KENYATTA UNIVERSITY has received a grant from BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION to establish Women’s Economic Empowerment (KU-WEE) Hub. The KU-WEE Hub Project aims to ensure that interested parties such as relevant ministries and departments, county governments, policy leaders (legislators and policy makers) implementing agencies and donors utilize policy evidence to shape policies, programs, interventions, and advocacy efforts related to supporting women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in Kenya.
The primary outcomes envisaged to be achieved via application of the evidence generated by eleven evaluation studies are:
- Representation of women in management and leadership positions increased by 30% within the public and private sectors by 2025;
- Women participation increased by 30% in corporate governance in public and private companies by 2025;
- Proportion of women-owned and managed enterprises within the manufacturing sector increased by 30% by 2025;
- Increased exposure of transferable skills to 20% girls and women and transited to work by 2025;
- Improved exposure of 20% women and girls to apprenticeship and mentorship programs enhance their work readiness by 2025;
- Exposure of 20% girls and women to lifelong learning programs enhance their skills for economic self-empowerment by 2025;
- Sexual and gender-based violence prevalence reduced by 50% by 2025;
- At least four gender responsive policies implemented to protect women and communities against sudden adverse socio-economic shocks by 2025;
- Diversity and quality of women livelihoods (market participation and productivity) increased by 20% in at least five counties by 2025;
- A new women economic empowerment measurement index constructed and demonstrated by 2025; and
- A new gender responsive budgeting tool developed and shared with stakeholders by 2025.
Under this project, the following activities will be completed:
1. Undertake analytical studies that will involve impact evaluations in three thematic areas:
- Women’s Roles in the Public and Private Sectors;
- Skilling and Mentoring; and;
- Violence, Crisis, and Women’s Work.
2. Carry out an impact evaluation in one of the thematic areas, using Randomized Control Trials (RCT) to generate evidence on causal relationships and the effectiveness of a promising intervention to improve WEE.
3. Stakeholder engagement. National-level policy dialogues to discuss evidence and constraints, involving policymakers as well as citizens and civil society groups so that a range of informed stakeholder groups can come together to advocate for evidence-based policy making.
4. Capacity building to ensure that strong institutions and networks emerge and are available to partner with governments and others on evidence generation for WEE.
5. Advocacy and Communications strategy: The BMGF media partner will train researchers in advocacy and communications strategy in the following areas: packaging of research evidence for media; effective policy communications and advocacy; modes of communicating evidence effectively; how evidence needs to be packaged in order to be most impactful.
The following University personnel have been appointed to oversee the operation of the Hub: The Hub Board chairperson (Prof. Caroline Thoruwa), the Hub leader (Prof. Judith Waudo), Project Manager (Yet to be recruited), Advocacy and Policy Engagement Expert (Prof. Grace Wamue-Ngare), Research Coordinator (Prof. Nelson H. W. Wawire), Research Associate (Quality Control and Partnerships) (Prof. Germano Mwabu), Research Associate (Fieldwork Coordination) (Prof. Simon Onywere), Administrative and Finance Manager (Mr. James O. Onditi).Other positions yet to be filled include ICT and Communications specialist, Administrative Assistant and Accounts Assistant.
This project was officially announced and established at Kenyatta University by the Vice Chancellor on the 9th of October, 2020 and is currently housed at the Centre of Gender Equity and Empowerment.