Research Associate

J-PAL, Gujarat, India

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
11th September, 2019

Job Description

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) J-PAL was established in 2003 as a research center at the Economics Department at MIT. Since then, it has grown into a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL is propelled by a first-rate team dedicated to research, policy, training, and other vital work, supporting J-PAL's mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

J-PAL South Asia, which is based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) in India, analyses and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and that programs proven effective are scaled up. We have a growing number of partnerships in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

About the Project:

The objective of this specific project, "the impact of financial incentives on ASHAs’ performances and health outcomes in Gujarat," is to identify and test ways to improve the provision of primary health care and, ultimately, to improve health outcomes in the state of Gujarat. More specifically, the project is going to investigate ways to improve the effectiveness of community health provision, as provided by the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA).

The PIs have obtained pilot funding from the CaTCH initiative, managed by J-PAL South Asia, and there have been a number of meetings with the government of Gujarat, which is eager to collaborate in the definition of a large-scale Randomized Controlled Trial that could provide results directly transferrable into policy making. The conversation and detail definition is however currently still ongoing. This therefore represents a unique opportunity for the RA to join a project from the very early stage and significantly contribute to both its definition and implementation. The RA will be responsible for the implementation of the pilot and the associated data collection.

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 research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and surveying instruments.
  • Managing 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.
  • Overseeing implementation of the evaluation in accordance to the research design, in association with our partner organization.
  • Maintaining relationships with partner organizations at both headquarters and field levels
  • Supervising data collection and data-entry, and ensuring data quality and productivity.
  • Assisting with data cleaning, preliminary data analysis, and preparation of documents and presentations for dissemination
  • Reporting to PIs on all of the above mentioned activities.
  • Maintain compliance with all J-PAL protocols and policies.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor's/ Master's degree in economics, social sciences, mathematics/statistics, public policy, or related fields
  • Experience-0-2 years
  • Experience in developing country
  • Excellent management/ organizational skills and able to solve unexpected problems
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Working knowledge of Stata, Matlab (strongly preferred)
  • Familiarity with RCTs
  • Demonstrated experience managing a team
  • Flexible, self-motivating, independent and manages multiple tasks efficiently
  • Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments
  • Attention to detail


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