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(Senior) Program Associcate - 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 (Senior) Program Associate (PA) will play an important role in contextualising and executing the CEGIS vision in a select state. 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 (Senior) Program Associate will report to the SAM Program Manager in the state. 

Role and Responsibilities 

The key responsibilities of the (Senior) Program Associate include:  

  • Conducting systematic and detailed reviews of government acts, rules and guidelines to develop a sound understanding of the context

  • Planning and conducting detailed qualitative interviews with a variety of stakeholders and synthesise insights

  • Designing and running small scale interventions and evaluations as per the requirement of the project. Work with external stakeholders in scaling up successful interventions. 

  • Gathering administrative data from relevant government line departments and conduct analysis as required

  • Designing dashboards for external stakeholders to use for decision making. Working independently or with external partners to test and implement dashboards

  • Developing high quality outputs for dissemination at various forums

  • Managing relationships with senior officials in relevant departments in collaboration with the management team 

  • Assisting in developing technical notes and measurement and analysis protocols for the vertical

  • Keeping track of global best practices on market assessments and various models of service delivery. Strengthening the team’s capacity promote the adoption of best practices

  • Participating in culture and organisation building activities

Education and Experience 

  • Education and Experience  

  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree or equivalent preferred) in economics, public policy, social science or related fields from a reputed institution 

  • 0 to 3 years work experience in India with a research organisation (research agency/ think-tank (government or private sector) preferred

  • Experience with data cleaning and analysis of large and complex data sets and econometric analysis

  • Knowledge of STATA or R (strongly preferred) or any other data analysis software preferred

  • Experience in client servicing/government projects would be preferred

  • Experience in at least one of the areas of “public procurement” or “service regulation” would be a plus

  • Experience conducting primary interviews and managing data collection operations would be a plus

  • Understanding of experimental and non-experimental research methods

Required Skills, Characteristics and Qualities

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

  • Fluency in English and excellent writing and communication skills (ability to communicate complex ideas in a meaningful way and across different audiences) within and outside the organisation. Tamil Proficiency is preferable.

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

  • 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

  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organisations

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

Location and Compensation

This role will be based out of Chennai with the possibility of regular travel.

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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