GRANT TITLE: 

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Implementation: Supporting Biodiversity and Climate Friendly Land Management in Agricultural Landscapes in Kenya

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Professor Jacqueline McGlade (Maasai Mara University)

MMU Researchers:

Dr Samson Mabwoga (Maasai Mara University)

Professor Francis Mburu (Maasai Mara University),

Daniel Munke Nchorira Naikuni (Maasai Mara University)

Anil Kumar (Maasai Mara University)

GRANT AMOUNT: USD 175,000 USD

GRANTOR: Federal Government of Germany

DURATION OF GRANTEE’S WORK ON THE PROJECT: January 2019 – June 2020 

PRIMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT

The agricultural sector is a leading driver of ecosystem degradation, health externalities, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Agriculture also provides positive benefits such as food for humans, feed for animals, fibres, raw materials, employment and cultural cohesion. Many of the negative and positive impacts are economically invisible, hence unaccounted for in public and private decision-making. 

A major challenge that Kenya has to face in the context of the management of agricultural landscapes is population growth: population tripled over the past 30 years and is expected to double again by 2045; and under-nutrition still affects 30% of the Kenyan population today. These factors have led to a decline in per-capita food production and are described in Kenya´s 5th Assessment Report to the CBD5 as “an overarching threat to the country’s biodiversity”. Small-scale and rain-fed agriculture and livestock production remain the main sources of livelihood for the majority of Kenyans and employs 75% of the labour force. CBD AR (2015) states: “Agricultural expansion has led to serious land degradation driven by poor farming methods. Crop yields are on the decline and a high percentage of agrochemicals applied find their way into water bodies, causing serious pollution and eutrophication”. There needs to be a scaling-up efforts in agro-forestry; sustainable water management; education, training and capacity building, mainly in soil and water management; and research and development”.

The project aims to catalyse policy reforms that mainstream biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into agricultural landscapes and seascapes. By following the TEEB approach, the project brings stakeholders together to identify agricultural land use decisions that would benefit from valuation of ecosystem services and biodiversity. This would be followed by modelling impacts of land use, assessing subsequent changes in ecosystem services provisioning, and valuing them so they can be part of the economic calculus of policy makers. A core part of the analysis would be to assess distributional impacts of land use decisions, the income-poor in particular, and provide policy recommendations.

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Informing environmental change for Kenyan county development plans: hot-spot analyses using earth observation and community mapping

Informing environmental change for Kenyan county development plans: hot-spot analyses using earth observation and community mapping

Project duration: mid-October 2018 to end-March 2019

GRANT TITLE: Informing environmental change for Kenyan county development plans: hot-spot analyses using earth observation and community mapping.

Contributing to ProCol Kenya, Kenya County Development Plans and the African Regional Data Cube

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Professor Jacqueline McGlade (Maasai Mara University)

Project Partners: Marakwet Community Research, Sekenani Envirotech Centre, Kipepo Community, British institute for Eastern Africa, LocateIt Ltd, UK NCEO, NASA

Academic Personnel: 

Rosemary Okello-Orlale (Strathmore Business School) 

Dr Samson Mabwoga (Maasai Mara University)

Professor Francis Mburu (Maasai Mara University)

Anil Kumar (Maasai Mara University)

Daniel Munke Nchorira Naikuni (Maasai Mara University)

Professor Kapyas Wilson Kipkore (University of Eldoret)

Dr Matt Davies (University College London/BIEA)

Professor Heiko Baltzer (University of Leicester)

GoK: Office Deputy President, Kenya Space Agency, National Museums of Kenya

GRANT AMOUNT: USD 26,000

GRANTOR: UK Global Challenge Research Fund: National Centre for Earth Observation

DURATION OF GRANTEE’S WORK ON THE PROJECT: October 2018- March 2019 

PRIMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT

Aim: To undertake an analysis of environmental and agricultural change hotspots in western Kenya for decision-making and climate change policies

Outputs: i) demonstration of data interpretation across scales using artificial intelligence techniques to integrate earth observation, national topographic mapping and community-based agriculture and ecosystem observation and records; ii) development of mobile applications for community data acquisition; iii) e-learning modules and datasets to support Kenya’s County Integrated Development Plans; iv) demonstration project within the African Regional Data Cube and as input to ProCol Kenya.

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Character and Thriving Among Kenyan Youth: A Novel Measure for Use with Street Children and Youth Enrolled in Schools 

GRANT TITLE: Character and Thriving Among Kenyan Youth: A Novel Measure for Use with Street Children and Youth Enrolled in Schools

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Dr. Kennedy Karani Onyiko (Maasai Mara University)

Project Co-Director: G. John Geldhof (Oregon State University)

Known Personnel: Edmond Bowers (Clemson University)

Lawrence R. Allen (Clemson University)

Sam McQuillin (University of South Carolina)

GRANT AMOUNT: USD 233,988.34

GRANTOR: Templeton World Charity Foundation 

DURATION OF GRANTEE’S WORK ON THE PROJECT: June 1, 2019 – June 1, 2021 

PRIMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT

Executive Summary:

We propose to develop a measure of character for Kenyan youth who live and are educated in a range of contexts, including rural schools, urban schools, and children who are homeless (i.e. “street children”). Our goal is to move beyond the often superficial acknowledgement of context in developmental science, which typically amounts to exploring mean differences using measures created and normed in western cultures. The product of this work will be an actionable measure to inform the development, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement of Kenyan youth development programs. We will employ an exploratory sequential mixed methods design (Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2011), beginning with semi-structured interviews with 60 youth and 15 adults. Interviews will initially be structured around the Five Cs of Positive Youth Development, meaning character strengths likely discussed will include self-regulation, diligence, perseverance, future-mindedness, thrift, wisdom, hope, gratitude, honesty, compassion, empathy, selflessness, and social responsibility. Using the interview data as a guide, we will create a new Swahili-language measure of character strengths and administer the measure to a sample of 450 youth (150 living in each context). The resulting data will allow us to establish a reliable factor structure and examine criterion-related validity. We will then evaluate the usability and relevance of the measure to Kenyan youth development programs. In addition to the publicly available measure, outputs include three manuscripts submitted to peer-reviewed journals, a practitioner-oriented white paper, and a policy brief. Short-term outcomes include improved evaluation capacity and program effectiveness of Kenyan youth-serving organizations. Long-term outcomes include improved life chances among Kenyan youth, an expanded academic presence of Maasai Mara University as a center for youth development research, and the incorporation of the measure in subsequent research. ​

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