About Surgo Foundation: Surgo is focused on bringing the latest innovations around behavior, tech, and data to global development.  We are a privately-funded action tank obsessed with thinking about people as customers instead of passive beneficiaries. We develop a deep understanding of behavior and systems that is driven by a new type of data that can transform how development programs are designed and delivered.  We incubate, test, and scale solutions so others don’t have to.

With a laser focus on uncovering the ‘why’, we partner with organizations and governments to help unlock some of their biggest challenges. Our model is to supplement existing programs with our funds, expertise, and tools. Surgo works on major global issues from maternal health in India to housing in the US. Our multidisciplinary team includes development experts, data scientists, behavioral scientists, and technologists who are skilled in collecting and interpreting data on why people behave the way they do and how complex systems work, and in developing scalable tools. We are a small but diverse team with big plans.  

Initiative examples: Surgo Foundation is working on several large-scale development programs. Examples include the Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (RMNCH) program in the state of Uttar Pradesh (~200 million population), India in partnership with the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And the TB program in Chennai, India in partnership with the Chennai Municipal Corporation. The programs are designed to (1) holistically map the healthcare system, (2) understand the drivers of behaviors that critical to achieve the desired outcomes and (3) design and test specific solutions for scale-up of behavior change among consumers and agents to achieve programs outcomes.  Our tools/platform initiatives include the Causal Machine Learning Initiative for Precision Public Health and Big-behavioral data from resource poor settings.  The intern will be assigned to one of our program or tools/platform initiatives. She/he will support the core team on review and analyses of literature, collection and collation of field/secondary data, analysis/interpretation of results and presentation of results in written/visual/oral formats. The intern will have the opportunity to work with a diverse team (system designers, behavioral economists, community experts, market researcher, data scientists, etc.) and learn new approaches that are not traditionally applied in the development sector.

Desired qualifications:

  • Excellent data analytic skills: ability to mine large amounts of data and conduct statistical analyses
  • Experience/familiarity with field data collection, survey design, field experiments (i.e. RCTs), in-depth interviews, focus groups, and other research methods
  • Ability to synthesize, distil and present insights using powerful visual formats & clear/concise written format
  • Ability to work independently and within a team
  • Entrepreneurial mindset, self-motivating, and ability to propose new ideas and think out of the box
  • Flexible and adaptive mindset; ability to work different cultural environments
  • Experience working in developing countries preferred

Position details:

  • Location:  At Surgo Foundation Washington DC office and field location in India
  • Reporting: Intern will be working closely with member of leadership team at Surgo Foundation and with our partner organizations in India
  • Time: minimum 8 weeks required during summer (exact start time flexible); 40 hours/week
  • Compensation: Travel expenses to field sites covered and modest stipend will be paid


  • Application deadline: February 20, 2018
  • Interested applicants, please send your 1) resume/CV and 2) brief cover letter to Dr. Sema Sgaier, Executive Director, Surgo Foundation:
  • Short-listed applicants will be interviewed