We are looking for a Program Lead at Busara to provide strategic direction, guidance and support to our partners working on data and evidence related to Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) based in Kenya and East Africa as part of the Initiative for What Works (IWW) by the Gates Foundation 

Program Lead- Busara Center

NAIROBI /RESEARCH AND INNOVATION – LABS /CONTRACT


Who we are: We are an advisory and research organization focused on advancing and applying behavioral science in the Global South, in pursuit of poverty alleviation. We work with organizations to build behaviorally-informed solutions to help scale their products, programs, and policies. Our rigorous approach to experimentation has generated impact in a broad range of fields from financial inclusion to health and early childhood development.


Role details:

We are looking for a Program Lead at Busara to provide strategic direction, guidance and support to our partners working on data and evidence related to Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) based in Kenya and East Africa as part of the Initiative for What Works (IWW) by the Gates Foundation. This role will be based at Busara and work closely with Busara across divisions and the Foundation’s Program Officer. This role will also report to the Engagement Director at Busara, who is responsible for the overall delivery and strategic management of the project.


The key responsibilities are to:

Provide strategic direction on building research and organizational capacity and partnerships to Kenya research partners in collaboration with the Gates Foundation Program Officers. This support will ideally be hands-on and involve building relationships and spending time with grantees both in-person and virtually.
Support and build capacity for new partners on sharing relevant information, and synthesizing important learning and developing effective, rapid communication materials (e.g. research updates, decks).
The position will be full-time, running for a period of 18 months till December 2023 and is based in Busara’s Nairobi office in Kenya. Only applicants currently residing in or willing to relocate to Nairobi for the period of the contract will be considered for this position.


About Busara

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics is a research and advisory organization that advances behavioral science in pursuit of poverty alleviation. We work with researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers to conduct rigorous field and laboratory-based experimental studies in behavioral economics in developing countries and apply research outcomes to real-world problems. We are headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with active project operations in Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.


About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life


About the Women’s Economic Empowerment - Kenya Project

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has established an ‘Initiative for What Works’ (IWW) network of research and evidence hub aimed at strengthening the generation and use of evidence to advance women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and gender equality in Kenya. The program will produce high quality, rigorous evidence through evaluation of programs and policies with high potential for impact.

Busara is working closely with the Foundation and the Foundation’s Program Officer to ensure the hub has the right contextual, research and operational expertise and provide support for knowledge management and partnership development.


Core Responsibilities:

Strategic Direction

  • Build organizational effectiveness, research capacity and strategy for key new and existing grantees to the WEE research and evidence portfolio in Kenya.
  • Support senior management of the research partners on refining their priorities, plans and outputs for research, policy and communication.
  • Analyze areas to focus on with key grantees, and provide direct technical support and guidance to build and oversee a growing, effective research initiative.
  • Identify avenues for cross-learnings and collaboration across partners working on WEE research and implementation
  • Support grantees in meetings with high-level government officials, business executives, NGO leaders, and other key stakeholders on the global stage. Join and support conversations and negotiations with governments and other stakeholders to plan, design, and execute effective collaborations.

Capacity Building

  • Coordinate and work with new partners to synthesize and communicate information on their research and progress more effectively and build their capacity for substantive, detailed reporting and sharing. This includes providing templates and coordinating knowledge sharing activities.
  • Support the grantees in meetings with high-level government officials, business executives, NGO leaders, and other key stakeholders on the global stage.
  • Support knowledge sharing with key stakeholders in the sector, as needed.
  • Perform related work as needed such as supporting the team in other activities including rapid research support, consultations and interviews with experts, and other coordination or event management activities.

Project Management and Stakeholder coordination

  • Schedule and oversee monthly partner meetings including setting the agenda, preparing the logistics and ensuring meeting notes are documented.
  • Ensure effective channels of communication are established between BMGF and Busara and develop a reporting schedule and system to share daily and monthly updates with BMGF.
  • Coordinate across and manage Busara team members leading the different workstreams of the project and set effective targets and timelines for their deliverables.

Requirements/ Skills - Necessary

  • A Master’s degree in Economics, Gender Studies, Public Policy, Social Sciences, or related fields.
  • Strong knowledge of the experimental social science literature (economics, political science, psychology)
  • 5+ years previous work experience in a related field, including experience in managing or leading large-scale evaluative research and data collection
  • Strong analytical, communication and writing skills
  • Familiarity with and experience working in the Kenyan context
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and a team player.
  • Interest and experience working in a fast-paced working environment.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, with fluency in English.
  • Residing in or willing to relocate to Nairobi, Kenya.

Requirements/ Skills - Preferrably

  • Previous experience conducting research in developing countries with preferred focus or interest in gender equality and/or labor and education
  • Experience working in the development of ‘systems’ within research organizations.
  • Experience in setting up or managing research organizations and partnerships.
  • Experience designing methodological or research tool-based research.
  • A PhD in Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, or related fields.
  • Strong skills in econometrics and programming (STATA, Python, R, Matlab)
  • Experience managing or mentoring staff

As applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the vacancy is filled, you are encouraged to submit your application soonest possible.


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