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

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

J-PAL South Asia, based at the Institute of Financial Research and Management in India, seeks a Research Associate (Data) to support its research and capacity building activities under the 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 and capacity development to execute a diverse range of activities with its government partners. 

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 (here). A key component of IDEA Lab’s mandate is to build capacity of data providers, especially government partners, in making administrative data accessible and usable for research as well as develop their capacity to analyze and use data for better decision-making. The Research Associate will work under J-PAL SA’s long-term partnership with the National Health Mission (NHM), Govt. of Haryana and Department of Digital Governance Reforms (DGR), Government of Punjab on data systems strengthening.  

Under the partnership with NHM, J-PAL is working to pilot scaling up a rigorously tested programme to boost demand for full immunization rates in two districts using their m-health platform ANMOL. A key component of the project is to also strengthen the ANMOL and other maternal & child data systems and build capacity of the government staff to make better use of the data for improving program implementation. With DGR, the focus is on strengthening the department’s efforts to implement the State Data Policy and strengthening data quality and use capabilities by engaging with them in a capacity building and advisory engagement. The Associate will work closely with the Senior Manager (Data) and Training Manager to plan and execute these activities. The Research Associate (Data) will be based out of Chandigarh. 

The key responsibilities include:

  • Assessing the data quality and conducting analysis of the ANMOL data to identify any gaps in implementation of the platform as well as use the data to inform the scale-up.
  • Working on a knowledge product to document and disseminate best practices on designing and implementing an m-health platform. The learnings from analysis of ANMOL data and gaps will also feed into the knowledge product. 
  •  Understanding the different maternal and child health systems in the state and working on a proposal for strengthening these systems. 
  • Content creation for workshops/advisory planned for improving the usage of ANMOL/RCH among state and district level officials in the state. Work closely with the IDEA training team to execute the capacity building activities. 
  • Stakeholder engagement with NHM officials on RCH/ANMOL strengthening and exploring the potential for engagement on additional health data systems (such as on NCDs, hospital records, TB or other key programmes of the government). 
  • Engaging with officials of the Punjab Department of Governance Reforms (DGR) for coordination and execution of the agreed scope of engagement (sharing of knowledge products, advisory support and capacity building workshops)
  • Any other tasks as requested, including desk/literature survey and support in preparation of meetings and presentations for developing new partnerships  


  • Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in economics, public policy, mathematics, statistics, data science or related fields.
  • 1-2 years of work experience preferably in the health sector. Prior experience working with large datasets and conducting field data collection is highly desirable. 
  • Knowledge of statistical packages like R, STATA is required. 
  • Skills, competencies and behavioural attributes 
  • A passion for and proven ability to work with multiple stakeholders to plan and execute complex projects. 
  • Exceptional communication skills, including writing, conversing and presenting clearly in English. Working proficiency in one or more languages such as Hindi, Punjabi is highly desirable.
  • Ability to work closely and constructively with multiple team members in a collaborative manner and on short timelines. 
  • 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. 
  • A passion for teaching/training and strengthening data capabilities, belief in creating resources for public good and knowledge-sharing. 

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 194 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 193 ongoing and completed randomized evaluations.

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the RESEARCH job category, then select "Research Associate (Data): IDEA Lab - J-PAL South Asia” and include resume, cover letter, transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

You are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.