African Center for Technology Studies

Nairobi, Kenya

African Center for Technology Studies

Nairobi, Kenya
Time filter
Source Type

Tigabu A.,African Center for Technology Studies | Berkhout F.,King's College London | van Beukering P.,VU University Amsterdam
Energy Policy | Year: 2017

This paper analyses the role of official development assistance (ODA) in the evolution of Technological Innovation Systems (TISs) of improved cookstoves in Kenya and Rwanda. Functionally balanced TISs are central to the diffusion of new technologies and practices. We find that ODA has significantly influenced major innovation activities related to improved cookstoves in both Kenya and Rwanda over the last 30 years. However, donors’ funding has been focused mainly on the development and diffusion of technical knowledge. We find that this pattern of ODA support has not fostered balanced and effective Technology Innovation Systems, and that this has contributed to the failure to achieve widespread diffusion of improved cookstoves. We develop a quasi-evolutionary model for the long-term and systematic ODA support of innovation systems to build sustainable renewable energy TISs in developing countries. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Kingiri A.N.,African Center for Technology Studies | Hall A.,Open University Milton Keynes
Review of Policy Research | Year: 2012

Debates about biotechnology continue to be polarized despite its potential to improve the living standards of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the backdrop of this polarized scenario, this paper asked, is there a place for brokers in bringing about a productive debate that is pro-development? The paper argued that if potential intermediaries are analyzed from the perspective of understanding their role and stakeholding in the regulatory change process, this may help breakout the current polarized anti- and pro-biotechnology debates and thereby focus on how to enable productive biotechnology development. Informed by insights from innovation brokering, the functions of brokers in biotechnology regulation are analyzed through the lens of organizations involved in agricultural biotechnology debates in Kenya. The analysis found that policy brokering function attracts varying opportunities and challenges appropriate for informing relevant policy. The paper drew lessons from Kenya's experience to inform a productive policy brokering model for biotechnology regulation. © 2012 by The Policy Studies Organization.

Hall A.,Maastricht University | Clark N.,African Center for Technology Studies | Clark N.,Open University Milton Keynes
Journal of International Development | Year: 2010

This paper explores the use of complex adaptive systems theory in development policy analysis using a case study drawn from recent events in Uganda. It documents the changes that took place in the farming system in Soroti district during an outbreak of African cassava mosaic virus disease (ACMVD) and the subsequent decline in cassava production-the main staple food in the area. Resultant adaptation impacts are analysed across cropping, biological, economic and social systems each of which operate as an interlinked sub-systems. The policy implications of this story suggest a policy agenda that recognises adaptation capacity as the life blood of complex adaptive systems. Since these types of system are found in all realms of human activity, it follows that strengthening this capacity is a key developmental priority that requires linking together new configurations of actors and resources to tackle an ever changing set of contexts. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Mugwagwa J.,Open University Milton Keynes | Kingiri A.,African Center for Technology Studies | Muraguri L.,Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines GALVmed
International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development | Year: 2014

Using case studies on development and implementation of biotechnology governance frameworks in four African countries, we introduce and build the case for a policy kinetics (PK) approach to analysing and unpacking complex policy processes. The PK approach proposes a comprehensive approach to understanding how various 'pieces of the policy puzzle' interact in arenas to facilitate or constrain attainment of desired outputs. Borrowing from reaction kinetics in chemistry, which is the study of rates of chemical processes, our argument is that complex policy processes can indeed be broken down into reactants, processes, catalysts and outputs, all interacting at various levels in space and time. We also bring attention to the presence of various intermediate outputs of processes with the potential to facilitate or constrain the process, including bringing a shift to the direction, duration and pace of the overall process. The presence or potential emergence of components that mimic process catalysts is another area that this approach brings to the attention of policy actors. By engaging with what happens at the level where the various components of a policy process interface with each other, we argue that this model is a useful tool for unpacking, understanding and influencing not only the development and implementation of biotechnology governance mechanisms in Africa, but other policy arenas elsewhere. © 2014 Intellect Ltd Article.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-18-2015 | Award Amount: 4.96M | Year: 2016

SALSA will assess the role of small farms and small food businesses in delivering a sustainable and secure supply of affordable, nutritious and culturally adequate food. SALSA will identify the mechanisms which, at different scales, can strengthen the role of small farms in food systems and thereby support sustainable food and nutrition security (FNS). By considering a gradient of 30 reference regions in Europe and in Africa, we will obtain a differentiated understanding of the role of small farms and small food businesses in very differently structured food systems and situations. SALSA will elaborate and implement a transdisciplinary, multi-scale approach that builds on and connects relevant theoretical and analytical frameworks within a food systems approach, and that uses qualitative, consultative and quantitative methods. We will also test a new combination of data-based methods and tools (including satellite technologies) for rigorously assessing in quantitative terms the interrelationships between small farms, other small food businesses and FNS, paying particular attention to limiting and enabling factors. SALSA will use participatory methods, at regional level, and establish a more global Community of Practice and multi-stakeholder learning platform, based on FAOs TECA online communication and learning platform. The SALSA consortium, and the joint learning and close cooperation, have both been designed with the EU - Africa dialogue in mind. Responding to the call we will unravel the complex interrelationships between small farms, small food businesses and FNS, and unfold the role played by small farms in (a) the balance between the different dimensions of sustainability, (b) maintaining more diverse production systems, (c) supporting the urban/rural balance in terms of labour and (d) in facilitating territorial development in countries facing a strong rural population growth.

Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.10M | Year: 2015

East Africa (EA) has one of the worlds fastest growing populations, with maxima around water-bodies and rapid urbanisation. Climate change is adding to existing problems increasing vulnerability of the poorest. HyCRISTAL is driven by EA priorities. EA communities rely on rainfall for food via agriculture. EAs inland lakes are rain-fed and provide water, power and fisheries. For EAs growing cities, climate impacts on water resources will affect water supply & treatment. HyCRISTAL will therefore operate in both urban & rural contexts. Change in water availability will be critical for climate-change impacts in EA, but projections are highly uncertain for rain, lakes, rivers and groundwater, and for extremes. EA Long-Rains are observed to be decreasing; while models tend to predict an increase (the EA Climate paradox) although predictions are not consistent. This uncertainty provides a fundamental limit on the utility of climate information to inform policy. HyCRISTAL will therefore make best use of current projections to quantify uncertainty in user-relevant quantities and provide ground-breaking research to understand and reduce the uncertainty that currently limits decision making. HyCRISTAL will work with users to deliver world-leading climate research quantifying uncertainty from natural variability, uncertainty from climate forcings including those previously unassessed, and uncertainty in response to these forcings; including uncertainties from key processes such as convection and land-atmopshere coupling that are misrepresented in global models. Research will deliver new understanding of the mechanisms that drive the uncertainty in projections. HyCRISTAL will use this information to understand trends, when climate-change signals will emerge and provide a process-based expert judgement on projections. Working with policy makers, inter-disciplinary research (hydrology, economics, engineering, social science, ecology and decision-making) will quantify risks for rural & urban livelihoods, quantify climate impacts and provide the necessary tools to use climate information for decision making. HyCRISTAL will work with partners to co-produce research for decision-making on a 5-40 year timescale, demonstrated in 2 main pilots for urban water and policies to enable adaptive climate-smart rural livelihoods. These cover two of three areas of need from the African Ministerial Council on Environments Comprehensive Framework of African Climate Change Programmes. HyCRISTAL has already engaged 12 partners from across EA. HyCRISTALs Advisory Board will provide a mechanism for further growing stakeholder engagement. HyCRISTAL will work with the FCFA global & regional projects and CCKE, sharing methods, tools, user needs, expertise & communication. Uniquely, HyCRISTAL will capitalise on the new LVB-HyNEWS, an African-led consortium, governed by the East African Community, the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and National Meteorological and Hydrological agencies, with the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology as an observer. HyCRISTAL will build EA capacity directly via collaboration (11 of 25 HyCRISTAL Co-Is are African, with 9 full-time in Africa), including data collection and via targeted workshops and teaching. HyCRISTAL will deliver evidence of impact, with new and deep climate science insights that will far outlast its duration. It will support decisions for climate-resilient infrastructure and livelihoods through application of new understanding in its pilots, with common methodological and infrastructure lessons to promote policy and enable transformational change for impact-at-scale. Using a combination of user-led and science-based management tools, HyCRISTAL will ensure the latest physical science, engineering and social-science yield maximum impacts. HyCRISTAL will deliver outstanding outputs across FCFAs aims; synergies with LVB-HyNEWS will add to these and ensure longevity beyond HyCRISTAL.

Atela J.O.,African Center for Technology Studies | Quinn C.H.,University of Leeds | Minang P.A.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Duguma L.A.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Houdet J.A.,African Center for Technology Studies
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2016

Effective implementation of rules on reduced emission from avoided deforestation and forest degradation (REDD. +) depends on the compatibility between these rules and existing sectoral policies associated with forests. This paper applies content analysis of policy documents, semi-structured interviews and case study analysis to examine the interplay between REDD. + rules and Kenyan sectorial policies and local socioeconomic settings. Results reveal that the preparation of national REDD. + strategies in Kenya is usefully coordinated by the Kenyan forestry sector drawing on the sector's policy mandate and past experiences in forest management. This sectoral mainstreaming however degenerates into negative vertical policy interplay caused by poor consultations with key sectors outside the forestry sector e.g. lands and agriculture and is further exacerbated by sectoral competition for climate finance. Analysis of REDD. + coherences with sectoral policies revealed that forest polices on reforestation and decentralisation are coherent with REDD. + rules (horizontal interplay) but this coherence is impeded by limited implementation of these measures e.g. poor support and coordination of Community Forest Associations. Lack of coherence was mainly observed between REDD. + rules and resettlement and agricultural mechanisation policies prescribed in the lands and agriculture policies. Agricultural mechanisation and resettlement policies are synonymous with deforestation especially through illegal and politically motivated agricultural or settlement expansions into Kenya's forest areas. At the local level, REDD. + showed potential to positively influence local livelihoods but the aforementioned national institutional gaps and strict carbon standards and prices lead to negative trade-offs between carbon sequestration and alternative livelihoods. The paper advocates for strong multi-stakeholder consultative mechanism so that both Kenyan policy and socioeconomic settings can support effective REDD. + implementation. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Kingiri A.N.,African Center for Technology Studies
International Journal of Technology and Development Studies | Year: 2011

Innovations in modern biotechnology have governance issues that demand appropriate regulation. Regulation is therefore a tool for managing some of the controversies but there are various interpretations on how this may be achieved. In this paper, I seek to provide an overview of how the recently approved Kenyan public awareness strategy for biotechnology (BioAWARE strategy) might best approach its future developmental objectives through developing an understanding of what biotechnology regulation means to different implementing stakeholders. As such, it seeks to highlight that programmes such as BioAWARE need to avoid simplifying the consultation process to one by which scientists present science to the public without recognition of its social significance. I recommend that instead the governance actors involved should see such social values as integral to the development of, and implementation of regulations, rather than an afterthought. The intention is not to de-rail the science progress, but highlight that it cannot be assumed that either more science will inevitably lead to conformity, or that social values are inevitably anti-science. © Some rights reserved/Creative Commons license.

Kingiri A.N.,African Center for Technology Studies
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension | Year: 2013

To reflect on the opportunities that a systems understanding of innovation provides for addressing gender issues relevant to women, and to provide some insight on how these might be tackled.Review of literature relating to gender issues and how they relate to achieving, on the one hand, equity and efficiency goals, and on the other hand innovation in agriculture. The analysis draws lessons that inform an analytical framework for gendering agricultural innovation in an African context.The analytical frameworks that have been used to debate gender have ignored the complex environment under which gender roles manifest. The review analyses the innovation systems framework as a tool for gendering agricultural innovations, including embedded activities like agricultural extension services. This framework has provision for actors and their roles in the agricultural innovation system and embedded sub activities.The article concludes with a call for a shift from gender analysis to gender learning1 and a shift from women's empowerment to empowering innovation systems capacity. Originality/Value: In the current context under which agricultural systems are becoming increasingly integrated, an analytical approach that takes cognisance of the complex environment under which gender and gender roles manifest is of interest for policy-makers, gender advocates and development workers for identifying entry points for engendering innovations towards gender equity in Africa. © 2013 © 2013 Wageningen University.

In many countries in Africa, the twin processes of modern biotechnology transfer and development of a regulatory regime have co-evolved. This provides a rich context in which to evaluate the underlying social and institutional factors that confront an evolving regulatory subsystem. This paper uses Kenya's biosafety regulatory system for the management of biotechnology as a case study to analyse such coevolution. Drawing some insights from the Advocacy Coalition Framework, this politically charged subsystem reveals empirically two advocacy coalitions which influenced the regulatory decision process trajectory. This has had significant implications for emerging regulatory instruments where different sources of knowledge informed the process. Thus, any innovation system with governance issues should reconceptualise how the tacit knowledge emanating from the complex relationships built around different advocacy coalitions is managed. © Beech Tree Publishing 2011.

Loading African Center for Technology Studies collaborators
Loading African Center for Technology Studies collaborators