Position: Policy Associate
Employer: Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR/Krea University
Location: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Duration: Full time
Who We Are: Inclusion Economics India Centre is an initiative affiliated with Inclusion Economics at Yale University, founded and based out of the Yale Economic Growth Center and MacMillan Center. Inclusion Economics India Centre is based at, and accountable to, the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Society, with strategic oversight from Krea University. Inclusion Economics India Centre collaborates with the Inclusion Economics at Yale University team to enable inclusive economies and societies through research and policy engagement.
Drawing upon economics, political science, and related fields, we conduct cutting-edge research to understand how policy can promote inclusive, accountable economies and societies. Our core research focuses on gender as it relates to labor economics and broader economic empowerment; political economy and governance; and environmental economics. We also aim to build a culture of evidence and increase data literacy in the public sector, strengthening leaders’ ability to identify and implement evidence-informed policies. Throughout the research life cycle, we engage closely with policy counterparts to ensure we address questions of immediate relevance, and we regularly communicate data-driven insights with policy counterparts and the general public.
We are driven by values of
● Inclusive Opportunity - We study how policies can promote inclusion, and strive to practice this value by creating opportunities for individuals from all walks of life. We collaborate with, and seek to learn from, each other.
● Rigour - We take a rigorous approach to research and the entire research environment – from asking initial questions, to engaging with the right policy counterparts to create impact, to communicating final results
● Curiosity - We approach problems with open-minded curiosity and consider a wide range of approaches – which we then pursue with discipline and rigor. We innovate, drawing upon other fields and developing new approaches beyond traditional economic tools.
● Integrity - We respect each other and those we work with, uphold ethical standards, are honest, admit our mistakes, and are committed to constant improvement.
● Challenge Accepted Paradigms - Bold research and policy engagement allow us to speak to the challenges of supporting the world’s poor and vulnerable. We are willing to look through new lenses to rethink the status quo.
We are currently recruiting a Policy Associate to deepen and broaden our policy engagements in Madhya Pradesh and our capacity building work with policymakers across states, including Madhya Pradesh and the central government. This position provides an excellent opportunity for someone interested in a career in policy-engaged research and is well suited for a person who is strong in communicating about research with govt and non govt stakeholders at all levels.
This position requires a self-starting candidate, who enjoys working with policymakers to build their capacity in engaging with evidence and effectively working with government and stakeholders to scale up evidence-based programs. There are two core streams of work:
Stream 1 (30%): This workstream will require you to be responsible for identifying and engaging with stakeholders (govt and non govt) working in core IEIC thematic areas and ensure we do it in a way that survives transitions in govt. You will be responsible for identifying opportunities within policy space in MP that could become research projects for IEIC as well as identify opportunities to share insights from existing studies conducted by IEIC to inform design of policy.
Stream 2 (50%): This workstream will be closely related to the first one, in that the person will be responsible for implementing our policy engagement strategy with the government of Madhya Pradesh, cutting across all research. The Policy Associate will work with the state to support the scale up of individually-targeted direct benefit transfers and training on how to access those transfers for female MGNREGA workers. The selected candidate will work closely with the state government to understand the current landscape with respect to designing the scale-up model, and implementing the scale-up and an associated evaluation, in close collaboration with the research team.
Stream 3 (20%): This person will be responsible for overseeing a portfolio of capacity-building/training programmes with government partners as well as other development agencies. This person will work closely with the IEIC research teams, instructors and policy counterparts in designing and delivering high-quality training programmes to participants. The person will contribute to strategic organizational planning to translate research outputs to effective training as well as fundraise for this prong of our work.
Across all three workstreams, the Policy Associate will be responsible for working with IEIC leadership and affiliated research teams to set and implement strategies and workplans, as well as other operational tasks.
● Develop a mechanism to identify and regularly engage with policymakers at all levels and stakeholders in Madhya Pradesh, who are aligned with IEIC themes, mission to scope research projects in collaboration with the leadership team at IEIC and IEIC research teams working in Madhya Pradesh. as well as increase update of IEIC research findings among stakeholders in Madhya Pradesh, across government departments.
● Support IEIC research teams working in Madhya Pradesh to ensure we are regularly sharing project insights and progress with all relevant levels of govt and key stakeholders in the space.
● Produce high quality communication outputs to regularly update identified stakeholders about the work IEIC is doing in MP and elsewhere.
● Work with IEIC leadership to scope for policy responsive research projects in MP which include field visits, analyzing existing admin data, talking to stakeholders to identify feasibility of the research and map them to relevant IEIC research affiliates.
● Ensure our MoU with relevant departments reflect the range of current and potential work we plan to do based on our funding and hiring timelines.
● Work with the research team to ensure that the design and scale up of female banking accounts across the state is based on insights from research and we are collaborating with govt partners and other stakeholders.
● Ensure we are collecting data, including that of cost, where relevant and analyzing administrative data to track program implementation coverage, quality, as it is scaled.
● Document lessons on the scale up at every stage in a way that is actionable for work in the same or other states.
● Execute approved strategy for trainings led or coordinated by IEIC to build capacities of policymakers to use evidence in decision-making. In the first year, the person will be primarily responsible to execute our capacity building initiative with Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration (MGSIPA), Government of Punjab.
● Support IEIC leadership in developing a capacity building training for other states in which IEIC works.
● Support development communications materials as needed and relevant to the Inclusion Economics network’s training portfolio.
● Update and maintain a training stakeholder spreadsheet to help identify synergies across IEIC studies and engagements.
● Collate feedback from participants as well as identify participants we can engage with for current or future work.
● Bachelor’s candidates with at least 2 years of experience with working with government on evidence based implementation
● At least 2 years of familiarity in working with government systems at state and district level in key government department
● Understanding of data-based research, preferably in economics or a related field
● Data collection 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 and proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite
● Mature, self-directed individual with ability to balance multiple tasks and prioritize effectively to meet deadlines in a fast-paced working environment
● Interest in working with government policy partners
● Intellectually curious with a growth mindset
● Interest and ability to contribute to a dynamic research and policy team in Bhopal
● Demonstrate commitment to uphold Inclusion Economics’ organisational values
● Master’s degree in economics, public policy or related field
● Candidate should have strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage with policy partners of various levels
How to Apply: If you are interested in this position, please fill out our Screening Questionnaire; you will be asked to upload a single PDF containing your CV, cover letter, and academic transcripts. Label your file “Last name, First name – Policy Associate”. To view other open positions, visit the Inclusion Economics Opportunities page.