UON WEE Hub Prioritized projects (2021)

1.Project title: Evaluating the impact of affirmative action funds (WEF, YEDF, UWEZO, NGAAF & MSEA Development Fund) on WEE, and identify best practices to inform BKF and CGS (Cluster 1)


The goal of this research is to investigate what works with regards to affirmative action funds for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship and identify lessons learnt for strengthening emerging initiatives namely BKF and CGS. The specific objectives are as to: analyze the extent to which government funded affirmative action funds and initiatives such as the Women Enterprise Fund, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, UWEZO, NGAAF and the MSEA Development Fund have improved the economic outcomes for women; investigate if the policies and programme designs on these funds are informed by women’s experiences; study if the policy and programme designs have impacted on the uptake of the funds by women; investigate the relationships between these funds and how are they are managed; and assess the conditions and drivers for strengthening women’s entrepreneurship which BKF and CGS can learn from pre-existing affirmative action funds and initiatives.


The research design comprises an evaluative study focused on the design, implementation, and performance of the identified affirmative action funds. In this design, both qualitative and quantitative techniques will be used plus an adoption of a feminist lens where women’s engagement and empowerment are predominant. A total of 4 counties (Kisumu, Nakuru, Nairobi and Mombasa.) have been purposively selected to represent the breadth of Kenya. In each county, there will be a random sample of 50 respondents giving a total national sample of 350. A structured questionnaire will be used to gather data on beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the affirmative action funds.


Questions for the survey will be worked out closely with the baseline on women’s work and other cluster 1 studies such as AGPO for synergy and collaboration. In addition, a total of 10 Key informants in each county (hence 70 in total) representing fund managers, trade officers, other county officials and local leaders including civil society actors will be interviewed to capture what works from the managerial perspectives. A key informant interview guide will be prepared for this purpose. For purposes of gathering in-depth data from women entrepreneurs themselves, 3 case studies of success in each county will be captured. This brings to 21 the number of qualitative case studies specific to the selected funds.


Further, and to strongly capture the women’s agency, 6 FGDs per county made up of 8 persons each will be conducted. These will constitute around one FGD per sub-county since many counties have around that number of sub-areas (formerly called districts) Research instruments include interview guides, open ended questionnaires and FGDs guides (both structured and unstructured). Quantitative data will be collected using structured survey instruments through face-to-face interviews or telephone interviews with the respondents. The anticipated timeline for the study is estimated at a total of 70 days over one year (March 2021-March 2022).

2. Project Title: Evaluating the Interfaces between the Government of Kenya’s Economic Stimulus Packages during the Covid 19 pandemic, other informal Societal Interventions, and their implications for WEE (Cluster 2)


The objectives of this project are to (i) evaluate the impacts of the Government of Kenya's Covid-19 economic stimulus packages on women's formal and informal employment. (ii) identify what lessons can be learnt from informal and societal measures used to fill the gaps in the Government of Kenya's Covid-19 economic stimulus packages.

The project entails both doctrinal and empirical research and involves both qualitative and quantitative research methods. That is:

Method 1: Qualitative study through key informant interviews with MOH officials, government agencies, national emergency response team, actors, finance committee in parliament headed by Gladys Wanga, Treasury Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Key CSO’s and Women Organizations, chiefs, Nyumba kumi. 5FGDs.

Method 2: Quantitative survey of randomly selected participants in Nairobi, Mombasa, kakamega, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kisii, Kitui, and Mandera counties. (Face of Kenya).


In the first stage, a review of the background documents (documentary review) of the Government of Kenya (GoK) economic stimulus packages in responses to Covid-19 will be done.  In the second stage, we will develop research instruments and deploy surveys, questionnaires and conduct interviews and stakeholder consultations. In the third stage, we will compile, analyze, and draft a report and extract a policy brief from the key findings. Finally, using the materials developed and knowledge gained, we will publish an article with a reputable journal. The Timeline for the project engagements is between March-December 2021.

3. Project title: Enhancing participation of women in cross border trade through access to childcare facility (Cluster 3)


This project attempts to answer two questions


(i) What is the effect of Simplified Trade Regime (STR) initiative on women participation in cross border trade at Busia and Namanga border areas? and


(ii) Can access to childcare facility enhance women’s participation in cross-border trade at Busia and Namaga border areas? The aim is to generate evidence to inform STR complimentary policy for improved participation of women in cross border trade, for increased participation of women in trade opportunities opening with increasing regional Free Trade Areas (FTAs). This project will be implemented in two border areas of Kenya - Busia and Namanga. The project (i) Analyzes the impacts of the Simplified Trade Regime (STR), a regional policy initiative being implemented in Eastern and Southern African countries to facilitate small scale cross border traders (majority of whom are women) to participate more in intra-regional trade. The methodology includes quantitative and qualitative methods, based on both econometric and feminist theories. (ii) Using quasi-experimental research design, the study also tests if access to childcare facility by women participating in cross border trade improves their participation (including growing their businesses, increasing their income, increasing time spent in their businesses, increasing their participation in networks).

Activities projected (March- Dec 2021) include: Preparation and pre-test of data collection instruments, data collection at the 2 border posts (aim: evaluate impacts of STR; establish baseline data), data analysis, Preparing 2 reports (1 baseline, effect of STR on women cross border traders) and 2 dissemination workshops.

4. Title of project: National budget policy statement and its implication on sectors that support childcare & women’s work (Cluster 3)


This project attempts to address the questions: (i) does the budget policy statement prioritize sectors (ECDE, water and health) that support childcare and women’s work? (ii) What are the annual budgetary allocations to sectors that support childcare and women’s work such as ECDE, water and health? (iii) how can the information generated be used to advocate for increased budgetary allocation? The evidence generated in this project will be used to inform budgetary allocation to sectors that support childcare and women’s work. The aim of the project is to evaluate the implication of the annual national budget policy statement and the budgetary allocations on childcare & women’s work. Specific objectives are to: (i) evaluate the budget policy statement priorities among sectors (ECDE, water and health) that support childcare and women’s work? (ii) assess the annual budgetary allocations to sectors that support childcare and women’s work such as ECDE, water and health (iii) use the information generated to inform increased budgetary allocations to sectors that support childcare and women’s work. The research will be conducted in Busia and Kajiado areas in liaison with the national budget. Projected activities (March – December 2021) include analysis of national budget speech and budgetary allocations, holding dissemination meetings, training women organizations to support increased budgetary allocations to sectors that support women's care work, drafting of policy briefs, holding national Policy dialogues with women's organizations, consultative meetings with National Treasury and with policy makers at county Level and creating awareness at the county levels.

5. Project title: Assessing What Works for WEE in Policy Advocacy and strengthening women’s self-mobilization for WEE: Case Studies of Kenya’s Biashara Kenya Fund and Credit Guarantee Scheme (Cluster 1 & 4 in collaboration with CRAWN Trust)


The broad objective of the project is to contribute to the increased growth of 40 women’s enterprises in 8 counties by at least 2% by 2025 by promoting access the Credit Guarantee Scheme and the Biashara Kenya Fund. The specific objectives are to: (i) identify the challenges and opportunities that are specific to WEE in operationalization and implementation of the CGS and BKF programs; (ii) monitor the implementation of the CGS and BKF policies and their impact on women’s businesses; (iii) document best practices that work to promote WEE in the implementation of affirmative action policies for up-scaling; (iv) develop and implement policy advocacy strategies to enhance women’s access to CGS and BKF and ultimately promote WEE; (cluster four), and  (v)To test the policy advocacy strategies used to promote women’s access to CGS and BKF for up-scaling in other relevant contexts (cluster four).


The project will be undertaken collaboratively with cluster four and in two phases. The first phase entails a desk review of the legislation and regulations establishing the CGS and BKF. However, the BKF is yet to be fully implemented following the passing of its establishing regulations and therefore, this aspect of the project will be pended until the implementation commences. Still as part of phase, policy advocacy strategies for promoting women’s access to the CGS will be developed and implemented. The second phase of the project will entail monitoring the implementation of the CGS to identify and document best practices that promote WEE in policy implementation. The following specific activities will be undertaken in each phase: Phase One will entail Desk review of the CGS and BKF legislation and establishing regulations (complete), Development and implementation of policy advocacy strategy for promoting women’s access to CGS (on-going). Organizing and holding sensitization meetings on the CGS with policy implementers, WEE Hub partners and women entrepreneurs (on-going), Discussions with implementing financial institutions on their internal policies for the operationalization of the CGS, and Development and implementation of tools for testing the policy advocacy strategy used to promote women’s access to CGS. Phase two will include: Development of tools of analysis and monitoring the implementation of the CGS and BKF, Sharing of tools with women’s organizations for validation in collaboration with cluster four, Carrying out collaborative research with women’s organizations and women entrepreneurs; Development of data collection instruments, Training of research assistants, Data collection and analysis,  Preparation of technical report, Dissemination and validation of technical report with women’s organization and other stakeholders in collaboration with cluster four and training women’s organizations to share findings on CGS at the county level.


Description for the methodologies for each phase are as follows: Phase One will encompass desk review of legislation and regulations establishing the CGS and BKF, and this has already been completed, collaboratively with cluster four, develop and implement a policy advocacy strategy to promote women’s access to CGS, experiential learning to obtain information from implementing financial institutions on the operationalization and roll out of the CGS and Organizing sensitization meetings with policy makers and implementers, women’s organizations and WEE Hub partners on the on-going operationalization of the CGS. Phase Two will use Mixed research methods, (qualitative and quantitative) to assess what works for WEE in the implementation of affirmative action policies. A sample of 179 participants from the National Government; women’s organizations and women entrepreneurs will be purposively selected for the collection of qualitative data. Further, for the collection of statistical data, 200 women entrepreneurs at the county level will also be purposively selected from lists provided by women’s organizations involved in self-mobilizations. Specific methods include: 25 key informant interviews with policy makers and implementers from the National Government; implementing financial institutions, 10 in-depth interviews with women’s organizations involved in the self-mobilization of women, 12 focus group discussions of 12 women entrepreneurs in each of the counties where the WEE Hub will be conducting research and Quantitative survey of 200 women entrepreneurs to test the extent to which they were able to access the CGS in the two year period of its roll out. The estimated timeline for the project is January 2021-February 2022).

6. Project title: Analysis of strategies that women’s movement used to realize the gains in the Kenya Constitution 2010 for strengthening self - mobilization for policy advocacy for WEE (Cluster 4)


This project aims at examining strategies that women’s movement used to realize the gains in the Kenya’s Constitution 2010 for up scaling in educating policy makers to support WEE policies and programs in the UON WEE Hub. The specific objectives are to: (i) identify the strategies women’s movement used during the constitutional review process in Kenya (1997- 2010), (ii) establish how these strategies contributed to women’s self-mobilization in negotiating their interests during the constitutional review process, and (iii) establish how these strategies can be replicated to strengthen women’s self-mobilization for WEE.


The study will be carried out in four counties in Kenya namely, Nairobi, Nakuru, Isiolo and Kilifi. The project is qualitative study in nature where 20 gender equality pathfinders will be interviewed using oral testimonies interview guides. Other interviewers include 8 FGDs from select women’s organizations, ,10 women policy makers selected from the senate, national assembly & county assemblies (2 per institution), 120 individual women respondents drawn from 20 women’s organizations and  (semi-structured questionnaires) and 20 semi-structured questionnaires to women organizations (5 per county).  These interviews will be recorded using digital recorders into audios and video clips. The selection criteria will be purposive and snow balling to identify the pathfinders. Secondary data generated from review of relevant documents on women’s movement and constitution making for WEE will also be used. The 20 video clips will be transcribed into 20 transcription reports for each pathfinder. The data generated from the transcription reports and the field reports from the oral testimonies will be analyzed using qualitative methods to identify the strategies women to realize gains in constitution 2010. Activities projected (March- December 2021) comprise of literature review report of global, regional, and national literature on women’s self-mobilization for Women Economic Empowerment, preparation of tools, piloting; interviews and video recordings with 20 gender mainstreaming in Constitution 2010 review pathfinders, reviewing the oral testimonies of the pathfinders for distilling of knowledge, analysis of interviews with pathfinders, 4 Consultative workshops, 4 Validation workshops, publication of information for Women Economic Empowerment and dissemination of information for Women Economic Empowerment.