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Social Empowerment

AIHD has been supporting the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services(MLSSS) since 2007 on matters to do with Social Protection. The World Bank has provided financial support to the institute for technical assistance to the MLSSS on harmonized and consolidated approach to the implementation of safety net programmes in the country. In January 2015 the AIHD facilitated the 1st Social Protection Conference Week in Nairobi, Kenya, which was organized by MLSSS with the support of UNICEF, World Bank DFID among other partners.


  • Social Protection

Utafiti Sera

Utafiti Sera represents a community of researchers and policy actors that work together to ensure that appropriate policy actions and uptake occur either through programmes, legislations, policies or administrative and other actions around an issue for which research has provided evidence, in this case, social protection in Kenya. The main goal of Utafiti Sera is to build and sustain a vibrant community of researchers, policy makers and practitioners who can advocate for evidence-based policy uptake. In order to achieve this goal, the initiative is pursuing specific objectives:

  1. To sustain a vibrant research-policy community on social protection in Kenya through well planned program activities;
  2. To generate new research evidence and synthesize existing relevant research evidence on social protection and make it available to policy makers and practitioners through various forms of communication; and
  3. To engage key policy makers and practitioners through direct contact, policy advocacy and use of issue champions during meetings, policy debates and workshops.

The AIHD team undertook a mapping exercise of empirical studies on social protection. Notably, the mapping exercise report has informed the identification of five key thematic areas on social protection that demand attention in Kenya. These areas are: (i) legislation on social protection; (ii) universalism as a way of reducing targeting errors; (iii) exit/graduation mechanisms of cash transfers;(iv) mechanisms for financing social protection; and (v) effective coordination of social protection programmes.

The AIHD, in collaboration with PASGR and the Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection (MEACL&SP) successfully organized two ‘one-day’ forums to discuss the issues identified above. The first forum took place on May 10, 2016 with an aim to provide an opportunity for researchers, policy makers and practitioners to discuss pertinent and current issues on social protection in Kenya that need policy attention. The second forum took place on August 22, 2016. The forum dubbed “Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum on the proposed National Social Protection Bill” brought together key stakeholders in social protection, namely, policy makers, practitioners, researchers and the media. The overarching aim of this forum was to share the content of the first draft of the proposed social protection bill with key stakeholders and to solicit input for its subsequent revision.

Aside from the meetings, AIHD has undertaken the production of a short video documentary on the cash transfer programmes at the county and national levels. The main aim of the documentary is to provide a broad overview of the current state of implementation of social protection in the country. AIHD has also published newspaper articles as well as a policy brief that describes: The policy context of social protection in Kenya, Social protection systems in Kenya, Key pertinent and current issues in implementing social protection programmes and recommendations and Key positive developments in social protection sector.

  • Gender Based Violence

Behavioural Intervention to Prevent Gender Based Violence

The Stanford University in collaboration with the African Institute for Health and Development (AIHD) and UJAMAA Africa, is conducting ‘A Cluster-Randomized Trial to Assess a Sexual Assault Prevention Intervention in Upper Primary School Adolescents in Nairobi, Kenya’. The main objective of the randomized control trial is to determine the effects of a classroom based behavioral interventions aimed at young (10-14 years of age) adolescent girls and boys in the selected Nairobi informal settlements in order to prevent sexual assault.

This study is a three-armed randomized-control trial with approximately 35 primary schools in each study arm, each with specific sets of intervention measures. The study will track 66 girls and 15 boys within each school for intensive follow up using a standardized questionnaire. The children will be randomly selected from the updated class attendance registers of Class 6 in the respective schools.

The objective of the randomized control trial is to determine the effects of a classroom based behavioral interventions aimed at young (approximately 10-14 years of age) adolescent girls and boys in the Nairobi informal settlements in order to prevent sexual assault. The specific objectives are to; (i) Measure the awareness levels of the respondents to deal with sexual assault and the impact of self-defense training; and (ii) Provide descriptive statistics in a report to Stanford University according to the approved guidelines, along with cleaned data in approved format. This will focus on the intervention strategies of improving the exercise. The primary outcome will be self-reported sexual assault at follow-up compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes include physical violence, self-efficacy and self-esteem, mental health and PTSD.

UJAMAA Africa will be implementing the intervention and Stanford University will be the lead evaluator. The AIHD’s role is to manage the data collection, processing, cleaning, and coordination of the RCT. The project has three major data collection points over 24 months; (1) baseline data collection in Jan/Aug 2016, (2) follow-up in Jan/Sept 2017, then (3) final collection in Jan/Sept 2018.