Working at J-PAL Africa

The J-PAL Africa team poses for a photo in Cape Town, South Africa.

J-PAL Africa is a growing office with a fun, diverse and inclusive team. We have offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. Learn more about our current team members. If you would like to receive notifications about open positions, please sign up for our jobs newsletter.

What we do

The Research team evaluates the impact of social programs and policies in South Africa, covering a wide range of sectors including labor markets, education and municipal services. Learn more about our research work We typically recruit for:

  • Research associates, who work with academics to lead our evaluations
  • Project associates, who support and manage our teams of fieldworkers
  • Fieldworkers, who conduct our surveys and focus groups

The Policy team works with governments and other implementers across Africa to build, pilot and scale impactful, cost-effective interventions. Through our training activities, we build researcher and policy-maker capacity to produce and use evidence from randomized evaluations. Learn more about our policy work We typically recruit for:

  • Policy associates, who support our events and existing partnerships
  • Policy managers, who create and lead new partnerships

Our Operations team manages our finances and human resources, provides support to our staff on grant and contract management and leads logistics for our internal and external events. We typically recruit for:

  • Office assistants, who provide day-to-day support to the team
  • Finance and Administrative associates, who manage our financial and HR processes

What you can expect

Driving Impact: From initiating research projects to scaling-up innovations, J-PAL Africa is building the knowledge, networks and solutions to fight poverty based on scientific evidence.

Learning by doing: At J-PAL Africa, you will be part of a small team where you will be given real and varied responsibilities from the start. We will work with you to achieve your own career growth objectives.

Hands-on Experience: Our evaluations and policy work require deep, on-the-ground engagement with program participants and front-line implementers. Our work as taken us anywhere from primary schools in rural Kano, Nigeria to buzzing youth employment service centres in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Excellence: We are proud to be part of a wide network of J-PAL offices and academic researchers working at the frontier of their fields. We set the highest standards of excellence and rigor in our work at all levels.

Reflections from our alumni

Olawunmi Ola-Busari

Olawunmi joined J-PAL Africa as Policy Associate in 2018; as of 2020 graduate student in the Georgetown School of Foreign Service's Global Human Development program.

[Working as a policy associate] meant being honest and upfront about the limitations of the research, what lessons we could draw from it, and what contribution we could make with it…we have to be humble in our approach, and that's something I loved about working at J-PAL Africa…it really taught me the importance of listening before acting.

Olawunmi Ola-Busari

Samantha Ndlwalana

Samantha joined J-PAL Africa as a Research Associate in 2015. Samantha since graduated from the Paris School of Economics and, as of 2020, is a Research Analyst at the World Benchmarking Alliance.

The levels of trust and responsibility given to me by the PIs motivated me to push myself. I grew in confidence as a result [...] J-PAL Africa helped me get a foot through the door at PSE, but field research gave me a practical understanding of on-the-ground challenges that few of my classmates shared. My time at J-PAL has also equipped me with knowledge and skills I can apply in my current research across various benchmarks to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Samantha Ndlwalana

Nana Okozi

Nana joined J-PAL Africa as a Project Associate in 2015. As of 2020, Nana is a Project Coordinator at Wits Health Consortium.

J-PAL gave me so many opportunities to learn beyond my job title. I felt supported in pursuing my interests [...] As a PA I felt connected to the whole research process and learnt way more than technical skills – how to train a team of fieldworkers and how to communicate effectively.

Nana Okozi

Join our team

Find current openings on our careers page and sign up for J-PAL Africa's jobs list to receive news about opportunities at J-PAL Africa.