Research Associate, Power to the Parents project at IFMR

Delhi, India
Start Date: August 2018


IFMR LEAD is an India based non-profit research organisation. Through our rigorous research efforts, we provide practitioners and decision-makers scientific evidence to devise effective solutions for pressing development challenges in South Asia. Our work addresses vital socio-economic objectives to foster the economic growth of individuals, low-income households, and small enterprises. We collaborate with leading academics, development specialists, government agencies, and industry experts for research design, implementation and dissemination, in areas that are integral to accelerate the socio-economic and financial development of poor households.

Our scope of work includes exploring interactions between citizens and the state. We conduct projects that yield insights on the constraints and enablers to participation in public life and in the governance of key public institutions. Our team seeks to study how public policy can foster political efficacy among citizens and increase accountability of public institutions towards beneficiaries.

We partner with academics from leading universities, public and private sector organizations and financial institutions. We test the ideas through on-the-ground implementations such as randomized impact evaluation, audit studies, and large-scale econometric analysis. Finally, we disseminate our findings to relevant policymakers and practitioners.

Context and Project Description:

The 2009 Right to Education Act sought to increase parental participation in education by mandating the creation of School Management Committees (SMCs). The Power to the Parents study will evaluate aspects of parent participation in schools administered by the state government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The study seeks to contribute to scholarly work and policy on citizen participation and public service delivery.

The study is led by Emmerich Davies, Assistant Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The study’s findings will draw on information gathered through surveys of 5,000 households, semi-structured interviews with parents, close observation of the functioning of a sample of SMCs and observations from parent engagement events organized by administrators and elected representatives across the city.

The project team is currently looking to fill one Research Associate position. The position is based in Delhi. We are looking for a commitment period of at least 12 months.

•      Collaborate with the Principal Investigator(s) and fellow Research Associate(s) to ideate, fine-tune and implement the research design as intended; support recording, documentation and analysis; support creation of reports, articles related to the study for various stakeholders.
•      Stakeholder management: Liaison with officials in the Directorate of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi to ensure smooth execution of all data collection efforts.
•      Data collection – Surveys and administrative data: Assist the design and field-testing of survey instruments; development and oversight of field and quality control protocols; recruitment, training, and leading of field staff; coordination with vendors and local partners.
•      Data collection – Ethnographic data collection: Attend and make detailed notes of SMC meetings in sample schools and parent engagement events across the city; conduct semi-structured interviews with parents; support interns/ temporary research team members to transcribe the proceedings of events and interviews.

Basic Qualifications:

The project requires a Master’s candidate with at least 2-3 years of research or program operations experience in developing countries in education, public policy or related fields. Prior experience of research involving both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis is a strong plus. The candidate should have some
managerial experience, working in and preferably handling teams.

Candidates should be able to read and converse fluently in Hindi. Candidates should prepare to be proactive, manage multiple tasks and travel extensively within the NCT of Delhi.

Note on work authorizations
Candidates must have work authorization to work in India.

Compensation will be competitive with research pay scales in India.

How to Apply: If you are interested in this position, please email your CV and cover letter to with the subject line “Research Associate: Power to the Parents in Delhi”.