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Sr Program Manager - Public Finance - Lucknow

 

About CEGIS 

The Centre for Effective Governance of Indian States (CEGIS Foundation – pronounced See-Jis) ) was co-founded by private equity investor turned philanthropist Ashish Dhawan and economist Karthik Muralidharan in 2019 to improve millions of lives by helping Indian state governments work better. CEGIS aims to enable a transformative improvement in the functioning of the Indian state in the coming decade. Informed by cutting-edge research and evidence as well as a practical orientation toward implementable ideas, CEGIS aims to provide Indian states with both an analytical roadmap for governance and expenditure reforms as well as strategic implementation support to deliver on this vision. 

 

The organization has a sharp focus on improving the quality of public expenditure, and through it, develops templates for achieving a step-function improvement in development outcomes across India. We strive to produce high-quality economic analysis to inform state-level policy-making and work closely with the Chief Secretary, and Principal Secretaries of Finance/Planning, with guidance from and close coordination with the Chief Minister and Finance Minister. Based on consultations with top officials in several states, we believe that there is a very high demand for such support – especially when backed by world-leading technical expertise and a deep understanding of service delivery in India.

 

CEGIS believes that states are the most important unit for addressing these issues. Therefore, we work with state governments to generate actionable insights, formulate effective solutions and facilitate measurable impact in terms of developmental outcomes. Currently, CEGIS is working with the governments of Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bodoland Territorial Council, NCT of Delhi and a few Government of India entities. At the state level, CEGIS identifies sectoral priorities jointly with the state government, and then aims to integrate its four verticals (Outcome Measurement, Personnel Management, Public Finance, State(s) and Market into specific projects to improve governance, service delivery, and development outcomes.

CEGIS Approach and Model of Functioning 

Four key characteristics of high-performing organizations are (a) measuring outcomes for goal setting and monitoring progress towards these goals, (b) strategic use of personnel policy – including competency based hiring and training, skilling, and performance appraisals to determine job assignments, pay, and promotions – to achieve the goals above, (c) strategic budgeting where resource allocation is based on evidence and cost-effectiveness; (d) and creating efficient systems to leverage external actors (including for-profit and nonprofit organizations). The Indian state performs weakly on all four fronts above. CEGIS helps to improve the functioning of the Indian state by focusing on the four principles above.

 

CEGIS works with state governments through a dedicated state office that is co-created with the state and integrated with their Finance and Planning Departments. The staffing model includes CEGIS personnel as well as staff seconded by the state and fellows, if any. Thus, instead of being another Delhi-based ‘policy think tank’, we are building the organization in a “state-led” way, where we focus on deep partnerships with states with an iterative cycle of “thinking” and “doing”. We support states in implementing evidence-based ideas for improving state effectiveness while also continuously learning from state-level experiences of implementing these ideas. Each state-level CEGIS engagement features some core themes that are common to all state-level engagements, and others that vary by state. State-level delivery teams are supported by central technical teams that curate ideas based on both evidence and experience, support state-level experimentation, and accelerate adoption of successful practices across states.

Overview

Within CEGIS, the Public Revenue/Taxation/Public Finance team’s role is to support institutionalisation of data driven decision making by setting up the required infrastructure and technical capacity with the relevant line departments. High quality data and insights generated are expected to aid the State in goal setting, progress monitoring and strategic decision making. In addition, as a “sectoral” workstream, specific objectives are furthered by testing and institutionalising interventions in the form of Micro RCTs with the larger goal of improving tax compliance and augmenting revenues. 

 

Our projects can be of a wide variety and involve elements of research and analytics, advocacy, policy implementation and evaluation, and active support to line departments in reforms adoption. A large part of the work is by its very nature quantitative.

 

Specifically, this will, among other things, entail:

  • Conducting detailed budgetary analysis at different levels of government

  • Conducting situational analysis on a variety of economic sectors and subjects

  • Conducting forensic analysis to identify anomalous patterns in taxpayer behaviour

  • Mapping government budgeting and administrative processes and identify efficiency enhancing solutions 

  • Conduct financial impact assessment in terms of cost-effectiveness and rates of returns.

  • Design and implement micro RCTs on live policy interventions

Position Summary 

The Senior Manager oversees data management, analysis, project management, stakeholder engagement, team leadership, and knowledge sharing within Strategic Public Finance projects. They ensure meticulous data handling, drive insightful analysis, engage with stakeholders, mentor team members, and foster a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing. The Senior Manager plays a central role in driving project success and advancing organizational objectives.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Data Management and Analysis:

  • Facilitates access to administrative data from relevant government line departments, reviews them using a prescribed template, and conducts analysis as required.

  • Ensures strict compliance with data quality protocols, including auditing enumerators, supervising data collection, and performing data quality audits.

  • Manages all primary, secondary, and administrative data by strictly following data management and security protocols and creating standardization of protocols for projects.

Analysis and Interpretation:

  • Conducts independent analysis and interpretation of information, translating data into actionable insights.

  • Oversees detailed budgetary analysis at different levels of government and situational analysis on a variety of economic sectors and subjects.

  • Oversees forensic analysis to identify anomalous patterns in taxpayer behavior and assesses financial impacts, emphasizing cost-effectiveness and return rates.

  • Designs & executes  micro RCTs to facilitate real-time policy interventions.

  • Monitors global best practices and research, aiding the team in adapting these methodologies.

Project Management:

  • Directs the launch and conceptualization of projects aligning with SPF primary objectives.

  • Oversees comprehensive project management, spanning from conceptualization and resource allocation to briefing and execution.

  • Manages the team's research efforts by delegating tasks, reviewing outputs, and ensuring the quality and rigor of outputs.

  • Provides technical inputs and guidance to project/state teams, ensuring high-quality outputs that contribute to project progress and the organisation's knowledge base.

  • Oversees project resourcing and allocates resources effectively to maximize project outcomes.

  • Collaborates with team members to develop impactful knowledge products, such as policy notes, analysis reports, and frameworks and contributes to knowledge sharing.

Communication and Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Oversees the interpreting and presenting of data effectively, helping to convey meaningful insights to internal and external stakeholders.

  • Leads the preparation and pitching of proposals and decks to donors and new states/departments.

  • Engages with state teams and government stakeholders to pitch ideas, present concepts, and advocate for impactful initiatives.

  • Develops and nurtures relationships with public officials, government departments, and other stakeholders to facilitate collaboration and support for SPF projects.

Education and Experience:

  • Masters or advanced degree, such as a PhD or equivalent, in economics, statistics, public policy, engineering, social science, or related fields from a prestigious institution.

  • 8 to 12 years of progressive work experience, including extensive research, advanced quantitative analysis, client management (especially with government entities), and substantial managerial experience.

  • Demonstrated expertise in quantitative data management and analysis, utilizing advanced tools such as STATA, R, or Python programming extensively.

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Exceptional problem-solving and strategic thinking abilities, with a track record of formulating innovative solutions to complex challenges.

  • Proficiency in English with outstanding writing and communication skills, capable of effectively conveying intricate concepts to diverse audiences both within and outside the organization. Knowledge of the local language(s) is highly desirable.

  • Proven capacity to cultivate and manage high-level relationships with partner organizations, particularly with extensive experience collaborating with Indian state governments.

  • Strong organizational and planning skills, adept at setting priorities, establishing timelines, and consistently meeting deadlines in dynamic environments.

  • Deep commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of Indian states, coupled with a firm alignment with the organization's theory of change and impact.

  • Operating style conducive to autonomy and adaptability within a small-organization context, where teamwork and resourcefulness are paramount.

  • Ability to thrive under pressure, managing competing priorities while upholding meticulous attention to detail and delivering exceptional outcomes consistently.

  • Willingness to innovate and take calculated risks, translating ideas into actionable strategies to drive organizational objectives forward.

  • Exceptional collaboration and active listening skills, demonstrating an ability to understand and respect diverse perspectives.

  • Flexibility to seamlessly transition between various projects and swiftly immerse oneself in new sectors.

  • Proficiency in at least one of the following areas: taxation, public finance management systems, or budgeting. Familiarity with experimental and non-experimental research methods is highly advantageous.

Personal Characteristics and Desired Qualities:

  • Superior problem-solving and strategic thinking capabilities, coupled with a robust research acumen for analyzing intricate quantitative and qualitative data.

  • Excellent proficiency in English, complemented by exceptional writing and communication skills tailored to diverse audiences.

  • Advanced planning and organizational skills, combined with the ability to effectively manage teams from diverse backgrounds, including close collaboration with government stakeholders to ensure seamless project execution.

  • Unwavering dedication to improving the efficacy of Indian states, aligned closely with the organization's theory of change.

  • Operating style characterized by autonomy, adaptability, and a strong sense of resourcefulness.

  • Proven ability to thrive under pressure, maintaining meticulous attention to detail while consistently delivering high-quality results.

  • A penchant for innovation and a willingness to explore new ideas, translating them into actionable initiatives.

  • Exceptional collaborative skills, with a keen emphasis on active listening and valuing diverse perspectives.

  • Adaptability to embrace diverse projects and rapidly integrate into new sectors.

Compensation

CEGIS is looking for suitable candidates for this role in XXXX. 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

Please go through the following materials before sending in your application:

Concept note on CEGIS

 

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

You are also encouraged to read more of Prof. Karthik Muralidharan’s work here.

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