Policy Manager at J-PAL SEA

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Published: February 1, 2017
Indonesia, United States
Job Type
Experience Level
5-10 Years
Education Level (minimum)
Travel Required?


J-PAL Southeast Asia, based in Jakarta at the Institute for Economic and Social Research in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Indonesia (LPEM FEB UI), seeks a qualified applicant for the position of Policy Manager. This mid-level position offers an excellent opportunity to have significant responsibility and contribute to the design and execution of J-PAL’s policy outreach and capacity building work in Southeast Asia.

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a research center headquartered in the Economics Department at MIT. J-PAL’s mission is to ensure that policy is informed by scientific evidence. J-PAL Southeast Asia is one of six independent regional offices hosted at leading universities around the world. J-PAL SEA’s three main activities are:

  • Research: conducting randomized evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at reducing poverty
  • Policy outreach: analyzing and disseminating research results and building partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is informed by evidence, and effective programs are scaled up
  • Training: building policymakers’ capacity to become more effective producers and consumers of evidence from impact evaluations

J-PAL’s regional offices are at the center of our policy outreach and capacity building activities. Regional policy staff have the opportunity to help take high-quality academic research and translate it into action on the ground. Regional offices are housed in leading economics research institutions, giving policy staff access to an international network of top economists. Policy staff regularly collaborate across regional offices and with J-PAL’s Global Office at MIT. They develop expertise in the development challenges facing their region and have the opportunity to travel and interact regularly with policymakers.

Responsibilities include:

Policy Outreach

  • Build and manage partnerships with policymakers in government agencies, NGOs, foundations, and bilateral and multilateral aid agencies to ensure that policy is informed by evidence
  • Provide technical assistance to policymakers in government and civil society to promote the scale-up and replication of programs and policies that have been rigorously evaluated and found to be effective
  • Write proposals and progress reports to donors; additionally, background notes, policy briefs/memos, and other outreach documents that accurately summarize the findings from J-PAL affiliated professors’ research for a policy audience
  • Manage policy outreach events including contributing to their strategic planning, content, logistics, and relationship building with key stakeholders
  • Coordinate the production of and help write high-quality reports for major donors; manage relationships and serve as a key point of contact for major donors; assist with fundraising to support new research, policy, and training activities as needed
  • Represent J-PAL at conferences, workshops, and meetings and give presentations on J-PAL’s work and our affiliated professors’ research findings
  • Facilitate the development of new randomized evaluations by matching implementing organizations in the region with J-PAL affiliated professors
  • Build and maintain institutional knowledge on the state of priority sectors in Indonesia (identify key policy issues, conduct stakeholder mapping, and literature reviews to target policy outreach)

Capacity Building

  • Lead J-PAL SEA’s capacity building programs with partner organizations in the region
  • Coordinate and oversee planning and implementation of executive education and custom training courses, including developing new capacity building content and training materials as needed, for key clients including government agencies, international organizations, research institutions, and NGOs
  • Organize evaluation roundtables, seminars, and outreach events


  • Provide support in recruiting, onboarding, and mentoring junior policy and training staff
  • Build and strengthen the management systems and practices of J-PAL SEA’s policy and training teams


  • Education: Master’s degree with strong academic record in economics, public policy, development, or a related field, including coursework in microeconomics, econometrics, and development economics
  • Experience: 5 or more years of relevant experience in policy and program design and implementation or monitoring & evaluation. If you have less than 5 years of experience, consider applying for another position at J-PAL SEA.
  • Knowledge: All positions at J-PAL require a keen understanding of the design and value of randomized evaluations and their usefulness for informing policy decisions. Demonstrated ability to understand and communicate findings from randomized evaluations and other rigorous quantitative research
  • Communication: Attention to detail and advanced writing and presentation skills in English and Indonesian. Ability to communicate results and policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand. This requires clear, precise, non-technical writing, and confident, effective spoken communication and presentation style. Strong skills in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Management and time management skills: Ability to supervise staff and manage projects independently. Ability to multitask and successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision. A willingness to work hard, be self-motivated, and learn will be essential for doing well in this position
  • Willingness to travel: Position may require travel throughout the region to meet with senior policymakers in government agencies, NGOs, foundations and international development organizations as well as follow-up work to promote research projects and other policy and capacity building initiatives
  • Language skills: High-level of proficiency in English required. Proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia preferred.

How to Apply:

Please send an email with your application to jpalseajobs@povertyactionlab.org and jobs@poverty-action.org following these instructions exactly:

  1. Use the following as the email subject line: “J-PAL SEA, Policy Manager.” Please do not include any other text in the body of the e-mail. Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application.
  2. Attach PDF copies of your CV, a cover letter no longer than 500 words, 3 references and university/graduate school transcripts. The cover letter should discuss how you meet the aforementioned position requirements, emphasizing relevant skills and experience, as well as why you are interested in working with J-PAL SEA. In your cover letter, please mention that you learned of this position from InterAction's job board.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting immediately. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting immediately. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Only registered members can apply for jobs.

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