Social Impact

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Movemeback African oppportunity location
  • Lagos Nigeria

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics - Engagement Director, Nigeria Movemeback African opportunity cover image


Who we are:
If you’re not familiar with us, Busara is the leading behavioral science organization in the Global South, and we apply behavioral science to help alleviate poverty internationally: from improving healthcare for young mothers to helping workers build financial resilience. To do so, we seek to both understand and empathize with the reality of people’s lives, and to run rigorous experiments to assess the impact of our interventions to help them.


We’re based in Nairobi, Kenya, and have offices and projects across the Global South. We’ve been operational in Nigeria for over 5 years and have a team that is spread across both our Lagos and Abuja offices. Busara is looking for an experienced behavioral science practitioner, to support our rapidly expanding portfolio of projects across Nigeria. We hope that’s you.



About the opportunity:
Engagement Directors are the primary leaders of projects at Busara, responsible for driving the planning, strategy, and trajectory of Busara’s engagements. They have two core responsibilities: running an active portfolio of projects, and developing partnerships for new engagements.


Each Engagement Director leads a team of analysts and associates to execute on our projects, which entail applying rigorous research methods to identify novel, evidence-based solutions to behavioral challenges. As such, Engagement Directors should have strong management skills, extensive experience in applied behavioral science, and the ability to translate academic research into practical interventions. Additionally, Engagement Directors take a significant role in supporting the growth and sustainability of Busara globally. As you hone your industry and technical expertise, you will help build valuable relationships that generate business opportunities for Busara.


Engagement Directors have a great deal of autonomy in the partnerships they build and as they help shape the strategy for the organization going forward. Lastly, Engagement Directors play a crucial role in the organization as members of the senior management team. They are critical to developing organizational strategy, defining expansion and growth priorities, and supporting internal processes such as hiring, recruiting, and coaching.


What you’ll be responsible for:
In this role, you’ll drive Busara’s Nigeria portfolio. Currently most of our projects in Nigeria are health-related, so having a background in health, especially in mainstreaming health interventions at the government or private-sector level will be a big advantage. You would both build that portfolio and the team: by pursuing opportunities to apply behavioral for social good, and by ensuring that we deliver on that promise by hiring and supervising excellent people.


We see immense opportunity to grow our portfolio across multiple sectors in Nigeria. Although we have a number of health projects, we have in the past, and see in the future, ample opportunities for projects in inclusive finance, education, fragility and social protection, to name a few.


PLEASE NOTE: This job is open ONLY to candidates who have pre-existing LEGAL authorization to live and work in Nigeria. If you do not have that authorization, please consider other roles.



Core responsibilities:

Develop, Delivery and Voice (out) the impacts of our projects/ portfolio:

  • Lead a portfolio of projects across multiple client bases (researchers, private sector, government, etc). This includes identifying areas of interest, designing projects via proposals to funders, then delivering on successful proposals with applied behavioral science that is rigorous and thoughtful
  • Manage, motivate, and coach a team of associates and analysts to execute projects in your portfolio. This team will be distributed across Lagos and Abuja, which creates both opportunities and challenges as a manager. You’ll need to assemble team members on specific projects to match skills and interests, and to ensure excellence throughout
  • Stay current on the latest research in qualitative and quantitative methods, behavioral science, psychology, economics, and international development to provide creative direction for projects. You’ll then use this expertise to ensure the quality of all products produced by the team, through regular feedback and direct contributions as appropriate
  • Develop lasting relationships with clients and partners, to build long-term partnerships and promote behavioral science as a tool within their organizations. This includes serving as the primary points of contact on large, multi-year projects, and networking throughout the field at conferences and client meetings
  • Serve as a core member of the senior management team, responsible for setting organizational strategy, holding other team members accountable, and making senior hiring decisions
  • Drive the strategy of the Projects Division by setting annual targets, managing any team building events, and ensuring clear, division harmony on priorities for the organization. Help identify markets of interest, future service lines, and priority investments


Your formal background, frankly, is not a criteria. We don’t evaluate what school you went to, who you know, or where you previously worked. These experiences can certainly help you, but what really matters is that you have the skills, the knowledge and the passion to lead this portfolio. Show us what you can do. But, if you’re looking for guidelines on whether this is the right level of seniority for you, we’ve learned that it’s useful to offer some benchmarks for comparison.


You should have approximately this level of expertise, regardless of where it comes from:


  • The knowledge that comes from a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Economics, Social Sciences, Public Policy, or related fields
  • The hard-won lessons and self-awareness that usually comes from at least 5 years of work experience


To be successful, you should:

  • Be an experienced leader in applied behavioral science and/or behavioral design. You should deeply understand the behavioral research literature, and know how to contextualize and practically apply it to real products, communications and services
  • Understand the Nigerian context through lived experience, with a particular focus on Northern Nigeria. Live, or be willing to relocate to Nigeria, with a focus on Northern Nigeria
  • Have led at least a moderate sized team (5 to 10) of people, especially with multicultural and multinational backgrounds, and can mentor mid-level staff and young professionals
  • Know how to build and manage relationships with external partners and funders of diverse backgrounds and interests, especially within the health sector
  • Have direct experience working in one or more of the substantive areas of international development (e.g., sustainability, financial services, healthcare, gender equity, agriculture), either within development itself or in the business or non-profit sector. Ideally within the health sector in Nigeria
  • Ideally, have previous experience in a client-delivery role (e.g. management consulting, internal innovation team, etc.)
  • Ideally, have previous experience running randomized controlled trials or lab experiments. Be excited about nurturing a partnership with Ahmadu Bello University to turn the newly formed lab into a world-class research facility



  • Competitive salary
  • A quickly growing, dynamic work environment
  • Autonomy in building new partnerships and the opportunity to play a crucial role in shaping the strategy for the organisation

About Busara Center for Behavioral Economics

The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics is the leading behavioral science organization in the Global South; a nonprofit organization that uses social and behavioral science to solve problems in development and poverty alleviation. From their headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, the team collaborate with organizations from around the world to implement world-class research and data-driven advisory and consulting. Busara have offices and projects across the Global South.


Busara has worked with a number of leading universities and research organizations around the world on projects related to savings, inequality, entrepreneurship, and other questions central to development economics. We also work with governments, NGOs and private companies to bring the latest in academic research into the hands of policy makers and agents for change. We use rigorous, data-driven techniques paired with the latest in local behavioral research to help design solutions to further your organization's goals.