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The African Drylands Institute for Sustainability (ADIS) at the University of Nairobi (Kenya) is a center of excellence for drylands development in Kenya and by extension the Greater Horn of Africa. Its vision is “sustainable development in drylands for prosperous and resilient societies” and the mission is to “contribute to sustainable development in drylands for improved livelihoods through trans-disciplinary education, action research, technology and innovation, partnerships, policy dialogue and community engagement”. It is mandated to undertake capacity development, research and extension/stakeholder engagement and was established as a multidisciplinary center that draws expertise from across various disciplines within and outside the University of Nairobi to address the often complex dryland development challenges. Some of the key drylands development challenges the Institute focuses on include: land degradation and deterioration/loss of ecosystem services, resilience building against diverse shocks and stresses (drought, climate change and variation, and conflicts among others), pro-poor market development (market access and value chains development,) low level of human development (skills) among the poor and vulnerable groups, poverty, and gender and (youth) mainstreaming. 

 

The Institute provides an opportunity for academicians, researchers and development practitioners to participate in the in the design and implementation of its programs. Besides, ADIS leverages on the research work of its affiliate graduate students to improve it programs. The Institute and its affiliate professionals have hands on experience in working directly with the national and county governments as well dryland communities to support and/or implement development programs and undertake applied research. At the sub- regional level, ADIS collaborates with the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) covering 8 countries in the Greater Horn of Africa, in its environment and agriculture programs -the aim is to build the resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in the region through demand driven research, technology transfer, knowledge management (including resilience learning), policy influence and stakeholder engagement.  ADIS also partners with and participates in programs of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), mainly in developing skilled manpower (for the agriculture sector) for the Eastern Africa region. The institute also prides itself in working with several universities in the US and Europe in developing skilled professionals, institutional capacity development and networking- key activities being collaborative research, faculty and student exchange, experiential learning and knowledge management.

 

Besides the above functions, the Institute also provides technical services (consultancy) in project design, baseline surveys, feasibility studies, project medium term reviews, progress monitoring and evaluation of projects, and project impact evaluation. The clientele ranges from communities, civil society organizations, Non-governmental Organizations, UN Agencies, county governments and other development partners such as donors and specialized projects or programs. The Institute will continue to contribute to professional capability in understanding and articulating dryland development issues based on data and information generated from research, monitoring and evaluation, and learning processes to inform development and resilience development programming in the predominantly Arid and Semi Arid (ASALs) areas in Kenya and indeed in the rest of the Horn of Africa.

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