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Matt Wallaert
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Senior Behavioral Designer, Economic Justice Narrative Change



Washington, DC, USA · Remote
Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Work Authorization: Candidates must already be authorized to work in the U.S.

Salary Range: $75,000 – $90,000 depending on experience

Role and Responsibilities

Diagnosing behavioral problems and designing behaviorally informed interventions and products is integral to what we do. This is a unique opportunity for someone to experience and build the world’s premier behavioral ideas lab and consulting firm. All team members are supported for their growth internally and externally, ultimately preparing them for a wide range of roles with a strong focus on social impact.

This role is within our Economic Justice focus area, focused on our Narrative Change project portfolio. At ideas42 we envision a country where a shared, behaviorally informed narrative of poverty removes inequities that prevent all people from leading fulfilled lives of their own definition. To achieve that vision, we work closely with the communities we serve to design and advance solutions that make it easier for people facing economic hardship to exercise their power for individual, community, and systems change. We also believe that economic justice and racial justice are deeply entwined, so we bring a racial justice lens into all of the work that we do. Our principles of equity include fixing contexts, not people; listening to and acting on lived experiences; and always promoting dignity, autonomy, and justice in our designs. Using a two-generational lens, we work with a diverse group of partners. We are also building new work focused on narrative change, as we seek to shift the harmful and false poverty narratives that lead to ineffective, and at times harmful, policies and practices.

As a member of the Narrative Change Team at ideas42, this role will lead projects with multiple stakeholders – including social justice organizations and community leaders – that aim to understand harmful narratives about poverty in the US, and design and evaluate interventions that dismantle them.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Managing and supporting projects in our Narrative Change portfolio, including intervention design, implementation, monitoring, and impact evaluation; serving as the day-to-day contact for partners and clients
  • Developing full-scale project plans, structure and timelines
  • Developing and advising others on impact evaluation plans (including randomized controlled trials and other rigorous evaluations)
  • Implementing and advising others on implementing project evaluation, including drafting testing protocols, monitoring test implementation and data quality, coding quantitative and qualitative data, analyzing results, and producing compelling data visualization and reporting
  • Assisting/leading primary and secondary research and analysis, including surveys, interviews, and literature reviews, with a focus on community-driven and community-responsive approaches
  • Contributing to grant proposals, policy papers, and other external communications
  • Supervising and mentoring more junior staff
  • Participating in internal strategic projects, including various aspects of organizational improvement


Minimum qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 4-8 years of relevant work experience
  • Experience conducting or overseeing primary and secondary research with knowledge or experience applying community-driven or community-responsive research approaches
  • Experience running rigorous evaluations, such as randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
  • Mission-aligned, self-starter, and able to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment
  • Strong analytical skills and working knowledge of statistics with a quantitative focus
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a commitment to high-quality output
  • Available and willing to travel on a flexible schedule as needed (typically less than 25%)
  • Record of academic excellence
  • Smart, structured thinkers, who are also creative
  • Advanced proficiency with Stata or R

Preferred qualifications

  • Master's degree or equivalent practical experience
  • Experience using or strong knowledge of market research platforms
  • Advocacy, community organizing or social service provision experience
  • A background in strategy, marketing, or product management & client-facing experience
  • Passion for understanding human behavior and pursuing innovation
  • Spanish speaking proficiency

Candidates who identify as BIPOC, with lived experience with public benefits and/or other government systems are strongly encouraged to apply

About ideas42

We’re a non-profit looking for deep insights into human behavior—into why people do what they do—and using that knowledge in ways that help improve lives, build better systems, and drive social change. Working globally, we reinvent the practices of institutions, and create better products and policies that can be scaled for maximum impact.

We also teach others, ultimately striving to generate lasting social impact and create a future where the universal application of behavioral science powers a world with optimal health, equitable wealth, and environments and systems that are sustainable and just for all.

For more than 15 years, we’ve been at the forefront of applying behavioral science in the real world. And as we’ve developed our expertise, we’ve helped to define an entire field. Our efforts have so far extended to 40 countries as we’ve partnered with governments, foundations, NGOs, private enterprises, and a wide array of public institutions.

We value diversity and inclusion and are dedicated to growing our teams with people who have diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skills. We are committed to fair and unbiased hiring practices that support equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, abilities, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Working with Us

We are a culture-first organization where rules or processes do not take precedence – people and their ability to make well-reasoned decisions do. You’ll find that our team members are deeply caring, smart, and both tenacious and rigorous in their work. We are committed to building an inclusive team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, beliefs, and experiences.

Our core values are at the heart of everything at ideas42:

  • We live and breathe what we do. We look at everything through a BEHAVIORAL LENS.
  • We take OWNERSHIP. We don’t just work at ideas42, we take shared responsibility for it.
  • We DO GOOD. We use our expertise to improve millions of lives and create a better world for all.
  • We have fun. We let PLAYFULNESS inform the way we work and our approach to the world, helping to drive our creativity and improve our solutions.
  • We live with a SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY. We approach our colleagues, partners and people whose lives we seek to improve with an attitude of selflessness and cooperation.
  • We are TENACIOUS. We never take the easy route, but push to stretch the limits of what’s possible.
  • We are RIGOROUS in how we think and how we tackle problems.


We hope that you are excited by the opportunity to work with us. We are proud to offer a comprehensive and behaviorally designed benefits package and other perks to support our team and allow us to focus on our work of solving tough social problems.

  • Insurance: We offer fully-covered medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage for you and your families.
  • 401(k) Match: We contribute 3%, even if you don’t contribute at all.
  • Generous Vacation and Paid Time Off: We’ve built infrastructure to encourage our team to rest and recharge throughout the year.
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Fitness benefits
  • Dependent Care Accounts
  • Phone benefits including reimbursement towards a new smart phone
  • Professional Development fund
  • Loan Forgiveness: Based on our 501(c)3 status, you are able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Application Process Overview

The ideas42 application process has four stages:
  • Application: Submit your application and resume
  • Case Study: Selected candidates will receive a short assignment, to be completed over approx. 1 week
  • First Round Interview: Selected candidates will be invited to interview with an ideas42 program team member
  • Final Round Interview: Selected candidates will be invited to interview with an ideas42 senior team member. References will also be requested and contacted during this time.