Senior Policy Associate - J-PAL LAC

  • Chile
Start Date (Earliest):

About J-PAL

J-PAL LAC is a non-profit research center that aims to reduce global poverty by generating rigorous scientific evidence on which social programs and policies can make a real difference in people's lives. Formed by a network of more than 750 academics worldwide, J-PAL measures the impact of programs with randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and uses these results to influence the design of public policies. The J-PAL network has conducted over 1,700 evaluations in over 90 countries, organized in 12 sectors. In Latin America and the Caribbean, we currently count on 174 studies. As of 2023, J-PAL LAC is supporting 25 evaluations in 6 countries.

J-PAL organizes its work into three main areas:

Research: We partner with donors to create initiatives that fund research. We also implement RCT from data collection to data analysis.

Public policy: we summarize the results of the investigation, create alliances, and provide technical assistance to governments.

Training: We lead the executive training and develop a rigorous online education to build regional knowledge.The local grounding of J-PAL is essential for its success. The seven regional J-PAL offices are located at leading universities on five continents. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, J-PAL LAC is headquartered at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC Chile). J-PAL LAC also has a Memoranda of Understanding with Insper for work in Brazil, the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala for work in Central America, and ITAM for work in Mexico.

In 2019, J-PAL founders Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee won the Nobel Prize in Economics "for their experimental approach to alleviating poverty."


J-PAL LAC is based at UC Chile in Santiago, where most of our staff is located. We also have a team in São Paulo, based at Insper, and project staff in several LAC countries. Our team comprises about 15 permanent staff members and 20 staff hired for specific projects, typically on shorter-term contracts. We are currently running 25 projects in 6 LAC countries. 

We strive for a collegiate, horizontal, and amicable culture where peers can learn from each other and are not afraid to innovate. The office is led by Executive Director Paula Pedro, originally from Brazil, and Deputy Executive Director Claudia Macías, originally from Mexico. Paula leads the office’s overall strategy and fundraising and has a more external-facing role. Claudia oversees our operations and develops strategic partnerships, especially with Governments. 

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential to address poverty's complex causes and consequences. To advance our mission, J-PAL LAC must draw on diverse experiences from our staff and affiliated researchers to ask better questions and identify better solutions. We are working to increase the limited representation of individuals from underrepresented economic backgrounds. We are committed to self-reflection, learning, and dialogue to nurture understanding across differences. Together, we will build an equitable, inclusive culture where everyone is respected, empowered, and heard.

About the team, project, or initiative you would be working with:

Climate change represents a substantial hazard for human societies. Economists have significantly contributed to estimating the overall impacts of this threat. However, research has largely neglected two important links between climate change and population groups, particularly gender, indigenous people, and Afro-descendants. First, climate change can have a heterogeneous impact depending on the groups due to existing social inequalities and norms, which may make them more vulnerable to climate shocks. Second, women, indigenous people, and Afro-descendants may differ from other groups in their capacity to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. By studying the intersection of climate change and these population groups, we can better understand the heterogeneous impacts and leverage the knowledge to propose more equitable and sustainable solutions. 

A systematic study about the intersection between climate and these subpopulations with focus on Latin America and the Caribbean can be useful in guiding policies to tackle this challenge without leaving anyone behind. Moreover, this study will allow us to identify how women, indigenous communities, and Afro-descendants can unlock their potential to play a major role in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and become drivers of sustainable change in their communities.

The objective of this project is to create and disseminate a policy report that will: 

(1) review rigorous evidence and lessons on the intersection of climate change with women, indigenous communities, and Afro-descendants, and (2) identify open questions relevant to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Summary of the Role:

The senior policy associate will be in charge of coordinating the review of the literature on the intersection between climate change and women indigenous populations, and Afro-descendants. The senior associate will have the supervision of Maria Paz Monge (J-PAL LAC’s senior policy and communications manager) and feedback and input from a group of researchers with expertise in the aforementioned topics. The senior associate will be in charge of coordinating the different parties involved in the project, creating a policy report with the results of the revision, and organizing activities and products to disseminate the report.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to

The senior policy and associate’s responsibilities include but are not limited to: (1) search for studies related to the project’s topic; (2) review and systematize the studies; (3) work with the academics involved in the project to incorporate their feedback; (4) write a policy report with the finding and adjust it to incorporate the feedback of the academics and other participating parties, (5) create outreach materials and support on the organization of a webinar. 


Education: A master's degree in economics, political science, public policy, or a related field. Knowledge of the design and analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) is essential. Understanding of other impact evaluation methods is also desired.

Languages: As this job involves reviewing papers and writing in English and Spanish, an advanced level of both languages is required.

Experience: Experience working on evidence reviews or impact evaluation methods is highly desirable. We also expect the senior associate to have knowledge of/experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Technical Skills:

Word: Basic

Excel: Basic

PowerPoint: Intermediate to advanced

Statistical Packages (STATA, R, and SQL): No

Other: Knowledge of /experience working in the Latin American and the Caribbean’s context 

Work permissions:

This position is open to citizens or foreigners with visas and/or valid work permits in Chile at the time of applying for this vacancy. We are also open to exceptional candidates based in other countries.


The senior associate will work in Chile at our offices at UC Chile in Santiago. We are also open to exceptional candidates based in other countries.

How to Apply

How to Apply:

What to expect from this application process?

As this job involves reviewing papers and writing in English and Spanish, an advanced level of both languages is required.

If you are interested, please follow these steps:

Please fill out the following application form.

You will be asked to answer relevant questions and upload a CV and a short motivation letter (both in one single PDF). You can send your materials either in English or Spanish.

What is expected from your cover letter

Write a one-page cover letter in the most comfortable language, clearly stating your qualifications for the various responsibilities and the reasons for your interest in J-PAL. Please share aspects of your life that might be challenging to spot on your CV but might make you a good candidate!

What is expected from your CV

Ideally, in 1-2 pages, in the language you are most comfortable with.

Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.