Research Intern, Early Childhood Education - J-PAL South Asia
Project: Early Childhood Education project
Start Date (earliest): ASAP
Base Location: Banaskantha, Gujarat
Length of Commitment: 4 – 6 months
Organization: J-PAL South Asia at IFMR
Language requirement: Gujarati, Hindi and English
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) J-PAL was established in 2003 as a research center at the Economics Department at MIT. Since then, it has grown into a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL is propelled by a team dedicated to research, policy, training, and other vital work, supporting J-PAL's mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. J-PAL South Asia, the regional office which is based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) in India, analyses and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and that programs proven effective are scaled up. We have a growing number of partnerships in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. For more information on J-PAL SA, please see http://www.povertyactionlab.org/south-asia.
The Policy team at J-PAL South Asia (J-PAL SA) disseminates findings of J-PAL’s research; develops relationships with governments, civil society, and academic stakeholders; catalyzes 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.
The ECE project is aimed at evaluating Pratham’s early childhood education programs through a randomized controlled trial. Though Pratham and J-PAL enjoy a long-term partnership, this will be the first instance of an evaluation of Pratham’s ECE program. This is an excellent opportunity to obtain a strong understanding of issues relating to ECE, a sector that is increasingly attracting a lot of attention from researchers, policymakers and implementers.
Pratham’s early childhood education programs cater to ages 3 to 8. Programs range from support to Anganwadis, encouraging mothers’ involvement in children’s education and formal classroom activities in schools and communities. A key objective of this evaluation is to understand ‘what works’ in terms of ECE program delivery and the ideal duration of an ECE program.
Additionally, the researchers also aim to evaluate a “home-based” Math Games programs which is built on previous research on Math Games in schools. Math Games is an innovative math curriculum that aims to develop children's intuitive concepts of number and geometry, informed by decades of cognitive development research, and rigorously evaluated through three randomized evaluations in Delhi.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Intern will work closely with the Associates, Managers, PIs and the field team to undertake the following tasks.
1. Support the team in piloting, finalizing and digitizing survey instruments.
2. Support the team in recruitment and training of surveyors.
3. Support the team in supervising field work, monitoring the quality of data collected.
4. Support the team in providing feedback to survey team and planning survey operations.
5. Maintain compliance with all J-PAL protocols and policies.
6. Support in detailed project documentation.
Desired Qualifications and Experience
1. Bachelor's degree in economics, education, applied psychology, cognitive science or related fields
2. Experience doing field data collection is a plus.
3. Familiarity with RCTs is a plus.
4. Excellent management/organizational skills and ability to solve unexpected problems is required.
5. Flexibility, self-motivation, independence and efficient multitasking is required.
6. Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments is required.
7. Attention to detail is required.
8. Fluency and excellent communication skills in Gujarati and Hindi is required.
Note on Work Authorizations
Candidates must have work authorization to work in India.