Olawunmi Ola-Busari

Olawunmi Ola-Busari is a policy associate at the Africa office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in the Southern African Labour Development Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. In this role, she supports scoping for scale-ups, helps prepare presentations and memos on policy, and supports policy training and events. She is passionate about the development of evidence-based approaches to promoting inclusive governance and addressing inequality. Olawunmi is currently working on the establishment of rigorously tested finance and governance interventions in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Kenya. Her work with government officials and savings and credit cooperatives in Rwanda has helped to facilitate access to credit for water tanks for dairy farmers in two districts. In Sierra Leone and Kenya she is assisting civil society organisations to publicize inter-party debates between political candidates in upcoming elections. In 2015, she managed the planning and delivery of the 2015 Improving Electoral Participation conference in Accra, Ghana, on behalf of J-PAL Africa. The conference convened a diverse range of stakeholders from within Ghana and across the West African region to discuss emerging lessons from randomised evaluations of interventions to improve voter knowledge and participation in the electoral process. Prior to joining J-PAL Africa, Olawunmi worked as a research and administrative volunteer at the STEP/Proyecto Access programme at Hostos Community College, where she assisted in an evaluation of progress towards the objective of increased participation of underrepresented minorities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bard College, and plans to pursue further education in public policy, with particular focus on local government and urban development.