Senior Program Manager - LEAPS

Learning and Educational Achievement in Pakistan Schools (LEAPS) – Senior Program Manager

About EPoD

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School is a research program that works to promote the use of analytical insights, drawn from economics and backed by rigorous evidence, to inform the design and implementation of public policies and programs around the world. EPoD directly engages with governments and local organizations to identify key questions, design innovative new policies and interventions, and test these using the tools of applied microeconomics, including randomized experiments. Through research, teaching, and capacity-building activities, we also work to equip policymakers worldwide with the knowledge and skills to effectively use data and evidence to achieve policy goals. Current research topics at EPoD include governance, education, entrepreneurship, health, agriculture, sustainable development, and access to finance, with a focus on India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

About the position

EPoD is seeking a Cambridge-based Senior Program Manager to manage and provide oversight in the implementation of its Learning and Educational Achievement in Pakistan Schools (LEAPS) project. This includes the multi-year DFID-funded and Oxford Policy Management-administered Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) project.

The LEAPS project, managed by EPoD in collaboration with CERP (the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan), consists of a number of studies and activities examining the nature of frictions embedded in different parts of the Pakistani education system. The project works closely with the Pakistani government as well as public and private partners to ensure that research both informs education policy and is informed by existing policy in Pakistan.

The Senior Program Manager will work in close collaboration with the lead principal investigators and research and field staff to ensure the success of the project. The position will be primarily based in the US but will also require extensive travel to Pakistan and periods in the field, in addition to representing the project at meetings, workshops and conferences.


Program Operations and Management

  • Lead management and oversight of the Pakistan LEAPS project in coordination with US- and Pakistan-based faculty, researchers and staff, and project stakeholders. Accountable for all award compliance (including financial policies, technical quality and IRB compliance) for related sponsored grants and other funding.
  • Drive forward project and initiative objectives for successful completion, drawing in and synthesizing inputs from a range of team members, collaborators and partners, as needed
  • Forecast revenues and expenses and creates complex budgets for the program; make assessments, recommendations and strategic decisions to manage these funds and allocate resources from one area of the budget to another with support from the grants and finance team, and in collaboration with CERP and other units at Harvard.
  • Provide direction and support on communications development and website content to more effectively present research and policy outputs to an outside audience, including current and potential funders.
  • Develop research and policy proposal submissions and publications (e.g. edit, develop and proofread presentations, reports, policy briefs, and research papers), in addition to grant proposals and supporting documents for project research and initiatives.
  • Manage the design and delivery of policy conferences and other events.
  • Ensure secure data management and ethical use of human subjects in large field-based research studies consistent with University protocols and EPoD standards of practice, including drafting protocol and ensuring adherence to protocol in the field.
  • Identify opportunities to develop or expand research projects, policy engagements and other collaborations.

Staff and Resources Management

  • Provide oversight of field team to manage research project activities, including intervention implementation.
  • Provide managerial oversight of the CERP team in project administration, which may include managing field activities and managing project finances and other resources, ensuring timely submission of project deliverables, recruiting project team members, support for policy events or workshops, coordinating with project partners and supporting grant management.
  • Mobilize and assign resources as needed to complete project implementation.
  • Manage all international hiring, vendor agreements, Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs), and other international operations for portfolio.
  • Manage recruitment, including recommendations for hiring and onboarding processes for new project staff.
  • Negotiate and problem solve with external vendors and collaborators.
  • Travel to the field as needed to ensure robust management of project activities.  

Stakeholder Engagement and Relationship Development

  • Manage relationship with donor and ensure adherence to technical quality, fulfillment of programmatic objectives within budgetary guidelines, and compliance with award requirements.
  • Collaborate with partners, donor, and stakeholder representatives, building and maintaining productive relationships, and represent research staff.

Other Duties

  • Other activities to support the EPoD Pakistan portfolio as required

Basic Qualifications

Masters or higher degree in public policy, international development, education, business, economics, or related field, with five plus years of relevant experience. Excellent English oral and written communication skills. Willingness to travel to and spend extended time in Pakistan (approximately 30% of the time).

Additional Qualifications

Strong interest in education in Pakistan. Coursework in education and/or empirical methods, including econometrics and economics. Experience managing field research. The candidate should be well organized, able to prioritize, have strong attention to detail and manage multiple assignments simultaneously, as well as work well under pressure and with competing deadlines.

The position requires strong interpersonal skills, the ability to interact well with faculty, staff, students, and research partners in developing countries. Strong and demonstrated ability to manage financial resources and balance budgets for projects desirable. Experience in private sector will be evaluated favorably.

To Apply

Please visit the Harvard Aspire webpage and apply for position 41341BR (auto req ID).

See also: United States