will be asked to sign up and upload the CV, cover letter, and academic transcripts (optional).

For any queries, please write to [email protected].