Research Associate, IFMR LEAD

Delhi, India
Start date, January 2015

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Center for International Development at Harvard University has partnered with India's IFMR LEAD, based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research, to implement an exciting 3-year program known as Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE): Data and Evidence for Smart Policy Design. Both IFMR LEAD and EPoD are dedicated to using rigorous evidence to address challenging questions at the intersection of economic development and public policy. Our cutting-edge research examines questions related to governance, financial inclusion, livelihoods, gender, and sustainable development, drawing from a network of expert academics with expertise in India and around the world.

IFMR is currently seeking two Research Associates to support the BCURE program in India. The BCURE initiative works closely with policymakers in India and Pakistan to build technical and institutional capacity to integrate data and research into policy decisions. Within India, BCURE will undertake a wide range of research and policy activities, including administering a comprehensive assessment of the individual and organizational constraints on policymakers' use of evidence; training policymakers to increase their capacity to more effectively incorporate data and evidence into decision making; providing financial and technical support for pilot projects that demonstrate the value of incorporating data and research in policy and programmatic decisions; and leading consensus-building policy dialogues to advance evidence-driven debates on challenging policy issues. The program requires self-starting candidates who can manipulate and analyze large datasets and extract useful insights for various policy partners; navigate India's institutional landscape and appropriately represent BCURE, IFMR and EPoD to outside stakeholders; and provide crucial support for BCURE and EPoD program operations in India.  The selected candidate(s) will have the opportunity to work with leading economists and public policy experts from Harvard University, IFMR LEAD, and government and civil society agencies across India.

Responsibilities:

  • Conduct extensive data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis using multiple primary and secondary data sources for several BCURE- affiliated policy research projects
  • Review and report on academic literature of requested topics in support of policy briefs and research projects
  • Contribute to analysis and writing of policy briefs for various government partners and case studies on BCURE project components
  • Oversee the day-to-day implementation of field-based research (scoping, surveying, project implementation) – including the management of field personnel, procurement, budgets, and reporting -  for BCURE-affiliated projects, as requested
  • Manage day-to-day relationships with national, state, and lower-level government officials and other potential partners (academics, policy organizations, NGOs, etc.) as requested
  • Provide appropriate inputs for project management (budgets, reports, etc.) for BCURE and IFMR in India and for program monitoring and reporting to the management hub at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard
  • Others, as required

Basic Qualifications: Bachelor's candidates with at least 2 years of experience in data-based research, preferably in economics or a related field. Strong interest in public policy and economic development in low-income countries. Excellent oral and written English communication skills and proficiency in Stata and the Microsoft Office suite. Ability to balance multiple tasks and prioritize effectively to meet deadlines in a fast-paced working environment. 

Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree in economics or related field and experience in R and Python preferred. Candidate should have strong interpersonal skills and have demonstrated ability to engage with policy partners of various levels.

This position will be based in Delhi, India, with occasional travel throughout the country expected. 

How to Apply: If you are interested in this position, please email epod@hks.harvard.edu with the subject line "Research Associate: India", your CV, academic transcript, and a statement of interest.

See also: India