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Jobs in the development and policy sector
This edition is Part I of our three part Jobs Series. The aim of this series is to acquaint you with the three main job opportunities available for you after a degree in economics or public policy: (1) Jobs in the development and policy sector (2) Jobs in the corporate sector (3) Pre-doctoral positions with professors.

In each edition, we will describe general jobs at various levels, average salaries, skills and experience required, and tips for those looking to apply.

In this edition, we focus on jobs in the development and policy sector - namely at organisations such as JPAL, IDinsight, Centre for Policy Research, and Pratham, among others.

As always, the edition includes information about jobs and internships shared by members over WhatsApp. Happy Reading, and we hope this is helpful!

This edition has been written by Sharvari Ravishankar and Vasanthi Swetha. Fizza Suhel compiled the jobs shared on WhatsApp, and Prerna Kundu worked on putting it together.
Role Descriptions
Below are broad roles and responsibilites for job types. Note that exact job descriptions can differ by organisation and location.

Research Manager 

Manage multiple projects | Manage grants/funding/cash flow | Manage approvals| Stakeholder Management | Coordinate with multiple project teams - troubleshoot operations | Advice on research design| Intermediary between PIs and research staff.

Project Manager

Project Manager: Strategic planning of activities/partnerships for the timeline of the project | Following through project approvals and processing | Stakeholder management | Research and develop partnership opportunities with partners | Research Design, Data | Serve as representative | Conduct workshops & learning sessions

Program Manager

Program Manager: Research and Learning Outputs - evaluation summaries/publications/blogs | Coordination of implementation team | Contribute to writing for grant proposals, grant reports, and other business development functions

Policy Associates

Generate new/ Work on rigorous research on priority policy issues connected to the project | Lit Reviews/ Research policy specific topics | Focus on outreach and dissemination | Stakeholder management when required

Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists

M&E requirements of various projects and programs| Tech based requirement where required | Liaise with various project teams to ensure quality data/ timely deliverables | Identify data resources for new research | Build capacities data collection platforms

Learning and Development Associate

Determine learning needs | Prepare Learning Outputs - craft workshops/coaching sessions | Analyze data to measure learning effectiveness and impact on learning program designed  | Tracks budgets, negotiates contracts, builds and maintains relationships with third-party training providers

Sample vacancies for each position:
  1. Research Analyst
  2. Research Managers
  3. Research Associates
  4. M and E Associate
Average Salaries
This graph describes average salary by role based on an anonymous survey of 37 Women in Econ/Policy members conducted by Sharvari and Vasanthi
This graph describes average monthly salary by organisation type based on a survey of 107 RAs conducted by Prashansa Srivastava & Anahita Karandikar
Application Tips
  1. Math & stats:
    1. Always good to brush up on basic stats concepts. Depending on the role, it is also useful to brush up on econometrics, time-series/panel analysis
    2. Data tests may look for proficiency in basics of stats and data presentation
  2. Econ/policy knowledge:
    1. More necessary in labs like J-PAL, LEAD, EPoD, GBL, IPA etc
    2. Brush up on field experiments, RCTs, A/B testing methods
    3. If applying for a lab experiment – useful to know fundamentals in game theory and experimental econ
    4. If looking for a policy-facing role, good to know how to conduct lit reviews, meta-analyses, critiquing papers  
    5. Not as necessary for field/program manager type roles – experience more relevant than academic expertise
  1. Data:  
    1. Familiarity with programming languages -- Stata, R, SPSS, Python, Excel useful
    2. R and Python are freely available, and there are resources/courses online if you want to brush up on application of stats/econometrics concepts!
    3. If no familiarity, a sense of:
      1. types of datasets
      2. types of issues in primary vs secondary data
      3. stats that are imp to look at various stages of the project
  2. Design:
    1. Understanding of study design, potential issues w/ it, potential problems in the field and how to deal with them etc are things that you might be quizzed on in the interview.
    2. Draw on past exp. with study/questionnaire design, survey planning, respondent interactions
    3. Good way to prep for this if you have no prior knowledge is to read papers on similar research ideas and pay attention issues they took into consideration
    4. Look up methodologies mentioned in the JD if you are not familiar with them
  3. Data viz. & writing:
    1. Most such positions require weekly reporting of progress, and more fleshed out reports less frequently.
    2. Presenting stats, issues, progress succinctly very important -- any experience with this should be highlighted!
    3. Any experience with summarising results, interpreting stats, writing reports, briefs, critiquing papers also useful
    4. Exposure to writing IRB applications, PAPs, grant proposals
  4. Stakeholder Engagement:
    1. Collabs with different teams/verticals, teamwork, partnerships with other org -- either in the Dev space or otherwise (such as govts, private firms)
    2. Exposure to presenting learnings in seminars & symposiums
    3. Building relationships with donors, implementing partners
  5. Admin/Finance:
    1. Experience with budget management, resource allocation, contract/vendor management
    2. Planning project activities and timelines based on available and expected funding
General Tips:
  1. Keep an eye out for application cycles of different organisations
  2. Talk about experiences & skill sets most relevant to the role – you can get a sense of this from the JD
  3. Be prepared to elaborate on anything in your CV
  4. Read up about organisations you are interested in applying to and speak to current employees. Use the information obtained to make your cover letters and CVs more org and role-specific
Browse jobs and internships shared by members 
Note: These are jobs shared by members over WhatsApp over the last 3 weeks. Please check if positions are still open before applying. If you are thinking about applying to one of these, you can also drop a message on the WhatsApp group or on the google group to connect with members currently working in these organisations.

1. Job Openings:
  • Research Officers at the University of Zurich
  • Transport Department of Delhi Government along with The Global Education & Leadership Foundation (tGELF) has launched an exciting fellowship programme to work closely with the Principal Secretary cum commissioner of Transport to seed innovation in the transport system and relevant infrastructure in delhi.
    The position is based out of Delhi and is paid.
    You can mail your resume along with your CV to , and
  • Consult for Humanity is a pro-bono consultancy platform that connects professionals (Volunteer Consultants) from varied backgrounds with impact organizations (Clients) for short projects. Apply to their May 2021 cohort as a Consultant
  • Pre-doc opportunity: A  group  of  Professors  from  the  Economics  Department  at University of California, Berkeley and  the  Haas  School  of  Business  are  looking  to  hire  multiple  full-time  research  assistants.
2. Internships:
  • The Ahmedabad Project has launched its flagship internship program. Apply here.
3. PhD funding:
  • 2 funded PhD projects on Sexualities and Genders Beyond Heterosexuality in India and Bangladesh are available at the University of Glasgow
4. Websites that compile job postings:
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