Associate Director (Research)

Organization
Centre For Civil Society
Location
New Delhi, India
Job Type
Full-time
Deadline for Applications
02/15/2020
How to Apply
Applicants must attach an updated CV, a cover letter, at least 2 publications (solo or co-authored), and 2 references. Selected candidates will be called for interviews
Where to Apply
https://ccs.in/get-involved/careers
Tags
Full-time

CCS is an independent think tank based in New Delhi studying structural public policy challenges in India and advocating market-based reform ideas to solve these problems. Our work in education, livelihood, and policy training promotes choice and accountability across private and public sectors. To translate policy into practice, we engage with policy and opinion leaders through research, pilot projects and advocacy.

Over the last many years, CCS’ research team has built a reputation for shining light on the dark recesses of governance: collecting and analysing data through primary surveys, ethnographic studies, public datasets and administrative data, and RTI applications, compiling legal and legislative analysis; testing the validity of innovative governance tools through pilot projects; and proposing a redesign of existing regulatory frameworks.

Examples of our research outputs
In 2019 we studied the regulatory interface between government and private schools by analysing administrative data on licensing, fee regulation and inspections to understand the challenges of starting and operating private schools in northern India.

In 2019, we developed a quality of regulation checklist and are assembling a dataset to measure the volume and complexity of regulation across India.

In 2018 we examined the ground realities of the ease of doing business effort at the state level in Delhi producing 7 distinct papers using a combination of primary surveys, time and motion studies and investigative journalism.

To test if the government was living up to its promise of including street vendors in urban planning and governance, we conducted a deep study of the implementation of the Street Vendors Act in 2017 and 2019 using case law analysis, analysis of state-level data and stakeholder interviews.

We have conducted multiple pilot projects to test the design and application of vouchers for school and skill education, inclusive education using 25% RTE reserved seats, school quality improvement mechanisms etc.

Over the years, we have produced over 150 research papers on the challenges facing micro, small and medium entrepreneurs and issues in education governance using observational studies and primary data collection.

Our work in education reforms
We focus on regulatory and governance reforms, particularly the uncoupling of service delivery, financing and regulatory functions of the government (centre/state level) based on data, and informed analysis to reinstate choice, quality and accountability in education. Towards this, we

Produce credible research and data to build evidence on the challenges created in education governance and delivery by fused, overlapping and conflicting functions, and poor institutional design

Design proposals and implementation blueprints for uncoupling of functions, and governance reform recommendations to remedy poor institutional design

Bring together leading educationists, policy experts, practitioners to dialogue on the core concerns of education policy in the country, to encourage public debate, media visibility and action from stakeholders for effective reforms

Disseminate research, news and perspectives on policy concerns in the education sector amongst target stakeholders

Leverage on the powerful medium of film and video documentaries as advocacy tools to demonstrate challenges in education governance, and

Build consensus among policymakers, sector experts, policy influencers and the media around need for and design of structural reform and functional separation.

Our work in livelihoods reforms
We focus on fostering greater economic freedom and improving the ease of doing business for micro, small and medium enterprises, removing regulatory and procedural hurdles to entrepreneurship. Towards this we

Identify and address policy gaps and regulatory bottlenecks that continue to stymie efforts for more inclusive markets

Engage stakeholders to engage, assess and evaluate the impact and adequacy of the on-going reforms

Build evidence through rigorous primary research (survey, interviews and case studies) and data-driven analyses on challenges to starting and running micro-enterprises at the central, state and city level

Draw policymaker attention to the gaps in implementation of the Street Vendors Act, 2014 through a state-wise local-body level assessment of compliance

Mobilise public/media opinion and encourage government action towards implementation gaps in the reform agenda and best practices.

Other Projects
In addition, CCS runs projects on judicial reforms, and a pan-India assessment of regulatory quality.

ROLE PROFILE
The Associate Director (Research) will lead data-driven research initiatives and deliver different types of research output. She will lead and manage high-quality teams oriented towards delivery and impact. She will partner with our advocacy team to effectively disseminate outputs from our research to elected representatives, policymakers, media and other important stakeholders. She will also write funding proposals and manage commitments to donors.

Researchers at CCS have sharp analytical and critical thinking abilities, and curiosity about the interplay between government, citizens, markets and civil society. An ideal team member is energetic, proactive, able to work independently and collaboratively as needed, and possesses both integrity and the humility to seek advice when needed.

Responsibilities
Execute research agenda on education reforms and regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship:

Identify knowledge gaps and develop research questions/projects

Ensure research is carried out within defined timelines across multiple projects including:

Directing research design and overseeing the implementation

Quality assurance of data collection and analysis

Building relationships with external service providers and researchers

Troubleshooting

Build a journal publication pipeline and ensure research output meets the rigour and relevance for publication in leading journals

Write opinion pieces and commentaries on research undertaken and contemporary issues for newspapers, journals and other relevant publications

Supervise managers/senior managers and associates on particular initiatives

Represent CCS in external forums and present research outputs

Build and maintain relationships with donors that fund research in ease of doing business and education reforms in India

Partner with research and policy organizations working on ease of doing business and education reforms

Engage with government agencies on reform opportunities and research needs

Work with the communication and advocacy team to

disseminate research findings to stakeholders in the policymaking ecosystem, including the media, using visual communication tools

speak and present at dialogues, workshops, and conferences on the research outputs

build internal capabilities of team members by coaching, sharing learnings, providing feedback, and ensuring their training and development

Remain current on developments in CCS’ areas of work.

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS
Experience and education
At least an MA/MSc in Economics/Statistics/Political Science/Political Economy/Public Policy (PhD is a bonus)

10-12 years of experience

At least 5 years in a research role with a think tank or research institution

At least 5 years of experience managing teams and leading projects

Ability to develop and oversee project budgets, set priorities, plan timelines and meet deadlines, and hire and manage teams

Proficiency and experience in at least three of the following research skills:

Running primary surveys (questionnaire design), response coding, and analysis of quantitative responses

Working with datasets (eg. NSSO, CMIE’s household data or Government of India’s U-DISE raw data)

Working with government administrative data (IT system logs, inspection reports, grievance logs, etc)

Conducting case studies, using ethnographic research methods

Proficiency in using R and LaTex (Python programming skills are a bonus)

Should have published reports, and op-eds and in recognised journal(s) on issues relating to structural reforms, governance, education, and/or doing business in India.

Skills
Analyzing complex qualitative and quantitative data, crafting possible solutions, and recommending actions

Knowledge of a wide range of research methodologies and techniques, including qualitative and quantitative approaches

Proficiency in high-quality succinct error-free writing in English

Networking with leading researchers in India and around the world

Communicating research content effectively, both orally and in writing, in English, to government partners, policy influencers, team members, researchers, partner organisations and donors

Processing vast amounts of information and generating useful insights quickly and

Up to date knowledge of the Indian policy process and political landscape.

Leadership Competencies
Deep knowledge of market liberalism and current politics around it, and ability to articulate the philosophy and defend it

Leading by example on doing an honest day’s work i.e. freedom to operate without oversight or supervision, as long as deliverables and commitments are met

Using guidance and influence as primary styles of leadership and directive styles only when required with team members

Allowing team members, experienced or new, the freedom to make choices about the ‘how’ of delivering on a responsibility and letting people own ideas and projects

Encouraging innovation and treating failure as a learning experience

Using guidance and influence as primary styles of leadership and directive styles only when required with team members

Attributes
Liberal bent of mind, with a commitment to a safe working environment for team members

Openness to ideas and debate

Have a robust (and not fragile) ego

Ambition to make an impact on the world and leave a mark, and not just to do a good enough job

Ability to generate goodwill with working partners and resolve conflicts at the earliest through transparent communication

Relentless pursuit of excellence, self-reflection, and commitment to honest feedback

Deep comfort with an environment that prizes collaborative technologies (basecamp, g-drive, e-meet, Github etc) (not necessary to be conversant, but must enjoy).

MORE DETAILS
Location
This role will be based out of CCS’ office in Delhi. Frequent travel around India with potential for international travel to partners and conferences will be expected.

Compensation
CCS recognizes that the right candidate will have a significant impact on the success of the organization and will offer an attractive compensation package for the non-profit sector, commensurate with experience.

Application
Candidates who are qualified should apply using this link. Applicants must attach an updated CV, a cover letter, at least 2 publications (solo or co-authored), and 2 references. Selected candidates will be called for interviews. Qualified candidates should apply on https://ccs.in/get-involved/careers.