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Embarking on a Journey: Exploring Behavioral Economics in Dynamic Kenya

Greetings, readers!

Welcome to my blog, where I'll be sharing my exciting journey as an intern at the renowned Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Kenya. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to delve into impactful work, gain invaluable experiences, and immerse myself in the vibrant culture of East Africa. Join me as I document my adventures, from professional insights to travel tales, volunteer experiences, and everything in between.

About Me:

Before we dive into the heart of this journey, allow me to introduce myself. I am a Masters of Public Policy masters candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, passionate about the intersection of economics, policy, and human behavior. Throughout my academic and professional journey, I have been captivated by the profound impact behavioral economics can have on shaping policies that can improve equitable and sustainable progress for societies. It is this passion that led me to Busara, a pioneering institution that shares my enthusiasm for understanding human behavior and its policy implications.

Why Kenya? Embracing Complexity and Challenging Myself:

Kenya, often referred to as the "Gateway to East Africa," embodies a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and rich history. Beyond its stunning landscapes, Kenya has emerged as a hub for social impact and innovative development initiatives.

The complex nature of Kenya's development landscape presents a unique opportunity to address socio-economic disparities and uplift marginalized communities. By immersing myself in this dynamic environment, I aim to understand the intricate web of challenges that hinder progress while harnessing the power of behavioral economics to design interventions that are effective, equitable, and sustainable.

Moreover, the decision to move to a new continent, immerse myself in a different culture, language, and way of life was a conscious choice to challenge myself. I firmly believe that pushing beyond our comfort zones is essential for tackling complex development challenges effectively. By embracing the unknown, I hope to gain new perspectives, foster cross-cultural collaborations, and develop the adaptability required to address the multifaceted nature of socioeconomic development.

A Glimpse into Kenya's Transformative Potential:

Kenya's allure extends far beyond its bustling capital, Nairobi. From the breathtaking savannahs of Maasai Mara to the pristine beaches of Mombasa and the captivating landscapes of Mount Kenya and the Great Rift Valley, this diverse nation is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Its rich cultural heritage, with over 40 different ethnic groups, adds to the tapestry of experiences that await me.

From a Research Lab to Transformative Institution:

At the heart of my journey lies the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics. The origins of Busara can be traced back to a professor's research project via a temporary lab in Kenya, where the team recognized a significant gap and need in testing and evidence within the global south. This realization ignited a spark of curiosity and set the foundation for what would become a pioneering research and advisory organization with the largest experimental lab in the Global South.

Founded in 2012, Busara has grown to become a beacon of behavioral economics in Kenya and beyond. Their commitment to applying rigorous research, behavioral experiments, and randomized controlled trials to solve development challenges has propelled them onto the global stage. The center works in close collaboration with policymakers, NGOs, and private sector actors to bridge the gap between behavioral science and evidence-based interventions.

Busara's journey is one of empirical discovery and practical impact. Their work spans multiple sectors, including health, finance, education, agriculture, and governance. The cneter has become a key player in shaping the development landscape not only in Kenya but across the African continent. I am honored to be part of this remarkable organization, where I will have the opportunity to contribute to meaningful research projects, collaborate with passionate professionals, and witness firsthand the transformative power of behavioral economics.

And so it is, one exciting decision, 3 vaccinations, and a large box of malaria pills later, here I am, ready for my summer in East Africa:

As I embark on this incredible journey in Kenya, I am filled with anticipation and excitement. Through this blog, I aim to share the stories, lessons, and adventures that unfold during my internship at the Busara Center. Together, let's explore the immense potential of behavioral economics in driving positive change, challenge ourselves to embrace complexity, and learn from the vibrant communities and cultures that make Kenya such a captivating place.

Stay tuned for more updates as I delve into the world of behavioral economics and embrace the transformative power of applied research, one story at a time.

Karibu Kenya! (Welcome to Kenya!)



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