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

Job Description

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Project: Urban Property Tax Reform in Punjab: Using Evidence to Reform the Method of Valuation
Start Date: June 2021
Job type: Full-time Contractual
Location: Remote/Lahore

Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre (MHRC) at LUMS:

Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre (MHRC) is the flagship centre of social science and development research at LUMS. Its vision is to use rigorous research and evidence to innovate responses that can bring about transformative change by addressing critical national and global challenges. Its network of leading academics aims to do this through research-based partnerships with government, NGOs and the private sector. MHRC provides an opportunity for highly motivated economists and social scientists to work on a set of exciting, applied research projects in the areas of Cities, Technology in Society, Political Economy and Governance, Education, Firms, Inequality, Poverty and Social Inclusion, Public Finance and Energy, Environment and Public Health while gender, labour, and historical foundations are considered as cross-cutting themes.

Description of Projects

Cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab are expanding rapidly but are characterized by weak and unequal access to critical municipal and public transport services, driven to a large extent by city governments’ weak tax capacity. The Governments of KP and Punjab recognize the importance of reforming their property tax systems to ensure sustainable financing to expand the provision of critical municipal services in cities. A key component of reforms is to increase voluntary compliance by improving taxpayer morale and strengthening citizen trust. The project uses rigorous applied methodologies to study the impact of reforms designed to make the fiscal system equitable and progressive on citizen trust in the tax system. The project is funded by the International Growth Centre (IGC) based at the London School of Economics (LSE) and in partnership with the University of Oxford.

The project is led by reputable academics at LUMS, LSE, Cornell and IDS Sussex. Its aim is to provide context-specific evidence to inform the reform options being considered by the Governments of KP and Punjab. This is an excellent opportunity for young researchers to work with accomplished researchers on a rigorous applied project that directly informs government reforms on a critical national and global challenge.

Job Description and Requirements

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 Provincial Excise and Taxation Departments in the case of property taxes;
  • Assist the research team in providing overall strategic direction to the project. • Assist the research team to build relationships and coordinate with relevant provincial and local government departments and agencies;
  • Support the research team to design, pilot test and implement field surveys and lab-in-field games;
  • 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.


  • Master’s degree in Economics, Social Sciences, Data Sciences, Public Policy, or a related discipline from a reputable program;
  • Relevant experience in research/program design and/or evaluation, including the design and execution of surveys, focus groups, and interviews is preferred;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of data management of large datasets as well as data collection, quality checks of data, and presentation of data is preferred;
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of Python, R, or Stata or a willingness and ability to learn these packages;
  • Strong ability to write evidence and research papers;
  • 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

Interested candidates should

a. Fill this form:

b. Send their CV, cover letter and transcripts to with the subject line “Research Associate: Urban Property Tax Reform in Punjab Project”.

MHRC is an equal opportunity employer and we strongly encourage women and minorities to apply.

For this position you must have full rights to work in Pakistan.

Any submissions outside the application guidelines will not be considered.

Note: “We are an equal employment opportunity employer”