Evidence Corps Internship Program

Evidence Corps Internship Program

EPoD launched the Evidence Corps internship program in 2022, providing 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.

About

The Evidence Corps internship connects Harvard students to global actors in international economic research. The program builds students' capacity to use economic evidence in approaching problem-solving and impact assessment, while also providing students with a fundamental toolkit to make meaningful contributions on economic research and policy outreach.

Ultimately, the program helps 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 training experience and to generate interest in economic development career paths.

In the 2022 edition, 18 students were allocated in projects spanning 8 countries (see the projects below), researching topics such as climate change, food security, youth unemployment, tax systems and social protection.

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 get involved

Apply to be a host institution:
We want to offer a diverse sectoral and geographic range of internships for students. Building on our experience hosting past interns, we can help you brainstorm how an intern can support your work and maximize their fresh perspectives and technical expertise.

Support student internship stipends: 
Internships can be across a broad range of areas or with a specific sector or geographic focus. By providing funding for student interns, we can attract a more diverse pool of interns and offer the program to institutions that cannot otherwise afford to hire an intern.

Support the workshop and debriefing:
By delivering the International Development Workshop and faculty debriefing on a yearly basis, we can continue to support new groups of students - and hosting institutions - as students explore work in this field. This ongoing program will convene new cohorts each year, expanding our Evidence Corps alumni network and ability to recruit promising new students.

How to Apply

Check back in Fall 2022 for Summer 2023 application instructions.

Summer 2022 Internship Opportunities

All Summer 2022 internship opportunities are listed below. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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  

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Highlights of student work

Article|August 4, 2022

Evidence Corps intern Alexandra Diggs discusses the panels of the  Evidence Sharing Seminar on youth economic inclusion in Morocco