Evidence Corps Internship Program

Evidence Corps Internship Program

EPoD is launching the Evidence Corps internship program in 2022, which will provide international development internship and training opportunities for Harvard students. The aim of the program is to build students’ capacity to use economic evidence and to provide students with a toolkit to make meaningful contributions to development projects.

Funding is available for undergraduate interns. We will share resources with graduate students to apply for funding at Harvard.

About

This program will help students engage in international experiences in developing countries, and to learn more about potential career paths and how to make a meaningful contribution in this field. The program activities are designed to provide a meaningful training experience and to generate interest in economic development career paths.

Activities include:

International Development Workshop

The Evidence Corps Internship Program begins with an International Development Workshop. We use content from our strategic evidence-use training initiative, the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) program to provide students with a fundamental toolkit of analytical skills for international development. The students also learn from Harvard faculty about key current issues in international development, and how we deploy the Smart Policy Design and Implementation (SPDI) research framework when working with policy actors internationally. These sessions provide an overview of key research questions for development economics and use existing research to show specific examples of how the faculty approach these questions. Students will also have a chance to meet their fellow interns, and build a cohort amongst themselves, forming a community we will cultivate throughout the internships. 

The workshop dates and topics are below. Please note that there may be slight adjustments to this schedule and a final version will be made available to program participants:

Wednesday, 4/27: Overview of the Evidence Corps Program 

Thursday, 4/28: Using data in international development & policy decisions

Thursday, 5/19: Key topics in international development

Tuesday, 5/24: Practical tools for working with stakeholders and Internship/career planning: tools for successful internships & panel career discussion

Thursday, 6/2: Travel logistics & preparing for summer check-ins

Summer Evidence Corps Internship

EPoD will connect with the implementing organization prior to matching interns to understand internship needs and ensure consistent standards about the work product in advance, drafting an internship description to guide the student and help with matchmaking. Students will have a field supervisor to help them utilize the tools learned in the workshop and connect with others in their summer internship cohort as they develop their interests and expertise in international development.  

For example, assignments for past undergraduate interns have included data analysis of the Indian Human Development Survey for a project on mobile phone ownership amongst Indian women, piloting the use of mobile sensors to measure Delhi’s air quality, and testing a data collection method for use in local health clinics. Assignments for past graduate level interns have included data scraping of online job posting data, and background research to inform the development of policy briefs used in workshops. 

On-Campus Debriefing

After students return to campus in the fall, they will participate in a debrief session with the faculty and fellow interns. This will serve as a bookend to their internship experience and allow them to reflect on and document their experience. The debrief session will also focus on academic and professional aspirations for the students. Alumni of the Evidence Corps Internship Program will be added and introduced virtually to the cadre of past Evidence Corps alumni, where they can use the alumni network to make contacts and seek advice in pursuit of their development career.

How to Apply: 

Check back in Fall 2022 for Summer 2023 application instructions.

Summer 2022 Internship Opportunities

Please find all Summer 2022 internship opportunities listed below. Check back in Fall 2022 for Summer 2023 Internship Opportunities.

Asian Development Bank Institute - Japan (Remote)

Organization Description

The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) is the Tokyo-based think tank of the Asian Development Bank, which supports a multilateral development bank for Asia and the Pacific. ADBI conducts evidence-based policy research and capacity building and training programs for eliminating poverty and promoting sustainable, inclusive, and resilient growth across the region.  

ADBI conducts high-level research on issues with strategic implications for development thinking and policy making in Asia and the Pacific. 

Research activities include hosting presentations by distinguished experts, organizing regional and international seminars and conferences to contribute to the development policy debate, and publishing books and papers that help to identify effective development strategies and improve the capacity for sound development in the region. 

Selected topics are based on ADB’s priority sectors and themes, an annual needs survey, and inputs from regional policy makers and partners. 

Internship Details

  • Internship Opportunities: 2 Undergraduates 

  • Dates: 8 weeks, between June and August 

  • Location: Most likely remote, but a possibility to be based in Tokyo, Japan 

  • Preferred Qualifications: An interest in issues related to Asian economic and financial development. Preferably working towards a degree in economics.  

Responsibilities  

The first opportunity is focused on a project related to low-carbon cooling, supporting visualization of main findings and policy recommendations, data collection, and brief case-boxes related to cooling policies. Ideally, candidates will have an interest in renewable energy and energy conservation. 

The second opportunity will be for an internship responsible for preparing literature reviews and data analysis related to total factor productivity (TFP) growth and resilience to shocks in emerging Asia. 

Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP)

Organization Description 

The Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) is a non-profit research center in Pakistan that promotes the use of rigorous quantitative research and actively engages with policy counterparts to answer key questions in public policy. CERP was founded in 2008 by renowned Pakistani economists based at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School, University of Chicago, Pomona College, and Lahore University of Management Sciences. 

The Education Program at CERP comprises a wide range of studies and activities examining the nature of frictions embedded in different parts of the Pakistani education system. Led by global principal investigators, the research program known as LEAPS (Learning and Educational Achievement in Pakistan Schools) is implemented by the CERP Education Team, and co-managed with a team from Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Harvard Kennedy School and researchers based in the United States and Pakistan. The principal investigators leading this program include Dr. Tahir Andrabi (Pomona College), Dr. Asim Khwaja (Harvard Kennedy School), and Dr. Jishnu Das (Georgetown University). See the website for the LEAPS program here

Internship Details

  • Internship Opportunities: 2 undergraduates 

  • Dates: 8 weeks, June - August

  • Location: Flexible: Islamabad/Peshawar/Lahore, Pakistan, with possibility for remote or hybrid

  • Preferred Qualifications: Thorough understanding of randomized control trials; experience with curriculum development e.g. lesson planning or creating learning activities; experience conducting fieldwork, such as interviews or focus groups; fluency in Urdu is a big plus

Description

The principal investigators of the LEAPS program plan to conduct a number of Randomized Controlled Trials to evaluate Targeted Instruction (TI) interventions and examine a series of research questions including: 1) can TI can plug the student learning gaps exacerbated by COVID-19 related school closures, 2) what is the most effective mechanism is for a system-level teacher-led TI scale-up in capacity constrained developing countries, and 3) how does using technology and engaging parents impact the effectiveness of TI-style interventions at scale. The TI intervention(s) will allow primary-level public school teachers to repeatedly administer student assessments and use the results to tailor instruction to students’ learning levels (versus grade levels). The TI intervention includes access to a technology tool with activities, lesson plans, and student data analytics developed by CERP Labs with direction from the Education Program. 

During the summer of 2022 the team expects to be wrapping up implementation of one TI study and piloting a second, follow-up study. Therefore, they anticipate interns having the following responsibilities, some of which may vary depending on students’ Urdu language abilities and ability to travel to the field: 

  • Clean and analyze data

  • Conduct a thorough literature review of TI interventions and education technology, with a focus on parental support and scalability.  

  • Assist the project’s curriculum experts to design and finalize curriculum contents and learning material that can be used for TI implementation (may depend on Urdu language skills depending on the subject) 

  • Liaise with CERP Labs to fine-tune and test teaching and learning features of the technology tool 

  • Support the Education team with preliminary fieldwork, such as through focus group discussions, in preparation for the follow-up study (dependent on Urdu language skills) 

  • Pilot survey instruments with teachers and other stakeholders in the field (dependent on Urdu language skills) 

  • Assist the government liaison in engaging with education department stakeholders 

  • Work closely with the CERP Education team to document the processes of development and implementation of the TI intervention(s).  

  • Complete other duties as necessary.

Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR – India & Nepal

Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR/Krea University (formerly EPoD India at IFMR) works in close collaboration with Inclusion Economics at Yale University, based at Yale University’s Economic Growth Center and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. Drawing upon economics, political science, and related fields, we conduct cutting-edge research to understand how policy can promote inclusive, accountable economies and societies. Our core research focuses on gender as it relates to labor economics and broader economic empowerment; political economy and governance; and environmental economics. We also aim to build a culture of evidence and increase data literacy in the public sector, strengthening leaders’ ability to identify and implement evidence-informed policies. Throughout the research life cycle, we engage closely with policy counterparts to ensure we address questions of immediate relevance, and we regularly communicate data-driven insights with policy counterparts and the general public. 

Internship Details

  • Internship Opportunities: 2 (one undergrad and one graduate student)  

  • Dates: 8 weeks, between June and August 

  • Location: One of the offices in India: Delhi, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh or the Nepal office. Remote option not available (will instead default to working with EPoD directly) 

  • Preferred Qualifications: Selected candidates will all have strong quantitative skills, training in economics or a related field, and will be highly motivated self-starters with track records working in teams and conducting high-quality work. We are particularly interested in candidates that have both strong technical skills and are interested in using research to address policy challenges in our focus areas.  Additionally, they should have: an interest in political economy, development, labor, environmental, and/or gender economics, STATA skills, local language proficiency (Hindi, Assamese, Chhattisgarhi, Nepali). For Nepal office, very interested in finding Nepali speaker 

Responsibilities:  

This position will allow a candidate to contribute to the planning and implementation of primary data collection and related activities associated with applied development economics research (including surveys and programmatic interventions) in India and Nepal. This may include management and tracking of incoming data and basic data cleaning and analysis. Candidates may also be asked to conduct literature reviews, draft policy briefs and memos, and/or provide support for additional research-linked activities. 

All interns will be engaging with team members within the project to which they are assigned.  Depending on which office they are based out of, they may also have the opportunity to interact with team members from other projects.  

Indonesia Bureau of Economic Research

Launched on January 26, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia Bureau of Economic Research is a consortium of several faculties of economics and business of top Indonesian state universities and research centers. Inspired by a view of a platform of economist research network for Indonesia, IBER wishes to support quality research in economics for publication in national and international journals by providing intellectual input through high-level professional engagement; building capacity for younger economists; and building a platform to contribute to evidence- based public analysis of key issues for Indonesia and objective policy input. 

IBER has collaborations with the Faculty of Economic and Business at 9 Universities and 3 Research Institutes in 7 provinces of Indonesia, each with its own specialization. At FEB UI itself, IBER collaborates with researchers from the Institute for Economics and Social Research and the Demographic Institute

In addition, this year, IBER plans to hold a webinar series on Build God-Jobs Economy. 

  • Internship Opportunities: 4 undergraduates 

  • Dates: 8 weeks, starting after June 24th and must end before the fall semester begins. 

  • Location: Jakarta, Indonesia. However, while IBER office will open, researchers are not required to be in the office every day. Communication can still be done via Zoom 

  • Preferred Qualifications: none 

Responsibilities:  

We will provide mentors or supervisors who are in charge in certain cluster research in Institute for Economics and Social Research. The interns are expected to get involved with one research or workshop activity, to make reports on their activities while in Indonesia and before returning to the US, they are asked present them at IBER's internal seminars. 

Khazanah Research Institute – Malaysia

The Khazanah Research Institute carries out research on the pressing issues in Malaysia. They then recommend policies to improve the well-being of Malaysians based on that research. Broadly, their research agenda covers: growth and structural transformation, inclusive and sustainable development, and urban and regional development.

They do all this through:

  • rigorous impartial analysis founded on data;

  • convening discussions, amongst those who are relevant, to illuminate understanding of the issues; 

  • and being advocates of the knowledge they acquire. 

Internship Details  

  • Internship Opportunities: 4 undergraduates  

  • Dates: 8 weeks, late June - August   

  • Location: 2 in-person in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, 2 remote  

  • Preferred Qualifications: Experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods, strong writing skills  

Responsibilities

There are four research opportunities:  

  • Malaysian Labor Market Study; Graduate Employability: Analyze how the existing labor market ecosystem has been effective in addressing young graduates’ employability challenges, and in what ways the active and passive labor market policies can be improved?  

  • Quantifying Food Security within Malaysia: While there are global efforts to measure and rank food security at the country level, these efforts are unable to provide location specific insights. This research project aims to ask what is the food security status of each state in Malaysia (or through other dimensions such as income brackets or urban/rural)?  

  • Digital Health and Digital Skills Education in Malaysia: Analyze how electronic health records affect patient treatment and health outcomes; and what teacher training is needed for digital skills education that improves student outcomes? 

  • Malaysia Labor Market Study: Conduct desk research, secondary data analysis and interviews to identify key research topics on labor and employment in Malaysia  

The responsibilities for each opportunity include:  

  • Performing library research on specified topics;  

  • Tabulating and/or organizing collected data into tables or graphs;  

  • Processing data from various sources of large data sets using statistical analysis software;  

  • Collecting and analyzing data using standard statistical techniques such as multiple regression and factor analysis and providing assistance in the preparation of statistical reports and data presentations;  

  • Assist in the production of research reports, presentations, articles and other publications; and  

  • Undertake any other research-related duties that may be assigned to you.  

Morocco Employment Lab

The Morocco Employment Lab seeks to create a culture of evidence-based policymaking through rigorous impact evaluations and capacity building in collaboration with a wide range of public and non-governmental organizations. The Lab is led by J-PAL and Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at the Harvard Kennedy School, and based at the Policy Center for the New South, a Moroccan think tank. 

The Morocco Employment Lab will work across four complementary components that contribute to building a culture of evidence-based policy and ensuring that labor market programs are informed by evidence: 

  • Identify policy priorities: The Morocco Employment Lab works with policymakers to diagnose key policy challenges, especially those compounded by COVID-19, identify data, highlight and prioritize knowledge gaps. 

  • Build capacity for evidence use: The Morocco Employment Lab hosts training workshops and events on how to generate and use evidence in policymaking. Tailored trainings are delivered to researchers, civil service trainees, NGOs, and government officials at different levels to create a broad understanding of how evidence can be used in the policy and program design. 

  • Conduct impact evaluations: Together with its policy partners, the Morocco Employment Lab co-designs and implements a portfolio of impact evaluations that address the identified policy priority issues.   

  • Share evidence to inform policy: The Morocco Employment Lab disseminates research results to a wide range of stakeholders through a large-scale policy symposium, policy briefs, and online communication channels. 

Internship Description

  • Internship Opportunities: 2 undergraduates 

  • Dates: 8 weeks, June –  August 

  • Location: Rabat, with option for remote  

  • Preferred Qualifications: Experience in communications, writing, and labor market policy; French language skills preferred  

Internship Responsibilities

  • Conduct background research on existing labor market literature and using existing data 

  • Synthesize labor market research in policy notes  

  • Coordinate workshop activities together with staff from J-PAL and EPoD as well as senior instructors 

  • Coordinate with MEL capacity building team members to adapt workshop materials for use in ongoing trainings 

  • Support preparation of presentations and other workshop materials  

  • Support communication on the Employment Lab’s work 

Policy Center for the New South - Morocco

The Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) is a Moroccan think tank aiming to contribute to the improvement of economic and social public policies that challenge Morocco and the rest of Africa as integral parts of the global South. PCNS pleads for an open, accountable and enterprising "new South" that defines its own narratives and mental maps around the Mediterranean and South Atlantic basins, as part of a forward-looking relationship with the rest of the world. Through its analytical endeavors, the think tank aims to support the development of public policies in Africa and to give the floor to experts from the South. This stance is focused on dialogue and partnership, and aims to cultivate African expertise and excellence needed for the accurate analysis of African and global challenges and the suggestion of appropriate solutions. 

Internship Description

  • Internship Opportunities: 1 undergraduate or graduate 

  • Dates: 8 weeks, June –  August 

  • Location: Rabat, with option for remote  

  • Preferred Qualifications: Training in Economics, finance, agroeconomy, energy, statistics, econometrics or industrial policy. Knowledge of economic issues related to Morocco, Africa or Developing countries.Statistical and econometric techniques. Knowledge of econometric software (Eviews, Stata or other).

Internship Responsibilities

The objective is to write or co-write a research paper or a policy paper.

  • Preparation of the literature review on the issue agreed upon with the internship supervisor.
  • Compilation and processing of databases 
  • Estimation of evaluation models, impact simulations or development of composite indicators, depending on the nature of the research and the center’s need. 

Other potential work:

  • Monitoring of economic activity in a country, a region or at an international scale.
  • Assist PCNS researchers in the various daily activities of the center (research, events, etc.)
  • Contribute to the general activities of the center (preparation of seminar summaries, talking points and PPT presentations, event descriptions, etc.)
  • Preparation of country or regions economic reports 

Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, (Thailand)

Organization Description

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) founded the Puey Ungphakorn Institute For Economic Research (PIER) to foster economic research, provide a centralized platform for disseminating high-quality research, and connect researchers with necessary resources. PIER is a quasi-independent institution governed by a board composed of senior BOT officials and distinguished external members. 

PIER’s mission is to produce, coordinate, and maximize the impact of research as follows: 

  • Produce in-depth research and support BOT’s conduct of policy in the areas of economics and related fields. 

  • Coordinate research and foster academic collaboration by strengthening research networks and pooling resources such as knowledge, data, seminars, and research funding together. 

  • Disseminate research and synthesize key findings to the general public to raise the prominence of research among policymakers and society at large. 

Internship Details

  • Internship Opportunities: 2 undergraduates 

  • Dates: 8 weeks, between June and August  

  • Location: Bangkok, Thailand  

  • Preferred Qualifications: Quantitative and analytical skills, good communication and writing skills, knowledge of Thai language a plus but not required  

Responsibilities  

  • Provide research assistance gathering and analyzing data, as well as writing research on issues regarding low-income households and businesses. In particular, the projects are likely on identifying households under poverty and in need of government assistance, and debt alleviation of highly-indebted farming households, among others. 

  • Research activities may include some field work outside Bangkok as well as desk research and communications based at the BOT headquarters in Bangkok, pending on the COVID-19 situation in Thailand and relevant measures adopted by the BOT. 

Taxation Policy Research – Professor Anders Jensen (Remote)

Professor Anders Jensen’s research focuses on public economics and development economics. One set of projects in his work seeks to study the factors that shape the capacity to tax and the choice of tax policy over the long run of development. Ultimately, this line of work aims to shed light on how should, and can, a government go from raising 5-10 percent of GDP in taxes to around 35-40 percent, while encouraging development more broadly. His second line of work consists in working with tax authorities and other government departments in developing countries. The starting point here is the specific structure, policies and issues of a given country. Through close collaborations and the use of large micro-datasets, these projects study what governments can do, given constrained capacity to tax, to incrementally improve tax administration, tax enforcement, tax policy, and tax morale. In this line of work, He is currently collaborating with governments in Ghana, Zambia, Liberia, and Brazil. 

Internship Details  

  • Internship Opportunities: two undergraduate or graduate students

    Date: 8 weeks, between June and August  

  • Location: Remote, with possibility for travel  

  • Preferred Qualifications: Economics coursework, Quantitative data analysis (preferably stata) with econometric methods to evaluate policy impacts (familiarity with difference-in-difference and instrumental variables)  

Description

Project #1: What are the distributional effects of globalization on inequality? How do tax systems respond to globalization – do they curb or exacerbate the inequalities induced by increased cross-border flow of capital and goods and services? In this project, we build multiple new databases based on micro and macro-data as well as tax simulators to answer these questions. In addition, we make use of several research designs to establish the causal, distributional impacts of increased cross-border integration. The research fellow will help with the collection of data and its harmonization, as well as with the empirical analysis. 

 Project #2: Fiscal externalities (FE) are an important by‐product of tax reforms: following a rate change applied to an initial tax base, FEs measure the change in revenue collection on other tax bases, arising from taxpayer responses to the reform. In policy debates, the existence of sizeable FEs is often presented as one of the main arguments by supply‐side economists to argue that tax cuts pay for themselves. If FEs on other bases exist, they should be incorporated into the welfare assessment of any tax reform. In this paper, we measure the fiscal externalities of tariff reforms on domestic tax collection in Rwanda. We take advantage of a unique dataset containing all foreign trade transactions merged with firm‐to‐firm Network transactions for the universe of formal firms. The research fellow will help with writing summaries of the relevant international trade policy and academic literatures, as well as contribute to the empirical analysis.