Job Opportunity for Senior Policy Associate/Policy Associate in Poverty Action Lab

Website Poverty Action Lab

Organization: J-PAL South Asia
Country: India
Education: Bachelor’s, Master’s
Start Date (Earliest): 3 January 2022
Length of Commitment: More than two years

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. The Policy team at J-PAL South Asia (J-PAL SA) at the Institute of Financial Management and Research (IFMR) disseminates findings of J-PAL’s research; develops relationships with government, civil society, and academic stakeholders; catalyses scale-ups and replications of effective projects; and assists in conceptualizing new research projects. The team works closely with the global J-PAL office based at MIT to align the regional strategy with broader organizational objectives.

J-PAL’s Environment, Energy, and Climate Change (E2C2) sector measures the real-world impacts of energy and environmental policies, particularly on climate change mitigation, pollution reduction, climate change adaptation, and energy access. J-PAL South Asia seeks a Policy Associate/Senior Policy Associate to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy in the E2C2 sector. He/she would work on policy outreach for different state governments, and support the Policy team’s mandate of initiating new randomized evaluations, synthesising and disseminating evidence. The Associate would get to work closely with J-PAL SA’s senior policy leadership and support global initiative geared towards moving the needle on climate action. She/ he will work with a broad range of stakeholders including senior policymakers, NGOs and other private partners, researchers, donors and international organizations.

NOTE: We will be considering candidates at both Policy Associate and Senior Policy Associate levels. Descriptions of the programs, key responsibilities, and other requirements for the role are as detailed below:


Support the Policy Team in its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy in the E2C2 Sector

This will entail understanding, summarizing, and supporting the generation and dissemination of J-PAL evidence in the E2C2 sector. To this end, the Policy Associate/Senior Policy Associate will support:

Evidence Generation:

  • Support efforts to understand the policy landscape in the E2C2 sector and catalyse new randomized evaluation research by matching innovative projects in the region with J-PAL affiliated researchers in the sector;

Evidence Synthesis and Dissemination

This would involve:

  • Drafting internal reference materials and policy outreach materials summarizing evidence from J-PAL evaluations related to the E2C2 sector (e.g., summaries, briefs, policy memos, concept notes, letters, presentations) in clear, accurate, and non-technical language;
  • Support evidence dissemination activities by curating customised decks and synthesising evidence notes that can be used to present J-PAL evidence in the E2C2 sector to relevant actors like civil society organisations, donors, governments, and other organisations; 
  • Track policy developments in the E2C2 sector and communicate these developments internally to the team;      
  • Support efforts to prepare senior management for meetings with background research and meeting notes/memos.

Institutionalising an evidence-based approach to policy:

  • Support the work on new and existing strategic partnerships between J-PAL SA and Indian states aimed at institutionalising a data and evidence-informed approach to policy decisions in the sector;
  • Scale-ups: Support identification of any new evidence-based scale-up programs in the E2C2 sector by working closely with relevant partners and J-PAL SA’s scale-ups team;
  • Sector Strategy: Contribute to designing and operationalizing the overall strategy for the E2C2 sector;
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Support efforts to build and maintain relationships with key partners in governments, NGOs, foundations, and multilateral aid agencies in the region.
    Provide additional support to the

Policy Team as required:

  • Provide cross-sectoral support in order to further J-PAL’s mission to ensure policy-making is driven by rigorous evidence;
  • Support J-PAL SA in the curation of public goods within the Policy vertical as well as other verticals as required.


  • Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (preferably in economics, public policy, energy, environment, climate action, or a related field). A strong technical understanding of economics and/or evaluation is necessary to ensure that J-PAL SA’s findings are translated into general policy conclusions in a way that is both simple to follow but also accurate and undistorted;
  • Experience: This position requires one to three years of relevant experience in addition to a relevant Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Demonstrated interest and experience in the energy, environment, and climate action sector will be viewed favourably;
  • Understanding of Randomized Evaluations: A keen understanding of the value of randomized evaluations and their usefulness for policy decisions is desirable;

Skills and Competencies

  • Communication: Attention to detail and excellent writing and presentation skills for communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand. This requires clear, precise, non-technical writing, and creativity in presentation;
  • Ability to handle several different projects/tasks at one time, successfully complete tasks assigned, and meet deadlines;
  • High level of attention to detail;
    Strong interest in international development policy, thematic areas of energy, environment, and climate action, South Asia development, and/or program evaluation as demonstrated by coursework and professional experience;
  • Language: Fluency in English (written and oral).

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the POLICY job category, then select Senior Policy Associate/Policy Associate – J-PAL South Asia and include resume, cover letter, transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

You are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview. 

To apply for this job please visit