Postdoctoral Fellow (Economist: Quantitative Policy Analysis)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Job Purpose:

To contribute to the design and empirical evaluation of policy reforms and technology developments to advance water, land and environmental issues in developing countries using methods of non-market valuation, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis. This work employs economic analysis of fiscal and regulatory interventions such as the design and assessment of new policy instruments, e.g., taxes and subsidies, or the introduction and regulation of new technologies. In many applications, the characterization of ambient and anticipated risks will be an integral part of research study designs that examine agents’ behavior and decision making.

This is a two-year, fixed-term, postdoctoral fellowship. The position will provide the opportunity to work creatively under the supervision of researchers at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to develop a research program in quantitative policy analysis related to water and land interventions. The fellowship offers the opportunity to gain significant field experience in one or more developing countries, and to have one’s research findings published and presented to policymakers.


Duties AND Responsibilities:

  • Conduct economic assessments of programs, policy reforms and other interventions through the collection and analysis of relevant market and non-market data.
  • Prepare project and research reports under the supervision of senior researchers and project leaders.
  • Produce articles for peer-reviewed publication, jointly and independently, in accordance with IWMI’s policies on research publication.
  • Engage with key stakeholders for project implementation and dissemination of project outcomes that contribute to development goals.
  • Contribute to research proposal development and project implementation for diverse projects funded internally and by external sources.
  • Support economic analysis in interdisciplinary research projects across IWMI’s Strategic Programs by working with project leaders and research teams of hydrologists, agricultural water management researchers and environmental scientists, among others, in the Institute’s regional and country offices.


  • Specialized training in the econometric implementation of non-market valuation, potentially including experimental methods and benefits transfer.
  • Good quantitative skills in microeconomic analysis.
  • Knowledge of design, application and assessment of economic instruments for public policy goals, including taxes, subsidies, design of markets for tradable quotas and other entitlements, and payments for ecosystem services.
  • Understanding of current approaches for the design and comparative analysis of regulatory reform proposals, such as reforms to resource pricing and property rights, as undertaken from an applied welfare perspective with application to developing economies.
  • Ability to conduct (social and private) cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness analysis of proposed interventions or replications, including stochastic simulation of probabilistic outcomes.
  • Good understanding of developmental and rural poverty issues in one or more regions of Asia or Africa.
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally and to work under conditions common to rural areas of developing countries.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in English.
  • Capacity to work effectively in multidisciplinary and multicultural research teams, while assuring the quality and relevance of project outcomes and promoting a workplace culture of knowledge sharing and transfer.



  • PhD in Economics, preferably with a specialization in Public Economics, Development Economics, Environmental Economics, Agricultural Economics or Public Policy with a concentration in quantitative analysis of public policy reform from a microeconomic perspective.


  • Knowledge of water resources management and policy in developing economies.
  • Experience with primary data including the design and execution of large-scale survey questionnaires, sample and survey design, pilot testing, micro-econometric data analysis, quality assurance, hypothesis testing, interpretation of results and data management.