Research Associate – Gender & Financial Inclusion, EPoD India at IFMR

Location: Patna, Bihar
Start date: ASAP

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) India at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) works with policymakers and key influencers in India and Nepal through an iterative process of policy design. Together, we identify areas where research and data can make the greatest difference to policy, then engage in a process of designing, testing, and refining solutions to problems often affecting many millions of citizens. Our cutting-edge research examines questions related to governance, financial inclusion, skills training, gender, and sustainable development, and it draws from a network of expert academics with expertise in India and around the world.

EPoD India, in partnership with its host institution, IFMR, is currently seeking a Research Associate to support a field-based project based in Patna, Bihar. Further details on the project are outlined below.

The position requires a self-starting candidate who can conduct in-depth interviews and scoping activities, manage field activities and coordinate field staff for the execution of surveys and RCTs, and support with high quality cleaning and rigorous analysis of both primary and secondary data. The selected candidate will have the opportunity to join a team of leading economists and public policy experts from Yale University and EPoD India at IFMR LEAD to work on cutting-edge development research and gain first-hand experience working with policy partners, implementing surveys and field experiments, and conducting rigorous data analysis.

About the project:

Evidence for Policy Design is undertaking a study that aims to understand the impact of direct benefit transfers on women’s financial inclusion in rural Bihar, and working with the government to ensure improved implementation of government schemes aimed at supporting rural Bihari women. The project is at an early stage, allowing for the right candidate to provide valuable input to shape its direction. The project is expected to build off initial scoping and include up to two medium-sized surveys in preparation for a larger-scale evaluation(s).

Responsibilities:

•     Oversee the day-to-day implementation of field-based research (scoping, surveying, project implementation) – including the management of field personnel, procurement, budgets, and reporting for the project
•     Assist in the design and field-testing of survey instruments and develop and implement appropriate structures and systems for a larger randomized intervention, including the procurement of supplies; development and oversight of field and quality control protocols; recruitment, training, and leading of field staff; and coordination with local partners
•     Seek out and collect administrative data from partners and government agencies
•     Conduct data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis using multiple primary and secondary data sources
•     Review and report on academic literature of requested topics in support of policy briefs and research projects
•     Contribute to analysis and writing of policy briefs for various government partners and case studies on EPoD project components
•     Manage day-to-day relationships with national, state, and lower-level government officials and other potential partners (academics, policy organizations, NGOs, etc.) as requested
•     Provide appropriate inputs for project management (budgets, reports, etc.) for EPoD and IFMR in India and for program monitoring and reporting to the management hub at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD)
•     Others, as required

Basic Qualifications:
•     Bachelor’s candidates with at least 2 years of experience with data-based research, preferably in economics or a related field. Field experience is a plus.
•     Strong interest in public policy and economic development in low-income countries.
•     Excellent oral and written English and Hindi communication skills.
•     Proficiency in Stata and the Microsoft Office suite is required; experience in spatial analysis
•     Mature, self-directed individual with ability to balance multiple tasks and prioritize effectively to meet deadlines in a fast-paced working environment.

Preferred Qualifications:
•     Master’s degree in economics or related field.
•     Experience with hydrology, meteorological forecasting, or spatial analysis (e.g. ArcGIS) preferred.
•     Candidate should have strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage with policy partners of various levels.

This position will be based in Patna, Bihar, with regular travel expected.

How to Apply: If you are interested in this position, please email epod.harvard.india@gmail.com . In the subject line, put “Research Associate – Gender & Financial Inclusion” followed by your first and last name (e.g., “XXX – Jane Doe) and attach the following documents:
     •     Cover letter (one page max)
     •     CV
     •     Academic transcripts from all degrees received