Desk globe on table
Category: Discovery & Impact, Faculty Impact

Title: Breaking barriers and accelerating international problem-solving

Author: Nathan Diller
Date Published: February 6, 2023

I think in the work that I do, it’s in some ways a social problem: how we organize resources and incentivize people to deliver some outcome.

James Habyarimana

Habyarimana has also worked with Georgetown Economics Professor William Jack on a project involving road safety to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities, which are often higher in developing countries. A review of insurance records in Kenya showed that in up to two thirds of accidents, the driver was at fault; Habyarimana and Jack worked with advertising agencies to develop stickers aimed at bus riders, urging them to speak up when drivers were reckless. Habyarimana has tested this program in Tanzania and Uganda, and is exploring deploying it in Nigeria.

Habyarimana shares insights learned in the field with students, such as how to make a health minister in a particular country excited about a policy idea. “I spend a lot of time trying to do this, and I fail a lot,” he says, “but I can certainly share both the things that don’t work and the things that have worked.”