Policy Associate – Humanitarian Initiative

Abdul Jameel Latif Poverty Action Lab

Organisation: J-PAL Europe / Paris School of Economics Country: France Education: Master’s; Other advanced degree Start Date: September/October 2022 Language Requirement: English + fluency in at least one other European language

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is looking to hire a Policy Associate or Senior Policy Associate (depending on experience) to help launch and deliver a new research initiative focused on promoting rigorous evaluation and evidence-informed design of humanitarian interventions, including a focus on humanitarian protection. The selected candidate will join J-PAL Europe’s Policy and Communications team based at the Paris School of Economics and report to the Policy Manager for the Humanitarian Initiativeat J-PAL Europe.

About J-PAL:

J-PAL is a global research centre working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence, and is anchored by a network of over 260 affiliated professors at universities around the world. The Policy & Communications Group plays a key role in translating research by J-PAL affiliates into actionable poverty alleviation policies around the world and in helping create new links between partner organisations and researchers to launch new evaluations. Staff connect the dots between economics and policy and are passionate about working with organisations to form partnerships for evidence-informed development policy.

About the Humanitarian Initiative:

The new Humanitarian Initiative aims to foster the design and implementation of a multi-million euro portfolio of rigorous evaluations of humanitarian programming with the goal of improving the sector’s effectiveness in preventing and responding to crisis-affected populations’ need and suffering. In the coming year, the initiative will focus on outreach to governments, humanitarian organisations, and researchers to refine research priorities and foster new research partnerships, with a focus on protection. The team’s work builds on a learning agenda published in April 2022 and accompanies the outreach and partnership development work with the delivery of tailored trainings and workshops for humanitarian practitioners.

The (Senior) Policy Associate will work with the Policy Manager, the Director of Policy, two academic co-chairs as well as other colleagues based at J-PAL Europe or other J-PAL offices to deliver the work of the Initiative over the coming years. S/he will support outreach to humanitarian organisations, build awareness of and exposure to rigorous impact evaluation methods among these organisations, work with a diverse group of stakeholders to identify priority research and evaluation questions regarding humanitarian effectiveness, with a focus on humanitarian protection.

Responsibilities:

As a (Senior) Policy Associate, you will work primarily with the Policy Manager on the various work streams of the Humanitarian Initiative, including outreach, partnership and research project development, writing and communication focused on synthesising existing and emerging research findings, and the planning and delivery of trainings and workshops.

As such, you will:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with key partners in international organisations, government agencies, non-profits, foundations, and the private sector to identify relevant research questions and opportunities for rigorous evaluation of humanitarian action;
  • Create materials for policy outreach, including tailored presentations, evaluation summaries, policy briefs, and other deliverables designed to “translate” research findings into accessible and actionable products that facilitate evidence-uptake;
  • Draft blogs, op-eds, and other written materials to profile the research in our network, its policy impact, and J-PAL’s work more broadly;
  • Organise trainings, workshops, and convenings designed to increase humanitarian actors’ interest in and ability to engage with or manage rigorous impact evaluations and spur new research collaborations;
  • Raise funds for new research, policy, and training activities;
  • Provide technical and project management support to policymakers and practitioners as they develop evaluations;
  • Identify windows for drawing on existing evidence to inform decisions by humanitarian policy-makers and practitioners; and
  • Raise the profile of J-PAL’s work in the humanitarian sector by presenting J-PAL’s work and research at conferences, seminars or in bilateral exchanges.

Additional tasks, projects, and areas of work may be added as needed, and contribution to other elements of J-PAL Europe’s policy work will constitute roughly 20 percent of the role. Candidates interested in this position should indicate in their covering letter what other parts of J-PAL Europe’s policy work are of potential interest. This position may require some travel.

Professional Development

The Policy Group invests in your professional development. As a (Senior) Policy Associate, you will learn, engage, travel, and grow.

Learn: J-PAL supports a culture of learning. All J-PAL staff are also eligible to take the innovative online MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) free of charge. You will also be a member of an active community of economists and professionals at the Paris School of Economics dedicated to evaluating social programs and development programs around the world.

Engage: Associates have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliated researchers and directors, as well as interact with J-PAL partners, including decision-makers and practitioners, alongside senior staff.

Travel: Associates have the opportunity to present at and attend policy events as relevant to their workstream, and may participate in a unique “Associate-to-Field” experience supporting on-the-ground research during their time at J-PAL.

Grow: Associates can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. Associates receive one-on-one mentorship from senior staff.

Qualifications

Your technical expertise, strong communication and organisational skills, passion for translating research into action, and interest in poverty reduction and humanitarian action make you an ideal candidate for this role.

Education: You hold a Master’s degree in economics, public policy, or a closely related field, including coursework in microeconomics, econometrics, and programme evaluation. Candidates with Master’s-level degrees in other fields may be qualified as long as they have a solid understanding of quantitative research methods, including randomised evaluations.

Experience: You have at least three years of relevant and substantial work experience (or at least one year for an appointment as Policy Associate), including work related to impact evaluations and evidence-informed policymaking and to humanitarian work. Some of your work experience will have been focused on or in fragile and conflict-affected settings. You have a successful track record of identifying opportunities, developing and managing external partnerships, and relevant experience in communication and development.

Skills: You have strong project management skills, as well as excellent written and oral communication skills in English and at least one other European language. Proficiency or fluency in French and/or Arabic will be an asset. Experience running or interpreting randomised evaluations is desirable but not required.

Communication: You are detail-oriented and have advanced writing skills. You understand how to communicate policy lessons from technical academic research in ways that policymakers and practitioners understand. You are precise, clear, and creative. You are adept at managing relationships across countries and time zones.

Organisation: You are a strategic thinker. You can handle multiple projects at once with little supervision, meet deadlines while conducting high-quality work, and effectively manage your time.

Attitude: You love learning. You are passionate about humanitarian programming and policy and the rigorous research that informs it. You are self-motivated, work hard, and enjoy working in teams.

How to apply

Interested applicants should send a CV and cover letter, including details on how their experience and qualifications are relevant to the position and on their authorisation to work in the European Union, to [email protected]

J-PAL values the strength that diverse teams bring to our work. We actively welcome applicants who come from backgrounds that reflect populations most impacted by poverty and humanitarian crises and from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the economics field.

Please apply as soon as possible and no later than 20 June. A written assessment will be sent to shortlisted candidates at the end of June, and interviews are expected to be conducted in mid-July for candidates whose applications are retained after the assessment.

To apply for this job email your details to [email protected].


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