Intern (Breakthrough Project) - J-PAL South Asia

Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Less than one year
Start Date 

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 Descriptions

In India, gender-based discrimination is still prevalent with widespread selective abortion of female fetuses and limited educational and career opportunities for girls. Researchers are evaluating the impact that a school-based program promoting gender equity has on youths’ attitudes and subsequent fertility decisions.

Researchers have partnered with Breakthrough, a human rights organization based in India that works to change gender norms around sex-selective abortion, domestic violence, early marriage, and sexual harassment. Breakthrough uses a mixture of multimedia campaigns, trainings in schools and neighborhoods, and community engagement. For this study, researchers sampled secondary schools in 314 villages across four districts in Haryana. 150 randomly selected secondary schools in four districts of Haryana received the Breakthrough program. An additional 164 secondary schools were assigned to a comparison group. Breakthrough implemented the program for two and a half school years, from 2014 to 2017.

Preliminary results suggest that the program positively impacted the gender attitudes and behaviors of program participants. We think that the program has a lot of potential to inform the broader policy landscape and be scaled at a large level. In order to do that, we would like to work with our partner organization to document all the processes, delivery mechanisms, challenges and way ahead.

Intern Roles and Responsibilities 

The intern will perform a variety of tasks on the project including, but not limited to:

  • Coordinating with the partner organization (Breakthrough) to understand the nuances of the school-based attitude change program that they implemented in 150 schools in four districts of Haryana. The same was evaluated by J-PAL South Asia through a randomized evaluation.
  • Working with Breakthrough to document the various program components in detail including its development, curriculum, training, delivery, challenges and way ahead.
  • Helping Breakthrough in creating a program packet which can be operationalized for scale-ups of the program.
  • Any other task as assigned by the Research Associate or Research Manager

Desired Qualifications and Experience

  • A Bachelor's or Master’s degree in humanities, social sciences, or related fields.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English
  • Flexible, self-motivated, and able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player

Note on Work Authorizations: Candidates must have work authorization to work in India.  This covers citizens of India, Nepal, or Bhutan, Persons of Indian origin (PIO), and an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).  

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Intern job category, then select "Intern – Breakthrough” and include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, CV, and transcripts. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Also send an email to Vrinda Kapur at following these instructions exactly:

  • In the subject line: Put your full name, first (given) name followed by last (family) name.
  • Attachments: Please attach ONLY your CV and Cover Letter.

Please do not include any text besides the position line(s) in the body of the e-mail.  Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for a written exam and interview(s)