Scientist Profiles

Jennifer Adhiambo

Project Coordinator at Busara Center for Behavioral Economics

A project coordinator who runs the daily activities at Busara Lab for Behavioral Economics and helps turn research ideas into proper design, contextualize and pilot in order to better understand Kenya’s development needs.
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Jennifer Adhiambo is a professional experimenter guided by her innate curiosity. As a Project Coordinator at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, she oversees the testing of human behavior by designing experiments and games with academics for corporations and governmental agencies alike. The research that Busara Labs produces can be applied to different facets of Kenyan society, from consumer behaviors to gender norms. The main target population of Busara Center’s research is people in low income areas. Their research offers a proper reflection of the realities of Kenya and the needs of people in the development sector.

To her, the lab is a controlled environment and very unique in this setting. Because of this it offers a perfect place to test the right solutions. She’s passionate about past studies around gender differences in competition and their findings.

For instance, that when using gender neutral tasks, men and women are equally competitive amongst their own genders but when women compete against men, something seems to hold them back even if they possess similar abilities. Thinking about the real world scenario, it affects how women make decisions in business opportunities, employment, career and the like. She believes that more still needs to be done to reverse the norm and this could be the right place to test solutions for people in development in their attempt to create better support systems for women in a developing world context.

For Jennifer, the exciting aspect of her work is the “space to explore your potential.” She is a passionate intellectual explorer and enjoys how varied the topics are that Busara deals with. From gender inequality to financial markets to political issues and the health sector, the research looks at all these aspects and more areas of behavioral economics. The variety keeps Jennifer on her toes. “There are some exciting things in the future dealing with women and empowering women,” she confides.

Her job involves juggling the researchers, the participants and the bigger picture issues that her projects touch upon, often managing four to five projects at a time. But what propels her work forward is always the newest project and the newest experiment. She rubs her hands with glee and gets started.

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Mawazo Institute