In 2010, the then Prime Minister created the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to apply behavioural science to public policy in the UK. In 2014 we became a social purpose company, owned by the Cabinet Office, Nesta (an innovation charity) and our employees.
BIT works with governments around the world in almost every policy area. Whilst the subject and output of our projects varies considerably, there are common threads: we try to understand the contexts in which people make decisions; we notice small details; we come up with innovative ideas for solving policy problems; and we measure the impact of everything we do as robustly as we can.
BIT selects staff on the basis of our organisation’s values: always prioritising social impact; empiricism and humility; fresh thinking, collaboration; and public service.
Roles and Responsibilities
BIT is looking for an exceptional candidate to join as a Principal Advisor to lead our work in International Development from London. This is a senior level appointment and you will lead a team of Senior Advisors and Advisors to deliver large scale projects overseas. In this role you will be expected to work closely with the Director of International Programmes to deliver high impact research and policy advice across a range of specific policy areas within our growing International Programmes practice. You will need to be experienced in working with a range of stakeholders to deliver projects, including overseas governments and NGOs.
As a Principal Advisor, you will be a member of the Senior Management Team reporting to the Director for Home Affairs and International Programmes.
You will lead a team that helps shape the policies of the UK government, its partners and major international development organisations. In addition to that, you will also be responsible for delivering a range of highly innovative projects which seek to demonstrate what works in a range of different contexts.
You will interact with senior government officials, Ministers and clients on a regular basis, and be responsible for business development relating to International Programmes. You will play a role in ensuring that quality is maintained across the business and will be expected to manage and deliver projects to tight deadlines and budgets. The successful applicant will have a deep knowledge of behavioural science, have a strong understanding of mixed research methods, be a highly capable manager and possess superb interpersonal skills. Above all, you will reflect the culture and values of the Behavioural Insights Team, prioritising positive social impact in all you do, be empirically focussed, collaborative and be able to bring genuinely fresh and powerful ideas to bear in this policy area.
You will lead a team of international development specialists and behavioural science experts. You will be responsible for overseeing a number of high profile policy trials in a range of middle and lower income countries in Latin America, East Asia and South Asia. The specific policy areas will vary widely, from anti-corruption in post-soviet Europe, to maternal healthcare in parts of Latin America, to tax compliance in East Asia. You will need to be versatile in your thinking, be able to recognise good ideas, be resilient to difficult challenges and environments as well as possessing the ability to bring others with you. You will be expected to represent BIT to very senior audiences in the UK and overseas, including at Cabinet level, and often in international and domestic media. You will also need to be effective at coordinating projects with colleagues in BIT offices overseas.
All candidates must also be able to demonstrate:
- Substantial experience working on the development or delivery of policy in an overseas environment in government, academia, industry, or for a consulting firm or a design agency;
- Very strong leadership and management experience, including supporting team members to develop their own skills and expertise;
- Deep understanding of the behavioural science literature and how it can be applied to help solve complex real life policy problems;
- Experience working with the UK Government, other governments around the world or international development agencies in applying behavioural insights
- Strong programme and project management skills and experience, particularly related to behavioural insights projects;
- A clear focus on collaborative working across BIT, including with partners from outside of your organisation, understanding that this is essential to achieving better outcomes
- Exceptional written and verbal communication (for example ability to write short, to-the-point policy papers for Ministers or senior officials);
- Experience presenting to large and influential audiences and facilitating behavioural insights workshops with policy professionals;
- High level strategic thinking, challenging existing assumptions and thinking of creative solutions to problems;
- Competent analytical skills and an understanding of mixed methods of research and evaluation; and
- Experience in responding to competitive tenders, preparing responding bids/proposals and securing new work packages.
Finally, it would be desirable if you have:
- Ability to support the design and implementation of rigorous evaluations, including but not limited to randomised controlled trials;
- A Masters or PhD in a relevant subject area (including, but not limited to criminology, behavioural economics, computer science, human computer interaction (HCI), cybersecurity, fraud, psychology, design thinking, evaluation methods).