African Policy Centre Briefing
The African Policy Centre (APC) is a Policy Research Centre based in Kenya but with research interest in Kenya and across the entire Eastern Africa region. Having observed the key challenges facing the country and the region the Centre has been established in order to provide policy alternatives and solutions to the existing socio-economic and political challenges.
The need for establishing this centre has been motivated by the fact that Kenya is faced with the daunting task of realizing many complex policy goals stipulated in Vision 2030 and the role for such institutions is opportune.
As we look forward to the Vision 2030, the need for evidence-based policy making that is based solidly upon research and analysis in the local context is therefore imperative. Indeed from a closer analysis, Kenya still lack capacity in these areas:
- A robust evidence base and a research station on which to base policy decisions.
- A workforce in key institutions equipped with skills in policy analysis.
- A culture of debate and dialogue about policy issues and policy options.
The African Policy Centre therefore intends to address the aforesaid challenges through its programme activities. It intends to develop capacity in each of these challenge areas with the overall goals being: poverty reduction, state stability, and economic transformation. As a local but independent Kenyan institution, the African Policy Centre will provide an avenue through which policy debates will be conducted. Through research, the centre will provide evidence-based alternatives and solutions for uptake by key policy makers. Emphasis will be laid on local solutions by identifying the primary needs of the locals. This will ensure that proposed ideas take a bottom-up approach and not just the usual top-down approach, which ordinarily does not give consideration to local needs.The centre will indeed enhance evidence-based policy making and promote a culture of debate and dialogue on pertinent policy issues in Kenya. This will be done by conducting timely, relevant, high-quality, policy-oriented analysis and research, and by fostering the existing capacity in order develop a robust evidence base on which to embed policy decisions.
Awuor Ponge, the President of the African Policy Centre is a Doctoral Candidate at Kenyatta University’s Department of Gender and Development Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is an Associate Research Fellow and the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR – Kenya). He is also an Associate at the Education Enhancement Centre. He is a Double-Masters Degree holder in Development Studies from the Institute for Development Studies of the University of Nairobi on a Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Scholarship; and in Education, Gender and International Development (MA – EGID) from the Institute of Education of the University of London on a Commonwealth Scholarship. He is an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). He has previously taught Development Studies at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). He is at present the Special Rapporteur of the Think Tank Network in Eastern Africa (TTN-EA). Previously, Ponge graduated with a Summa Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature and Philosophy from the University of Nairobi.
Ponge has had comprehensive international and development experience including evaluation research and assessment; data analysis; and program and policy analysis. He has worked as a Consultant for many organisations including UN Women, UNICEF, USAID, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, World Vision, PACT International, Tetra Tech ARD and IDRC on a number of multidisciplinary research and evaluation projects. He has been extensively involved in capacity building and in project management, and has had 13 years of experience in academia as a lecturer and trainer in tertiary educational institutions in Kenya.
Burundi Country Representative
Prof. Elias SENTAMBA is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Economic Development in Burundi (IDEC) on one hand, and Professor of Political Science at University of Burundi (Part-time) on the other hand. He holds a PhD Degree in Political Science from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (France). He has been both Senior Lecturer in Political Science & Public Administration and Head of Department at University of Burundi (2002-2007) and at National University of Rwanda (2007-2010) before joining IDEC in April 2010. He has written many papers in the fields of Political Science & Public Administration and presented papers at several workshops in Burundi as well as in the East African Community and in the Great Lakes Region on political and governance issues.
Rwanda Country Representative
Dr. Deus Kayitakirwa is presently stationed at the East African Community Legislative Office for Rwanda. He was previously a Research Fellow and Acting Chief Executive Officer at African Research and Resource Forum (ARRF). He has also worked for UNDP and DFID. He holds a PhD Degree in Economics from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.
Uganda Country Representative
Mr. Edward Tujunirwe is the Assistant Executive Secretary and Head of Corporate and International Affairs Division at Uganda National Council for Science and Technology. He is also Uganda’s National Contact Point [NCP] for Security; and Socio-Economic Sciences & Humanities of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development [EUFP7].He is a Board Member of the Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (SCIFODE). He also serves as a member of the East African Think Tanks Network (TTN-EA) and President of Discovering Uganda, an association that promotes local and international tourism in Uganda. Mr. Tujunirwe holds a Masters Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from Makerere University. He has also previously worked as C.E.O and Registrar of the Institute of Procurement Professionals of Uganda (IPPU).
Tanzania Country Representative
Ms. Vivian Kazi is a Research fellow at the Economic and Social Research Forum (ESRF) Tanzania, heading the Commissioned Studies Department. She has more than 10 years experience in undertaking socio-economic research/studies linking to policies. Her areas of interest are on socio-economic research in microfinance development, rural development, policy analysis and project management. She has been coordinating EBPDN (Evidence-Based Policy in Development Network) Africa which is managed by ODI since 2006. Ms. Kazi holds a Masters in Business Administration in 2003 (MBA) and BA Statistics in 2001 both from the University of Dar es Salaam. She is a recent graduate of a Post Graduate Diploma in Poverty Analysis from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Netherlands in 2008.
Kenya Country Representative
Mr. Gabriel Oguda is a Senior Programme Officer at the African Institute for Health & Development (AIHD), where he has previously been Head of Programmes, Health Promotion & Non-communicable diseases. He has served as the Regional Coordinator – Africa of IUHPE Student and Early Career Network. He holds a MPhil Degree in International Health Promotion from Universitetet i Bergen in Bergen Area, Norway. Previously, he graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology with a bias in Medical Anthropology. His main interests are : Mapping Health Promotion Activities in Africa and Networking & Collaborations with Health Promotion Practitioners in Africa. He is a member of ISECN New Media Group.
Somalia Country Representative
Mr. Mahamed Rage is a monitoring and evaluation and development management expert and practitioner. He holds a Masters of Arts in Development Management (MADM) from Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany. He also has a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in Monitoring and Evaluations from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Mr. Mahamed is currently a candidate for a Masters of Commerce (M.COM) degree from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. Mr. Mahamed is the President of the Somali Development Evaluation Association (SOMDEA). Mr. Mahamed is also a founding member, treasurer and a senior researcher for the Somali Council for Research and Development (SOMCORD) organization.
Mr. Mahamed has a specific research experience in the following areas: Refugees and internally displaced groups; Factors affecting the growth of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMMES); Local economic development; The impact of institutions (laws and regulations) on development with specific reference on how the transaction cost affects the cost of doing business for SMMES in Africa; Developing a results-based monitoring and evaluation systems for Non-Governmental (NGos) and governmental departments/ministries and as well as establishing a government wide M & E system for governments; Programme evaluations: needs assessment, programme design, process evaluations, impact and outcomes and cost-benefit, cost-efficiency evaluations.