Research Associate (Payments and Governance Research Program)

Organisation:  J-PAL

Apply By:  17 Feb . 2018

Location:  Delhi(Delhi)

Research Associate (Payments and Governance Research Program)
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India has witnessed major changes in social policy over the last few years. These changes, based on universal bank accounts (Jan Dhan), biometric authentication (Aadhaar), and mobile phones (the “JAM” platform), and ensuing JAM-enabled Direct Benefits Transfers (DBT), have elicited animated debates. Proponents view the shifts as essential to improving anti-poverty programs and efficiently using public finance. The Chief Economic Adviser to the Government describes this as “a quiet revolution of social welfare policy”. Yet critics point out a number of challenges that could prevent the JAM platform from delivering its full potential, including implementation challenges, subversion by vested interests, exclusion errors, unexpected perverse consequences, and unknown cost-effectiveness.

Research Associate Roles and Responsibilities:

The RA will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative and quantitative research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and survey instruments
  • Managing field teams: Recruit, train, and supervise both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff.
  • Oversee the implementation of the evaluation in accordance to the research design in association with our partner organization.
  • Maintain relationship with partner organizations at both headquarters and field levels
  • Supervise data collection and data-entry and ensure good quality of the data at each of these 2 stages.
  • Assist with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis.
  • Assist in preparation of documents and presentations for dissemination.
  • Report to PIs on all of the above mentioned activities.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • A Bachelors’ degree in Economics, or related fields.
  • Experience living in a developing country is a strong plus.
  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills.
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in English and Hindi.
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player.
  • Ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations.
  • Knowledge of data analysis software is preferred (ideally Stata).
  • Familiarity with impact evaluations and randomized controlled trials, in particular, preferred.
  • Ability to give and receive completely frank feedback
  • Willingness to live in rural or peri-urban areas and travel extensively to study areas is essential.

Complete the J-PAL/IPA Common Application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Associate - Payments and Governance Research Program”.

Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application.


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