Research and Policy Associate, IFMR Research

Delhi, India
Start date, December 2013

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Center for International Development at Harvard University has partnered with India's IFMR Research, 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): Towards a Culture of Evidence-Based Policy. Both IFMR Research and EPoD are dedicated to using rigorous evidence to address challenging questions at the intersection of economic development and public policy. Their cutting-edge research examines questions related to governance, financial inclusion, risk mitigation, entrepreneurship, education, health, agriculture, and sustainable development, and they draw from a network of expert academics with expertise in India and around the world.

IFMR is currently seeking a Research and Policy Associate to support the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) program in India. The BCURE initiative works closely with policymakers in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan 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 in decision-making; and leading consensus-building policy dialogues that are expected to advance evidence-driven debates on issues of pressing policy importance in India. The program requires a self-starting candidate who can effectively navigate India's institutional landscape and appropriately represent BCURE, IFMR and EPoD to outside stakeholders, as well as provide crucial support for program operations and research projects tied to BCURE in India.  The selected candidate will have the opportunity to work with leading economists and public policy experts from Harvard University, the Institute for Financial Management and Research, and government and civil society agencies across India.

Responsibilities:

  • Manage day-to-day relationships with national, state, and lower-level government officials and other potential partners (academics, policy organizations, NGOs, etc.) as requested
  • Support operations for the proper implementation of initial scoping activities and data collection for BCURE's needs assessment, with the possibility of administering research activities aimed at understanding constraints on policymakers' use of evidence
  • Facilitate development and delivery of training modules in collaboration with BCURE's pedagogical development team
  • Play a lead role in supporting the design and implementation of BCURE's pilot projects in collaboration with relevant policy partners, including managing the process for development, selection, funding, refinement and monitoring of pilot projects funded through the BCURE program
  • Provide basic research support as needed, such as completing requested literature reviews or data cleaning, management and initial analysis, for BCURE-affiliated projects
  • Manage logistics for BCURE-related activities (training/capacity building, policy workshops, etc.)
  • Coordinate and support the development of  written case studies for each  pilot project and policy dialogue
  • 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, as required
  • Others, as required

Basic Qualifications: Bachelor's candidates with at least 2 years of experience in research and/or public policy. Strong interest in public policy and economic development in low-income countries. Excellent English oral and written communication skills. Computer literacy (including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint), computer research skills, and proven organizational skills are vital. 

Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree and fluency in spoken and written Hindi preferred. Basic proficiency in Stata and data analysis skills preferred. Self-starting candidate with strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage with policy partners of various levels in a developing context is desired. Familiarity with randomized control trials is desired.

This position will be based in Delhi, India, with frequent 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 and Policy Associate: India", your CV, academic transcript, and a statement of interest.