Research Associate - Mahbub-ul-Haq Research Centre (MHRC)

Job Description

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Job particulars

Start date: As soon as possible
Minimum commitment: 6 months
Location: Lahore
Project: Organizational Effectiveness and Tax Compliance in Punjab

About MHRC

The Mahbul ul Haq Research Centre (MHRC) is a Centre of excellence in social science research at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). It supports interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and teaching on issues of human development, social exclusion, and inequality across South Asia. Its vision is to co-construct knowledge on critical challenges with a community of scholars, students, practitioners, and social actors to bring about transformative and sustainable change in Pakistan.

Project Overview

The aim of this project is to support the Punjab Revenue Authority’s (PRA) efforts to increase tax collection in the province. Since its establishment in 2012, PRA has generated impressive increases in tax collection underpinned by the implementation of several schemes. These include the rollout of Electronic Invoice Monitoring System (e-IMS) for several sectors like restaurants, which provides real-time electronic monitoring of transactions, and Sales Tax Real-time Invoice Verification (STRIVe) which ensures that no fake input tax credit can be claimed by the taxpayer.  e-IMS, combined with STRIVe, lead pre-population of sales tax returns. PRA has taken numerous other measures towards digitization, including online registration, online return filing, development and implementation of PRA Mirror, PRA Eye, collection of taxes through Alternate Delivery Channels, e-Courts, etc.

In view of the increasing importance of greater fiscal space by the provincial government, the challenge for PRA is to build on its past successes in launching new initiatives, in increasing the tax base by bringing in currently untaxed service-providers under the tax net, and in ensuring effective, timely and transparent enforcement. This project involves a collaboration of PRA with group of researchers (from Harvard, Columbia, LSE, and LUMS) who are at the frontier of the theory and practice of public finance.

Role Description

The Research Associate will be responsible for the following main tasks:

  • Conduct data analysis.
  • Understand and document the existing data structure and collection mechanism used by the PRA.
  • Assist the research team in providing overall strategic direction to the project.
  • Assist the research team to build relationships and coordinate with project stakeholders including the funders, departments in the Government, multilateral organizations, as well as partners in the private and non-profit sectors.
  • Oversee the designing, pilot testing, and conducting any administrative data collection exercise or survey based on discussions with the research team.
  • Coordinate with government partners to obtain administrative data and troubleshoot data related issues.
  • Develop and implement data sharing protocols with government partners.
  • Supervise the monitoring and cleaning of survey data and administrative data provided by government partners for accuracy, completeness and quality.
  • Establish quality assurance mechanisms for resolving problems and issues in the data.
  • Provide periodic project updates to the research team or government departments.
  • Handle administrative work including reporting, budgeting and tracking of financials and project activities.
  • Assist the research team in developing project deliverables and knowledge products
  • Carry out other duties as per the needs of the project.

Eligibilty Criteria

  • Undergraduate or Master's degree in Data Science, Economics, Public Policy, or a related discipline.
  • Minimum of 1 year of relevant experience in data analysis and cleaning.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of data management of large datasets as well as data collection, quality checks of data, and presentation of data.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of Python, R, or Stata and willingness and ability to learn more at a fast pace.
  • Proven ability to manage a team.
  • Proven ability to manage fieldwork related to the project.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage various tasks effectively and coordinate between project members
  • Comfortable with communicating with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
  • Willingness to take on added responsibility as the project progresses.
  • Fluent in English and Urdu.

How to apply

Please complete the form below to apply for a position at MHRC. It will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

After you have completed this form, please send an email to attaching your cover letter, CV and transcripts. The subject line should be "Research Associate - PRA".

Any applications or CVs submitted outside this process will not be considered. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Only successful candidates will be contacted regarding further steps in the application process.

Contact if you have any additional questions or queries about this position.

Note: “We are an equal employment opportunity employer”