Employer: Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR
Location: Bhopal
Duration: Full time
Start Date: As early as possible

Who We Are:

Inclusion Economics India Centre at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) is a policy-engaged research initiative that strives to inform and encourage evidence-backed dialogue on economic and social inclusion. Our work in India includes research engagements across multiple states and focuses on some of India’s most challenging problems, ranging from pollution and climate change to women’s economic engagement and engagement with technology, to supporting effective governance and building state capacity.
As a policy-engaged research initiative focused on issues of inclusion, we believe that every life is shaped by institutions, from the family to the economy to the state. Through our work, we ask which policies build institutions that enable economies and societies, where everyone can access economic opportunities.
We believe that inclusion must be intentional and that inclusion occurs when institutions distribute power equitably, rather than in ways that reinforce exclusion and bias.  We aim to identify how policy can promote inclusive and accountable institutions, economies and societies and how citizens - including the vulnerable and marginalised – can influence political and economic systems to ensure that they are responsive to their needs, now and in the future.
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.

The Role:

We are currently recruiting a Policy and Capacity Building Manager to lead our policy engagements in the states we work, starting with Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, and our capacity building work with policymakers across states and the centre. This position provides an excellent opportunity for someone interested in a career in policy-engaged research. 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-backed programs. 

There are four core streams of work:
Stream 1 (30%):
This person will support the development, evaluation, and rollout of a data 
visualisation-based mobile- and web application aimed to improve MGNREGs delivery, in partnership with the Ministry of Rural Development. The selected candidate will lead policymaker engagement across multiple assigned states (beginning with Madhya Pradesh and Bihar)

Stream 2 (30%): 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. In addition to the app mentioned above, the Policy Manager 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 supporting fundraising 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 organisational planning to translate research outputs to effective trainings as well as fundraise for this prong of our work. Across all three workstreams, the Senior Policy Manager will be responsible for working with IEIC leadership and affiliated research teams to set and implement strategies and workplans, managing and mentoring team members, budgeting and financial/grant management, as well as other operational tasks.

Stream 4 (20%): This person will be responsible for designing and executing IEIC’s stakeholder engagement strategy with support from the Research Lead and Executive Director. This includes designing mechanisms to identify key stakeholders and changes in policy landscape which should inform our research and stakeholder engagement strategy.

Stream 1

  • Develop and maintain relationships with key policy partners to support application development and usage. Create a plan to sustainably transition application ownership to policy partners. Catalyze engagement between policymakers and researchers in order to support development and evaluation of application features. 
  • Plan and support the implementation of training of MGNREGs functionaries in partner states, in collaboration with Research Associates and Principal Investigators. Monitor and maintain systems for training and data collection to ensure the highest data quality standards are upheld and all systems and processes are well documented. Work with all stakeholders to build capacity to use data to improve decision-making and service quality.
  • Develop data visualizations, policy memos, and other research products to test hypotheses and understand program impacts. Communicate research results, evaluation best practices, and concrete action points to stakeholders. Identify technical and human process improvements to further streamline the application, minimize risks, and support cost-effectiveness.

Stream 2

  • Develop a plan to identify and engage with policymakers and stakeholders across state, starting with Madhya Pradesh, who are aligned with IEIC mission to scope research projects in collaboration with research team at IEIC and PIs as well as increase update of IEIC research findings among stakeholders in Madhya Pradesh, across government departments.
  • Work with research team to ensure that the design and scale up of female banking account across the state is based in 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 date to track program implementation coverage, quality, as it is scaled.
  • Support fundraising for the study in MP and support grant deliverable writing.
  • Develop high-quality communication materials and implementation insights from scale up to aid successful implementation in other states

Stream 3 

  • Develop and 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.
  • Propose and develop content for policymaker trainings, including case studies and in-class exercises. This includes identifying, sourcing, cleaning and analysing administrative and survey data to use in in-class materials for trainees, and incorporating relevant information from the policy and research landscape.
  • Oversee draft reports and deliverables for submission to donors.
  • Develop communications materials as needed and relevant to the Inclusion Economics network’s training portfolio
  • Develop methodologies and processes to evaluate effectiveness of trainings in pursuit of 
  • continuous improvement
  • Update and maintain a training stakeholder spreadsheet to help identify synergies across IEIC studies and engagements
  • Develop guidance documentation and train staff to effectively communicate with stakeholders and identify capacity building opportunities
  • Grow our training portfolio and team by identifying and pursuing high-impact, aligned opportunities and successfully raising funds to support these opportunities.

Stream 4

  • Develop a plan to identify and engage with policymakers and stakeholders across state, starting with Madhya Pradesh, who are aligned with IEIC mission to scope research projects in collaboration with research team at IEIC and PIs as well as increase update of IEIC research findings among stakeholders in Madhya Pradesh, across government departments.
  • Identify and build opportunities for research-policy engagements and support IEIC  with conducting scoping, seeking state support and other project activities, as required.
  • Coordinate with other project staff and Research Managers to contribute to organizational initiatives as and when called upon.
  • Contribute to grant applications as needed. 
  • Manage and oversee policy staff. Recruit and onboard staff, as determined by project requirements and funds. Contribute to the growth/feedback process of direct reportees and be their first point of contact when guidance is required.

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, writing sample, and academic transcripts.  Label your file “Last name, First name – Policy_Capacity Building Manager”. 

To view other open positions, visit the Inclusion Economics Opportunities page. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, particularly women, people of color and other marginalized communities which have historically been underrepresented in the field of economics.