Below are some frequently asked questions.  If your question isn't answered here, or you'd like more information about anything, please contact us, or email us at


We’re still in the concept phase, can we still work with you?

Absolutely! We work with organizations in all stages of development, from a seed of an idea to large-established players. For new programs and policies, we often work with partners to incorporate behavioral insights and deep consumer understanding into the core design

Does Busara do non-behavioral focused work?

Our primary focus is on understanding behavior and decision-making, though we recognize that economic barriers such as cost and pricing can still be very significant. Where necessary, we include these considerations in line with our behaviorally-focused product and program designs.

Our customers are mostly located outside of Kenya, do you do work in other countries?

Yes! We work in Botswana, Tanzania, Indonesia, Peru and Pakistan, amongst others. We have a mobile lab to support these activities and our field teams are highly-experienced in research in diverse environments. See an overview of our current locations here.

The priority within research is dissemination and publication. With individual programs and products what’s your policy on confidentiality?

The individual partners that we’re working with set their confidentiality boundaries. We understand that many of our research findings are private and we always respect confidentiality unless otherwise agreed. However, we are very happy to work in partnership to disseminate results through blogs, seminars and advocacy, if desired by the partner.

Do you second staff members to partner for longer fixed periods?

We prefer to work as project teams, including expertise from our diverse backgrounds and experiences. Typically, you will have a key point of contact in conjunction with a broader team of directors, associates, analysts and field staff working with you.


What are the OPEN SCIENCE standards at Busara? 

All academic research at Busara must follow our basic OPEN SCIENCE guidelines.  We believe that the best research should be open and available to all.  We require a) pre-registration of your study before collecting data b) publishing your instruments within 2 years of collection  c) publishing your data within 5 years of collection.

When should I contact Busara about my research? 

As early as possible!  Busara can often assist in putting you in touch with other researcher who may work in your area, help with letters of support for grant applications, and more.  As soon as your research idea takes shape, please contact us.

How much does research cost to run at Busara? 

It depends on a number of factors including data collection type (lab, field, survey, interview), level of engagement, length of research, geographic area, and number of participants, among many others.  Contact us with a description of your work and we will reply with a price quote.

What sample sizes fo you work with? 

In Nairobi, we have an existing subject pool of over 22,000 individuals from informal settlements covering a representative sample of gender, age, ethnicity and education.  We also have implemented many studies that required nation-wide samples and new recruitment of thousands of individuals. Our mobile lab is equipped to travel nation-wide and internationally.

Can my study be run remotely? 

Absolutely. Although we welcome researchers to visit our facilities to experience the process first-hand, we understand that travel to Nairobi is a non-trivial cost. We aim to maintain the highest data quality, regardless of whether the researcher is in the next room or a continent away. There are no additional charges for remotely run studies.

Do you have IRB approval? 

Yes. Busara has approval to do research with human subjects from Princeton University in the United States and KEMRI in Kenya. In addition Busara has research permits from the Government of Kenya to conduct research. We usually require researchers to have approval from their home institutions as well (if such approvals are necessary). For complicated protocols that may not be a part of our general approval, please contact us in advance so that we can apply for approvals on your behalf.

What fields of research do you specialize in? 

Although Busara has a special expertise in lab and field experiments focused on behavioral economics (and much of our research staff and academic team have economics backgrounds), we have conducted research in a wide-range of disciplines, such political science, psychology, environment, technology & innovation, and public health.