Catalysing climate action in Kenya's arid lands through a think-and-do tank platform

Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) are among the most susceptible areas to the climate crisis, leading to food insecurity, poverty, and conflict. This project, led by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya, brings together the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), VNG International, and Akvo to stimulate investment in Kenya’s ASALs. By leveraging existing and new data for coordinated actions along key value chains, the project aims to engage public and private sector actors, especially relevant government departments, farmers, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to promote sustainable agrifood practices. 

The challenge

Kenya's ASALs, covering about 89% of the country, are highly vulnerable to the climate crisis, experiencing extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. As the predominantly rural population relies on increasingly unreliable rainfall for their livelihoods, the changing climate conditions result in below average crop production, poor livestock yields, and resource-based conflicts. Additionally, the lack of access to data and information impedes coordinated action, hindering efforts to build resilience and promote social and economic development in the region.

The solution

This project will initiate Kenya’s first climate think-and-do tank, with the main objective of building resilience and boosting sustainable agrifood investment in the ASAL counties. Akvo will lead the development of a digital platform to connect key actors, convene them virtually, and catalyse climate action in Kenya. The platform will facilitate knowledge management and learning - making information widely accessible to development and humanitarian partners, Kenyan government agencies, and the private sector. Our objective is to enhance coordination and collaboration, raise awareness, and provide a robust framework for evidence-based decision making.

Above: The three key outcomes to achieve impact

The impact

The platform aims to provide an enabling environment that makes climate information accessible, improves collaboration and coordination, and boosts access to finance for businesses. By doing so, the think-and-do tank platform has the potential to support employment and generate revenue, while enhancing food security and optimising sustainable value chains. We expect the platform will contribute to reduced poverty rates and long-term stability and prosperity in the region, improving overall socio-economic conditions.