Research Associate - Reducing Agricultural Burning

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), India

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
31st March, 2019


Job Description

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) J-PAL was established in 2003 as a research center at the Economics Department at MIT. Since then, it has grown into a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL is propelled by a first-rate team dedicated to research, policy, training, and other vital work, supporting J-PAL's mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

J-PAL South Asia, which is based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) in India, analyses and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and that programs proven effective are scaled up. We have a growing number of partnerships in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Project Description:

Burning of rice fields after harvest to remove the crop residue is a major source of air pollution in Punjab and neighboring areas such as New Delhi. This project is a collaboration with the Government of Punjab to reduce the burning of agricultural fields in the state. We will explore ways to evaluate existing government policies such as subsidies for farm equipment that serves as a substitute for burning and to pilot additional policies that could reduce burning, such as financial incentives to not burn fields (payments for ecosystem services). We plan to collect data in during the summer of 2019 and then prepare and launch a full-scale randomized evaluation in summer/fall 2019. Reducing air pollution is a major priority for Punjab and for the Government of India, and this role provides an opportunity to help shape the government’s approach to solving to this problem.

Research Associate Roles and Responsibilities:

The RA will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and surveying instruments.
  • Managing teams: Recruit, train, and supervise both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff.
  • Liaising with government partners to obtain administrative data related to the farm equipment subsidies, pollution levels, enforcement of bans on burning, etc. and to understand the details of how current government programs have been implemented
  • Brainstorming and investigating the feasibility of various interventions that could strengthen the success of existing government programs to reduce crop burning
  • Overseeing implementation of field activities in accordance to the research design
  • Maintaining relationships with Government of Punjab partners and other partners
  • Assisting with data cleaning, preliminary data analysis, and preparation of documents and presentations
  • Reporting to PIs on all of the above mentioned activities.
  • Maintain compliance with all J-PAL protocols and policies.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor's/Master's degree in economics, social sciences, mathematics/statistics, public policy, or related fields
  • Research Experience-0-2 years
  • Experience in developing country
  • Excellent management/ organizational skills and able to solve unexpected problems
  • Working knowledge of Stata, Matlab (strongly preferred)
  • Familiarity with RCTs
  • Demonstrated experience managing a team
  • Flexible, self-motivating, independent and manages multiple tasks efficiently
  • Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments
  • Attention to detail

Source:https://www.povertyactionlab.org/careers/research-associate-reducing-agricultural-burning-j-pal-south-asia-102932


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