Research Associate/Senior Research Associate, SEWA Wage Insurance Experiment - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
Less than one year

Project: SEWA Wage Insurance Experiment (SWIE)

Length of Commitment: 9 months

Education: Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree

Organization: J-PAL South Asia at IFMR

Language requirement: Gujarati (preferred), Hindi (must)

Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Sector: Health

Principal Investigators (PIs): Anup Malani (University of Chicago), Aprajit Mahajan (UC Berkeley), Grant Miller (Stanford University), Morgen Miller (University of Chicago), Pietro Tebaldi (Columbia University), Alex Torgovitsky (University of Chicago)

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 260 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 350 ongoing and completed randomized evaluations.

Project Description

Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a cooperative that supports the economic livelihoods of self-employed women who become members and is the largest organization of informal workers globally. JPALSA is collaborating with SEWA on the SWIE study, a randomized controlled trial examining the impacts of providing so-called “hospi-cash” insurance that provides a per-diem indemnity payment while a beneficiary is hospitalized. The product covers non-medical costs of hospitalization other than lost wages as well. The SWIE offers 200 villages in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar districts simultaneous access to two wage insurance plans, one with higher coverage and a higher price and one with lower coverage and lower price. The SWIE study examines the impacts on hospi-cash insurance uptake, health insurance uptake, hospi-cash insurance claims, and health care utilization. It also estimates adverse selection into and moral hazard from wage insurance.

Key Responsibilities

The (Senior) Research Associate will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Partner communication and coordination: The (S)RA will work out of SEWA’s office in Ahmedabad. They are extremely valuable to the study implementation, making this task crucial and essential throughout the study period before, during and after the endline data collection.
  • Field team management:
    • Internal coordination to hire field staff consisting of project assistants, field managers, field supervisors and field-based surveyors
    • Train the staff on field protocols and survey instruments
    • Supervise field staff regularly with survey tracking and feedback calls
    • Day-to-day field planning and oversight of data collection with frequent trips to the field
    • Take dynamic decisions independently to troubleshoot issues on the field
  • Data quality and compliance:
    • Conduct data quality checks periodically as per JPAL protocols
    • Ensure compliance with IRB and JPAL data collection and security protocols
  • Administrative tasks: coordinate with different teams within J-PAL on a variety of tasks such as IRB, field staff contracts, vendor payments, reimbursements etc.
  • Communication:
    • Compile clear written updates for team meetings
    • Convey field and research updates during team calls and flag potential issues at the right time
    • Prepare high-quality reports and presentations for dissemination
  • Assist with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis
  • Report to the Research Manager and Principal Investigators on all of the above-mentioned activities and any other work assigned

Desired Qualifications and Experience:        

  • Bachelor’s/Master's degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields     
  • Relevant Experience: 1-3 years     
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills     
  • Stakeholder management experience (required)     
  • Gujarati Speaking (preferred)     
  • Working knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred)     
  • Familiarity with RCTs (strongly preferred)     
  • Demonstrated experience managing a team     
  • Problem-solving skills     
  • Flexible, self-motivating, independent and manages multiple tasks efficiently

Note on Work Authorization: 

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].