Research Associate – ‘Taaron ki Toli’ (TKT) Scale up

Vice President (Research)
April 1, 2024
Senior Field Coordinator
April 1, 2024

Research Associate – ‘Taaron ki Toli’ (TKT) Scale up

Job Description

J-PAL South Asia seeks qualified applicants for the position of Research Associate (RA) for the TKT scale up India. The position offers an opportunity to gain first-hand data and field management experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. The scale up is based on the ‘Taaron ki Toli’ (TKT – gang of stars) curriculum by Breakthrough. It is a school-based, gender equity program for adolescent boys and girls, to shape their gender attitudes and behaviors at an age when their views are still malleable, and yet they are at the cusp of making critical decisions about marriage, careers and fertility.

TKT is a life skills based curriculum that comprises 28 fortnightly, 45-minute classroom sessions plus 12 assembly sessions that build adolescent agency to question gender norms, build intergenerational and inter-gender dialogues so they can make their own life choices without fear of violence or discrimination. TKT was piloted in Haryana, a state with the most adverse sex ratio in the country, to cover children in government schools in grades 6-8. The program was evaluated in a randomised control trial by J-PAL, South Asia over 2.5 years, covering 14000 children across 300 schools. The results were heartening – gender attitudes and behaviours of both boys and girls shifted significantly, in fact boys’ behaviours moved more than that of girls, which might be because they have comparatively lesser social constraints. What was also encouraging was that parental gender attitudes were rendered irrelevant, as children from the most gender regressive homes (bottom 20%) developed gender attitudes similar to children from regular homes after the program. The most significant shifts were seen in perceptions around norms related to girls’ higher education and paid employment. A culmination of J-PAL SA’s outreach efforts to scale-up the Taaron ki Toli (TKT) programme has been the Government of Odisha’s (GoO) commitment to scale-up TKT across the state to reach the entire population of more than 450,000 adolescents enrolled in 23,000 upper primary government schools annually, with technical assistance from Breakthrough and J-PAL SA. The TKT scale-up in Odisha is an opportunity to encourage gender-equitable attitudes among adolescents by making TKT a regular part of a standard school curriculum, taught by regular teachers.

TKT’s unique features, including rigorous demonstration of short-term impacts, complementarities with existing government focus on adolescents as a priority group, and potentially low costs at scale, make it particularly attractive as an innovation worth scaling to governments – Odisha is a case in point. J-PAL SA, as a knowledge partner, will undertake an extensive set of measurement and monitoring activities and set up mechanisms so that findings from these activities are regularly reported to government officials and Breakthrough so that quick action on implementation issues can be taken as and when they occur.

Job Responsibilities

  • Managing teams: Recruit, train, and supervise both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff.
  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and surveying instruments.
  • Supervising data collection and data-entry, and ensuring data quality and productivity.
  • Maintaining relationships with partner organizations.

Data cleaning and management

  • Develop scripts in Stata to analyze survey data, clean data and identify trends across time for all ongoing data collection efforts.
  • Review and vet project datasets and maintain an efficient data documentation system
  • Work with other members of the team to reconcile any gaps or errors in the data

Data analysis and synthesis

  • Liaise with members of the project team by sending them statistics as and when required
  • Generate aggregated views of the data for various stakeholders – the Principal Investigators, government and other partners
  • Assist in documenting data collection efforts, including any issues and key decisions taken for improvements
  • Assisting in preparation of documents and presentations with graphs and tables for partner organization, donor reporting as well as dissemination activities.
  • Maintain compliance with all J-PAL protocols and policies with specific focus on all protocols and guidelines laid down by J-PAL admin and finance, and research operations verticals.
  • Any other task as assigned by the Research Manager, AD Research or ED

Education Qualification/Required Skills & Experience

  • Proficiency in English and Hindi (required)Prior fieldwork experience (required)
  • Demonstrable ability in Stata (required)
  • Willingness to travel within assigned state (required)Proficiency in Odia (preferred)
  • Qualitative research skills in interviewing and/or focus group discussions (desired)

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