Research Associate (Data) - IDEA Lab, J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Language Requirement:
  • English
Length of Commitment:
One year

J-PAL South Asia, based at the Institute of Financial Research and Management in India, seeks a data analyst under its new initiative Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Lab. We are looking for a high-calibre individual who can leverage their knowledge, experience, and passion for data to execute a high-impact project leveraging administrative data on health insurance. 

J-PAL launched the IDEA initiative in 2018, and subsequently, the first IDEA Lab was set up in J-PAL South Asia, with the aim to increase the use of administrative data by governments, non-profits, private firms, and researchers for evidence-informed decision making (link). The IDEA Lab engages in long-term collaborations to strengthen the use of administrative data by developing data use cases to demonstrate value for decision-making as well as capacity-building activities on making data accessible and usable. We are building a new team of associates and managers to deepen our ongoing partnership with the Government of Odisha. We will develop data use cases across sectors like health, nutrition, and labour markets with the aim to institutionalize the use of data for more effective program implementation and to demonstrate how system-level change can be accomplished. This is a great opportunity for anyone with strong data skills looking to apply them for problem-solving and generating meaningful insights in the social sector. 

The Research Associate (Data) will work closely with a Data Manager and Senior Manager to execute the project in Odisha.

The key responsibilities include:

  • The Research Associate will be embedded within the state government office and work with assigned officials to understand policy needs and the potential for using administrative data. 
  • Will work with the Data Manager and Senior Manager to understand the policy needs and administrative data systems of the state and accordingly draft requests for data access.
  • Will work with relevant officials to facilitate data access in a secure manner according to agreed protocols. 
  • Will organize, manage, clean, process, document and analyse the data based on the agreed scope of work and needs of the partner. The Research Associate will be guided by a Senior Manager/Domain Expert. 
  • Manage and execute any field related operations such as hiring and training field teams, designing questionnaires, managing data collection, etc for assessing the usability and validity of the data
  • Work with the Manager to visualize the data in a meaningful manner and develop presentations/briefs/insights to share with the government partner.
  • Work with the Manager to provide regular updates to the government partner.
  • Ensure project documentation and help in building knowledge products/training material for capacity-building workshops.

Required qualifications

  • Bachelor’s/Master’s degree from a recognized university in one of the following disciplines: Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, Economics with significant experience in data analysis; 
  • Professional work experience in data analytics: 0-2 years of work experience in data management, data analytics, computation/statistics work with large datasets. Experience working with large public data-sets is highly preferred
  • Excellent programming and data analysis skills in Stata, R, Python, and SQL is required 
  • Excellent communication skills and experience working in a collaborative environment is required

Preferred qualifications

Familiarity working with large public datasets in the social sector 

  • Proficiency with Github and other modern data management, sharing, and presentation interfaces 

Skills, competencies, and behavioral attributes 

  • A passion for and proven ability to work with different types of data to generate meaningful and policy-relevant insights.
  • Exceptional communication skills, including writing, conversing and presenting clearly in English. Working proficiency in one or more languages such as Hindi, Tamil, or Odia is highly desirable.
  • Self-motivated, ability to problem solve and to work with minimal supervision, and meet deadlines while conducting high-quality work.
  • Attention to detail and precision.  
  • Initiative, resilience, and flexibility in adapting to changing contexts.
  • Ability to work closely and constructively with multiple team members in a collaborative manner and on short timelines. 

How to Apply

Interested candidates should apply by sending their CV, a cover letter, and sample code to [email protected] Please use the subject line - ‘Research Associate (Data) IDEA Lab ’.