Research Associate - Building School Management Capacity

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, India

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th May, 2019


Job Description

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was established in 2003 as a research center in 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 the 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.

Project description:

Growing evidence shows that schools with better management practices achieve better results. Yet, little evidence exists on how to improve these practices—, especially in developing countries. Most prior studies have sought to influence school management by providing principals with information on student performance. These studies found that these interventions work when principals have some minimum level of capacity. However, no study has satisfactorily addressed the more challenging question of how to build principals’ long-term capacity. Drs. Alejandro Ganimian (NYU) and Daniela Scur (MIT) plan to conduct a 200-school randomized evaluation in Pune and Haryana of one of the few principal training programs being implemented at scale in developing countries: the India School Leadership Initiative (ISLI). ISLI combines in-person workshops, school walkthroughs, and professional networks for over two years.

Key Responsibilities

The RA will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of 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 with 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 Bachelor's degree in economics, statistics, education, 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.
  • Willingness to travel extensively to study areas is essential.

Source:https://www.povertyactionlab.org/careers/research-associate-building-school-management-capacity-developing-countries-j-pal-south-asia


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