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Program Manager - State and Market

Position Summary 

CEGIS’ work under the theme of State and Market (SAM) focuses on improving state capacity for better management of State interfaces with the larger market, especially in service delivery functions. We work with State Governments in three capacities

  • Procurement: Improving procurement policies, processes and decisions to improve value for money in public procurement

  • Regulation: Assessment of market failures and design and execution of proportionate regulatory interventions to address these

  • Policy: Development of sectoral policy to incentivize cost effective service delivery, through the most appropriate models


​While the above work will be focused on CEGIS core sectors (education, health, nutrition, local governance), some streams like procurement are likely to have a broader sectoral coverage. Our projects will involve elements of research and analytics, market efficiency assessment, regulatory capacity assessment, and active support to Finance and line departments in reforms adoption. This will involve both quantitative and qualitative skills. This will, among other things, entail: 

  • Conducting market assessments including identification of market failures (information asymmetry, market power, externalities, deadweight losses)

  • Conducting assessment of State capacity on policy, provision and regulation, through benchmarking, assessment of rules, systems and procedures, and primary interactions with key stakeholders 

  • Quantitative assessments of cost effectiveness across different models of service delivery, including use of methods such as Value for Money assessments (VfM) and Public Sector Comparator (PSC) analysis

  • Interactions with non-state actors (for Profits and Civil Society Organisations) to assess their offerings, constraints and operating ecosystem

The Program Manager - SAM is required to play an important role in contextualising and executing the CEGIS vision across States, but especially in Tamil Nadu. The role will involve working closely with the SAM technical team and the relevant State teams, and collaborating with other CEGIS teams (Outcomes Measurement; Personnel Management; Public Finance and Sectoral teams). The Program Manager will be jointly reporting to the Lead, SAM and the relevant State Lead(s).

Role and Responsibilities 

  • Working closely with senior academics and government stakeholders to tailoring procurement/ regulatory/policy design and implementation protocols to local contexts, and translating technical requirements to on ground implementation. 

  • Managing government relationships with bureaucratic leadership at the highest level from end to end and ensuring timely delivery of outputs and ongoing engagement with CEGIS projects. 

  • Managing a team of associates and supporting them in execution of programmatic projects and development of high quality outputs (presentations, reports, briefs) summarising project progress, data analyses, research findings for both technical and non-technical audiences and for dissemination at various fora. 

  • Ensuring adherence to data quality protocols, including auditing enumerators, monitoring data collection, and conducting data quality audits in any data collection project 

  • Facilitating access to administrative data from relevant government line departments, review them using a prescribed template and conduct analysis as required 

  • Managing all the primary, secondary, and administrative data by strictly following data management and security protocols 

  • Assisting in standardisation of protocols for projects 

  • Supporting the technical and professional development of reportees 

  • Keeping track of global best practices and research and assist in strengthening team’s capacity to adopt those

  • Actively participating in organization building activities

Education and Experience 

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in economics, statistics, public policy, engineering, social science, or related fields from a reputed institution 

  • 4 to 5 years relevant work experience, including research, basic quantitative analysis, client management (preferably with governments) and team management 

  • Experience in at least one of the areas of “public procurement” or “service regulation” is highly desirable

  • Sectoral exposure to one or more of the following - education and skills, healthcare, infrastructure and local government is desirable

Required Skills, Characteristics and Qualities

  • Fluency in English and basic to intermediate proficiency in Tamil 

  • Excellent problem-solving and strategic thinking skills, strong research aptitude ability to analyse complex quantitative and qualitative data and formulate solutions 

  • Excellent writing and communication skills (ability to communicate complex ideas in a meaningful way and across different audiences) within and outside the organisation

  • Strong planning and organisational skills, and an ability to be able to set priorities, plan timelines and meet deadlines

  • Ability to manage teams from diverse backgrounds including working closely with Government (Department) stakeholders to ensure smooth project delivery

  • Passion for improving the effectiveness of Indian States, and alignment with CEGIS’s theory of change/ impact

  • Operating style suited to working independently and in a small-organisation setting, where teamwork and resourcefulness are highly valued 

  • Ability to work under pressure by handling competing priorities, strong planning and organisational skills, and an ability to be able to set priorities, plan timelines and meet deadlines, maintaining attention to detail and delivering high-quality outputs

  • Ability to think creatively, willing to take risks to experiment with new ideas and the ability to turn ideas into action

  • High ability to collaborate and actively listen to others, understanding and valuing others’ views

  • Versatility to be comfortable taking on different projects and quickly dive into new sectors

  • Demonstrated relationship-building ability and management of high-level relationships with partner organizations, ideally based on experience of working with Indian state governments 

  • Understanding of experimental and non-experimental research methods, including design and implementation of field sample surveys is an added advantage.

Location and Compensation

CEGIS is looking for suitable candidates for this role in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Remuneration will be competitive with Indian philanthropy and social sector pay scales and will depend on the candidate’s experience levels.

Interested candidates are requested to submit their application here

Pre-reads for the application process

To learn more about the type of reforms CEGIS is seeking to implement in states, please go through the following materials before sending in your application:


  1. Concept note on CEGIS ​

  2. Podcast episodes with Prof. Karthik Muralidharan – one each on education and healthcare in India.

  3. Collection of Prof. Karthik Muralidharan’s work here.

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