Draw insights and affect change through behavioral research in developing countries.






Using lab and field based behavioral research to understand development.

Since its origins in the 1960s, behavioral economics has rapidly risen to prominence, exemplified by the award of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics to Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith. At the same time, the use of field experiments for poverty alleviation, pioneered by the affiliates of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and other NGOs, has revolutionized development economics. The purpose of the Busara Center is to harness the combined power of these two approaches by enabling researchers to conduct rigorous laboratory-based studies in behavioral economics in a developing country. Our goal is to improve our knowledge of how people living in poverty make decisions, and to inform the design of randomized controlled trials for poverty alleviation.

Diverse Subjects

Busara has over 5,000 registered participants from all over Nairobi – from Kibera to the University of Nairobi.

State of the Art

20 touchscreen computers are ideal for illiterate subjects.  Network and internet access for fully interactive experiments.

Completely Mobile

From Mobassa to Masaai land, with 28 tablet computers, we can go to any target area or population.  


Full Support

Adapting protocol, translation and survey/experiment programming can all be done in-house.  Come to our lab to run sessions, or let us run them for you completely remotely, the choice is yours.

Complete Privacy

4 private, soundproof cubicles for one-on-one interviews.  Trained trilingual enumerators record responses electronically for maximum data quality and security.

Local Expertise

Our local contacts in Nairobi’s poorest areas, Kibera, Viwandani, and Dandora, provide unparalleled insight and access to answer your burning questions.


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Researchers, Interns, Students


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