Senior Program Associate – Policy Research, Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration

Data Analysis & Technical Research New Delhi, India


Senior Program Associate – Policy Research, Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration

Who we are and what we do?

WRI India, an independent charity legally registered as the India Resources Trust, provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. WRI India’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being.
We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization. Currently over 150 researchers are working with WRI India in our offices at Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

About your role:

WRI India’s Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration program aims to protect, maintain and restore landscapes to secure the livelihoods of 700 million people directly dependent on forests and agriculture and strengthen India’s environmental well-being. As part of this program, WRI India aims to catalyze a political and social movement to restore vitality to fragmented, un-productive and deteriorated landscapes in India. These lands can be restored into healthy mosaics of sustainable agriculture, agroforestry landscapes (or mixed-forest agriculture), and restored forest ecosystems generating economic, ecological, and social benefits to people and planet. While restoration involves improvements to physical landscapes, a diversity of people must be at the center of the solutions.
WRI India is looking to recruit a Senior Program Associate, with an advanced degree in development studies, environmental governance, public policy, or related fields and four years of full-time, relevant post-study work experience to strengthen the enabling ecosystem for implementing landscape restoration in three states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra as a critical Nature-based Solution (NbS).
The candidate will undertake robust research and analysis of incentives, schemes, and regulations related to landscape restoration interventions like agroforestry, payment of ecosystem services, bamboo cultivation, inter-alia. Through this analysis, they will assess different types of policy incentives in national and state-level schemes for implementing and scaling landscape restoration in selected 3 states, along with an analysis of key enabling conditions for each of these policies for achieving results at scale and barriers that need to be addressed. The candidate will also contribute to organizing targeted ‘Restoration Dialogues’ to discuss policy incentives and barriers to restoration with key policymakers and provide scalable solutions for the selected states.
This position is most suited to an individual who has an interdisciplinary research background in forestry, policy studies, and/or development studies. Please note that the position holder must be willing to travel, if need be, for comprehensive policy analysis in three states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

How your day will unfold:

I. Research (40%)
• Lead data analysis of knowledge products on restoration policies, policy incentives for landscape restoration in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, India, and globally with focus on the socio-ecological and economic impact of these policies. This will include desk-based review of government data, published literature, and grey literature, as well as primary data collection from key stakeholders.
• Support the identification of incentives for and barriers to landscape restoration in collaboration with leading policy innovators and mentors.
• Support with designing field data collection methodologies and field data collection as and when required.
• Support writing, analysis and production of high-quality knowledge products (reports, policy briefs, working papers) that encapsulate research findings
• Identify existing and new financing options to create awareness on policy incentives at both national and state levels for accelerating landscape restoration.

II. Training and Capacity Building (40%)
• Support in developing modules for and conducting ‘Restoration Dialogues’ in the selected states in coordination with the implementation teams.
• Anchor follow-ups with key government departments and stakeholders to design solutions.
• Provide capacity-building support to programme partners in understanding frameworks and tools developed for landscape level interventions.
• Support different activities of the programme including organizing roundtables, workshops, seminars, meetings etc. related to Restoration Dialogues.
• Support in identifying key mentors through the knowledge network
• Document best practices on success stories from the landscapes

III. Programme Development and Strategy (10%)
• Identify opportunities for fundraising and contribute to fundraising efforts, including pitching ideas, writing proposals, and developing multi-year project proposals.
• Support in planning, monitoring and reporting of related projects.

IV. Coordination, Partnership Building, and Communications (10%)
• Building and maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders including governments, research organizations and universities, civil society organizations, and corporate sector for implementing and scaling landscape restoration in India.
• Convening multi-stakeholder consultative groups with cohort of experts, mentors, part of the policy accelerator for extending the research and impact of WRI India’s analysis and solutions.
• Communicating research findings in diverse formats (blogs, policy briefs presentations) suitable for stakeholders in government, private and non-government sectors, with a focus on influencing policy and practice

Qualifications and requirements we seek:

• Master's degree in Development Studies, Environmental Governance, Public Policy/Law, Natural Resource Management, or similar fields

• At least 6 years of experience in policy research, specifically in the environmental social sciences
• Knowledge of and past experience with quantitative and qualitative tools for both primary and secondary research.
• Knowledge of landscape restoration, forestry, and agriculture is essential.
• Ability to synthesize and present complex information in a clear and concise manner, suitable for diverse audiences.
• Excellent writing skills in English and Hindi. Working knowledge of Marathi preferred.
• Ability to communicate clearly and coherently, particularly in formal and informal writing.
• Ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholder groups.
• Ability to take initiative, brainstorm, think creatively and work under pressure with tight deadlines.
• Responsible, self-motivated, respectful, and efficient.

Salary and Benefits: INR 11,00,000 to INR 13,00,000 CTC

Salary shall be commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package.

Location: New Delhi, India 

Duration: The position is a one-year position (extendable based on performance and project requirements). The start date is as soon as possible.

List of Documents to be attached:

  • Cover letter 
  • Resume

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview purpose. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) @WRI India

WRI India values and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion across all areas of our work and workforce. Integrating these values into our actions fosters a progressive and collaborative culture and can also enhance our impact.  It is our responsibility to create a welcoming working environment for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experience to learn together. We are responsible for fostering a safe and inclusive workplace where questions, concerns and information about diversity, equity and inclusion are part of our ongoing dialogue and development.

Learn more about WRI India’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Click Here

People-centric to the core:

We keep our people at the centre of everything we do - from a welcoming work environment to benefits and a culture that encourages staff to stay healthy, happy, engaged, and growing.

Some of the non-monetary benefits that our staff get:

Health benefits: 
We cover health insurance for you and your loved ones for up to INR 8 lakhs

Term Insurance: Our term insurance policy covers life coverage of 50 lakhs per staff member

Employee Assistance program: Promoting mental well-being and supporting staff in achieving a satisfying work-life balance

Digital healthcare service: Online doctor consultations for your primary healthcare needs

Flexible work schedule:  Alternative work arrangements for all who are eligible by nature of their job

Learning culture: Workshops and trainings to empower staff, encourage new learning opportunities.

Rest and Recharge weeks: We encourage staff to take time off to rest, rejuvenate, upskill, and pursue their interests.

Our leave policy: Avail personal time off at 36 per year, along with public holidays, maternity, paternity, and adoption leaves.

Click here to know more about our benefits Careers | WRI INDIA (

Equal employment @WRI India

We believe in equal employment, it is our policy to recruit, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to caste, religion, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, parental status, or disability.