Introduction

Kenya’s long-term vision is to become “a globally competitive and prosperous country with a high quality of life by the year 2030.” The aspirations of Kenyans is articulated in Vision 2030, the long-term development blue print that is being implemented using five-year medium-term plans (MTP) together with the three-year cycle Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). The Government recognises the central role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in building and maintaining national competitiveness in the global economy, addressing global challenges, realising sustainable development and boosting its endeavours in achieving the desired socioeconomic status.

The Government in Vision 2030 and other supplementary development instruments has thus proposed to intensify the development and application of STI for creation of wealth and, building of the requisite human capital to raise productivity and efficiency levels across the three pillars of national development. To support this, the Government has also endeavoured to create the necessary policy, legal and institutional framework for the identification, acquisition, transfer, diffusion and application of relevant STI knowledge in all sectors of the economy.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST), derives its mandate of teaching, learning, research and community outreach from the Universities Act 2012 and its charter. JOOUST is a designated STI institution and Centre of Excellence in training, research, innovation and community outreach offering practical and market oriented programmes for steering socio-economic development. The University focuses on the development of Kenya’s rich cultural heritage and the utilization of the vast natural resources for academic advancement and research purposes premised on improving the socio-economic status of communities. To spearhead its STI mandate and agenda, the University created the Centre for Research, Innovation and Technology (CRIT) within the Division of Research, Innovation and Outreach (RIO) which is responsible for coordinating research, innovation, outreach and income generating activities. It is envisaged that through CRIT, the division will play a leading role in the generation of new and/or expand existing knowledge in modern research, innovation and technology to enable the University contribute to the country’s Short-Term, Medium Term Plans, Vision 2030 and to the overall national development.

A Strategic Plan has been formulated to guide the first development phase for CRIT for the next five (5) years and mirrors that of the University from where it has been cascaded. The plan not only benchmarks the academic, research and community outreach programmes, but also outlines the spectrum for human capacity as well as the physical infrastructure required to realize our vision. It is envisaged that CRIT will play a leading role in the generation of new and/or expand existing knowledge in modern research and technology to enable the University contribute to the country’s Medium Term Plans, Vision 2030 and to the overall national, regional and global development. 

The Mandate of CRIT

The University mandate is to achieve sustainable growth and development, through provision of quality education, innovative research and community outreach. In support of the University’s mandate, CRIT shall:

  1. Carry out research, innovation, and capacity building for technology development and transfer;
  2. Develop a critical mass of scientists and technical personnel, to enable it carry out competitive research, innovation and technology development in the local and international market.
  3. Collaborate with development partners within and outside the country to mobilise resources for carrying out the activities of CRIT;
  4. Work with other research and higher learning institutions locally and internationally in carrying out similar innovative research, capacity building and technology development and transfer;
  5. Collaborate with the county and national governments, state corporations including, the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and private sector organisations.
  6. Provide a platform for knowledge sharing and technology transfer.

Mission and Vision

The Vision of University is: “the beacon in training, research and sustainable development”, and the Mission is “to provide quality university education that nurtures creativity and innovation through integrated training, research and community outreach”. CRIT’s Vision and Mission are by extension aligned to the University’s vision and mission.

Vision
A centre of excellence in research, innovation and technology for sustainable development

Mission
To provide products, services and solutions that foster expansion of knowledge and sustainable development.

Core Values

  1. Gender Equity
  2. Meritocracy
  3. Fairness
  4. Integrity
  5. Transparency and Accountability
  6. Professionalism
  7. Sustainability

Strategic Plan Development Process

The Strategic Plan was developed through a highly participatory and consultative process that ensured the inclusion and involvement of a wide spectrum of internal and external stakeholders.

Dr. Benard Oula Muok

Cert EIA (JKUAT), Dip. (Kew Garden, UK), B.Sc., M.Sc. (Moi), Ph.D. (Kyoto)

Office Director Centre for Research , Innovation and Technology

Terms of Reference

Membership

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RIO) - Chairperson;
  2. Director, Centre for Research, Innovation and Technology (CRIT) - Secretary;
  3. Director , Centre for Outreach and Extension Services;
  4. Four (4) Deans/Directors nominated by Senate;
  5. Two Student representatives;
  6. Two co-opted members from outside the University;
  7. Director of Partnerships and International Affairs; and Registrar (RIO).

Terms of Reference

  1. be answerable to the Vice-Chancellor;
  2. receive regular progress reports for consideration and approval; and
  3. monitor and evaluate the general performance of the Directorate;

SITUATION ANALYSIS

This Strategic Plan is set against the existing operating environment as well as reality within which CRIT must operate and respond to to achieve its objectives. The stages of analysis include: analysis of external environment using the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal (PESTEL); Institutional analysis; and a CRIT internal SWOT analysis.
 

Environmental Scan

Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) play a pivotal role in industrialisation, economic growth and sustainable development of the country.  Therefore, the effective management of STI is now widely recognised as a determinant of competiveness for corporate entities, countries and regions. In a knowledge-based economy, the capacity to compete in the global market is highly dependent on the ability to innovate and apply the relevant technologies to industries and productive sectors. Investment in STI and its integration into the social, economic and governance policies can increase global market competiveness, create employment and increase productivity, which are key components for achieving the Kenya Vision 2030. It is against this national background that the University has established CRIT.

To enable CRIT chart a pathway for the future, a critical evaluation of the operating environment is necessary. The critical political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal (PESTEL) variables that may affect the operations of CRIT are summarised below. PESTEL analysis enables the CRIT to identify, understand and appreciate factors that could affect the implementation of this Strategic Plan.

Findings from PESTEL Analysis


Political

The Constitution of Kenya (2010

The Constitution of Kenya (2010) provides a framework for national governance with which the CRIT is expected to operate.

Kenya Vision 2030 and MTP

There is the national requirement that all local level strategic plans be aligned to the Kenya Vision 2030.

 

Good governance

Embracing Public Sector Performance Improvement Measures: Public institutions are required under the current political order to align activities to requirements on Performance Contracting and Quality Management System (ISO 9001: 2008).

Devolution

The devolved governance system has facilitated people participation as well as increased participation of Universities in regional and national development.

Risks

There could be a likelihood of interference with the positive provisions in the above documents by the political / ruling class.

Economical

Stability in the national economy and MTEF

Government ability to finance higher education, research, innovation and outreach is dependent on the general national economic growth. This growth is impacted on by several national and global trends. Such factors include: the levels of inflation, Gross Domestic Product, development trends of imports and exports, development partner participation, climate change, the rapid population growth rates, political stability and the general global economic trends.

Public-Private Partnership

Fostering partnerships under the public-private partnership arrangement is a worthy route towards  enhancing synergies for growth and development for CRIT.

Risks

Events and factors that result in negative impacts to the Kenyan or Regional economy are likely to relegate funding of science, technology and innovation activities.

Social

Rich cultural heritage

The University is located within an environment with a rich cultural heritage which offers immense opportunity for mutual understanding among existing communities and people of varying ethnicities and religious affiliations.

Population and demographic characteristics

There exists high and increasing population within the region. There is increasing interest by youth to get training in different aspects of research and technology development, and a quest by mature persons to pursue higher education. This gives an impetus for the CRIT to explore many different training and mentorship programmes. However this may put strain on available resources.

Infectious diseases

The University is located in a region characterized by high prevalence of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The social and cultural context is characterized by these infectious disease and other health issues. CRIT has opportunities to spearhead efforts through research, innovation and technology development to provide solutions that have relevance and direct impact on society.

Risks

Population pressure, infectious diseases, increasing levels of poverty and other social factors have and may impact negatively on human resource productivity. Issues such as gender disparities and national cohesion will have to be addressed.

Technological

Use of technology

There is an increase in use of ICT and other technological advances. CRIT will have to invest in the appropriate technologies in the conduct of research, training and consultancy services. CRIT has opportunities to use these technological advances to leap-frog in development and contribute to more relevant solutions to the society. CRIT will have to address issues of investments in emerging technologies including ICT, information security and research equipment and infrastructure to remain relevant and concurrent.

Risks

Technological obsolescence and associated costs of cutting-edge technologies are major threat to many research, innovation and technology development organizations. Inability to invest in requisite technologies will constrain CRIT in efforts to achieve its objectives.

Environmental

Increased attention on environmental issues

There are several ecological factors which affect the operations and effectiveness of CRIT including climate change, natural resource management and waste management. CRIT has opportunities to participate in and contribute to green development as well as preservation of the rich eco-system around the Lake Victoria Basin.

Challenges

CRIT as a nascent organisation has to build the requisite competence and networks to participate in the ‘green’ revolution to reduce adverse environmental impact

Legal

Compliance with legal requirements

CRIT is expected to operate within the provisions of The Constitution of Kenya (2010), The Universities Act (2012), Commission for University Education (CUE) requirements, Universities Standards and Guidelines 2014 and other Legal provisions within Kenya. This could present challenges as the regulations may be overlapping and conflicting.

Risks

Working within the state corporations’ legal framework pose challenges when dealing with the private sector in terms of procurement, timely delivery of services, environmental compliance and intellectual property rights.

 

The SWOT Analysis

To enable CRIT chart a pathway for the future, a critical evaluation of the factors that would influence the achievements of its objectives has been done through (SWOT) analysis.

Strengths

  1. A large pool of expertise in diverse disciplines of science and technology
  2. Apart from its own core staff, CRIT will draw expertise from the JOOUST academic and research staff and its external collaborators and partners. These are highly qualified complement staff and represent one of the highest concentrations of multidisciplinary researchers and trainers in the region. Most of the academic and research staff are specialists in their fields and many of them are internationally recognised.

  3. Diverse and specialised academic programmes
  4. The University already has accredited training programmes of diverse academic specialty. CRIT will build upon these in addition to new and unique ones to train and mentor the next generation of research scientists.

  5. Capacity for consultancy and community service
  6. The University has high caliber of researchers, innovators and professionals who are available to CRIT for consultancy and community extension services. Potential clients include the national Government ministries and departments, county governments, the industry, non-governmental organisations (NGO), community based organisations (CBO), and other local and international agencies.

  7. Quality and relevant research
  8. The University, through CRIT, engages in relevant innovative research, training and technology development which is attracting large research funding. Notable among the research projects are in agriculture, food and nutrition, health, environment, renewable energy, and spatial planning among others.

  9. Established basic physical facilities
  10. JOOUST has the basic infrastructure to enable CRIT to establish the necessary infrastructure to enhance research, training, technology development and transfer.

  11. Local and international linkages and collaborations
  12. The University has established a large number of collaborations and signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with many local and international organisations that have greatly enhanced its research output.

  13. Existing basic ICT facilities
  14. JOOUST has an existing basic ICT infrastructure to enable CRIT to access the necessary ICT services to enhance research, training, and technology development and transfer.

  15. The strategic location of the University

The location of the JOOUST in a tropical setting has an advantage of attracting scholars and researchers from the international community who are interested in innovative research and technology transfer in Sub-Saharan Africa. CRIT will improve the quality of research and training through pooling of expertise in several areas including basic and applied sciences, health, agriculture, biodiversity, environment and social sciences.

Weaknesses

  1. Budgetary Constraints
  2. Currently, CRIT draws its funding fromthe University which in turn relies on the National Government. This is grossly inadequate for CRIT’s activities. Being in a nascent Institution, CRIT needs a large pool of developmental and recurrent expenditure. Further still, most of the projects in CRIT are externally funded and although this is commendable, it is risky as CRIT may suffer in the future if these funds are no longer forthcoming.

  3. Inadequate requisite Infrastructure
  4. The University is still in the process of building the requisite infrastructure and therefore certain facilities needed for conduct of research such as highly equipped laboratories are not in place.

  5. Inadequate collaboration
  6. Although the University is already collaborating with other peer academic and research institutions and development partners, this remains inadequate and needs enhancement.

  7. Relatively new public University
  8. Being a relatively nascent University, JOOUST is still in the process of establishing and operationalising the requisite infrastructure, structures and systems to enable it to fully meet its mandate in development and also to be recognised internationally.

  9. Relatively low visibility amongst peers
  10. The visibility of JOOUST and by extension CRIT is still low.

  11. Inadequate ICT capacity
  12. ICT is a key driver for research, innovation, technology development and transfer. The current ICT infrastructure at JOOUST is not adequate to support the growing demands for its services.

  13. Inefficient procurement system
  14. The current procurement procedures have proved to be bureaucratic and tedious resulting in delays in meeting set targets, deadlines and opportunities. This greatly impairs efficiency and undermines collaborative activities.

Opportunities

  1. Increased autonomy to Universities
  2. The Government of Kenya has directed State corporations to embrace modern business management practices. State corporations boards have therefore been accorded relative autonomy in running their respective organisations. JOOUST, through CRIT, shall seize upon this opportunity to positions itself as a major player in innovative research, technology development and transfer.

  3. Increased awareness on the role of STI in sustainable development
  4. In the recent past, the government has recognised the important role of STI in sustainable national development. To this end, it has not only increased the number of STI institutions but also increased funding for STI activities. CRIT will take advantage of this opportunity to mobilise additional resources for its development and activities.

  5. University-Industry Collaboration
  6. The University, through the CRIT, needs to enhance collaboration with the national and county governments, communities, civil society organisations, industries, international organisations, peer institutions and other stakeholders to enhance innovative research, technology development and transfer.

  7. Growing demand for postgraduate studies
  8. The demand for postgraduate education in the country has been on the increase.  Since CRIT intends to offer specialised postgraduate programmes, it shall seize upon this opportunity to enhance student enrollment, their uptake and participation in innovative research, technology development and transfer.

  9. Growing demand for consultancy services
  10. The University has a large pool of experts in diverse fields and CRIT will tap on and coordinate this expertise to provide multidisciplinary consultancy services.

  11. Training and extension services
  12. The University has a large pool of experts in diverse fields and CRIT will tap on and coordinate this expertise to provide multidisciplinary consultancy services.

  13. Existing ICT capacity
  14. The rapid and continuing growth and developments of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) has had a major impact in Kenya. The existing and developing ICT infrastructure in the University provides great opportunities to improve the quality, effectiveness and flexibility of teaching, training, research and mentorship programmes. CRIT has the opportunity to embed its requirement in the developing ICT infrastructure of the University.

  15. Rapid technological advances
  16. The technological advances and convergence of technologies have transformed the way people live and work. CRIT shall adapt to the technological changes in order to diversify and enhance the quality of research, training and technology development.

Threats

  1. Unstable macroeconomic environment
  2. Various effects in the national scene such as droughts, floods, social and economic instability have resulted in reduced government funding and at times the already allocated funds for development and recurrent expenditures is further reduced. Given that CRIT currently receives the bulk of its funding from the government through the University, this is considered as a threat to the development of CRIT. 

  3. Competition from other development challenges
  4. The government tends to focus on more serious national challenges such as security, health, food as well as nutrition security and this could affect funding for research and training activities in the country.

  5. Competition from other institutions

Existing and emerging institutions offering postgraduate training will be in direct competition with CRIT for postgraduate students. These institutions may offer modernised physical structures, and facilities. CRIT would have to build better infrastructure to compete with these institutes.

 

Stakeholder Analysis and Engagement

Stakeholder Analysis

The stakeholder analysis includes stakeholder characteristics such as knowledge of research/innovation, policy, related interests, position for or against, potential alliances with other stakeholders, and ability to affect the process (through power and/or leadership). CRIT stakeholders are grouped into categories which include: international development partners (donors/collaborators), national political (legislators, governors), public (ministries/state departments), commercial/private for-profit, non-profit (non-governmental organsations [NGOs], foundations), civil society, users/consumers and suppliers.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is key to the strategic planning and implementation process and the preparation of this strategic plan involved consultations with the various categories of stakeholders at various stages of development. It is envisaged that future evaluations of the plan and programmes will also involve consultations with the various categories of stakeholders.

 

Determination of the Strategic Options for CRIT

Having carried out a SWOT analysis, further analysis was done to develop the strategic options and to ultimately identify high leverage strategies. Threats, opportunities, weaknesses and strengths (TOWS) were considered in a more systematic way than in the typical SWOT analysis. The TOWS analysis helped in focusing on leveraging strengths, avoiding weaknesses, making the most of opportunities and managing threats. Thus:

  1. How can CRIT employ its strengths to take advantage of the available opportunities?
  2. How can CRIT use its strengths to overcome identified threats?
  3. How can CRIT use the available opportunities to overcome the weaknesses?
  4. How will CRIT minimise its weaknesses to avoid the identified threats?

The table below provides a summary of the analysis and the available strategic options.TOWS Matrix

STRATEGIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Focusing on its vision as a leading centre of excellence in research, innovation and technology development, CRIT will seek to achieve specified strategic long-, medium- and short-term objectives.  This will be done through the undertaking of activities that optimise on the use of the available resources.  CRIT has taken participatory approach by involving all stakeholders who share the vision and undertakings of the centre, and the commitments to the goals and programme activities. Consequently, the CRIT has identified four strategic goals and a set of strategic objectives to fulfill its mandate (Table 3).

Strategic Goal 1:

Make JOOUST a leading STI research university for sustainable development through CRIT.

Strategic Goal 2:

Promote access to adequate human capital for research and innovation

Strategic Goal 3:

Nurture globally competitive Kenyan enterprises through business incubation

Strategic Goal 4:

Diversify sources of research funding through grant proposal writing and resource mobilisation

 

Strategic Framework Table

TOWS Matrix

IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING AND EVALUATION

In view of the many interests (current and/or potential), the management system will be required to adequately respond to the needs and complex interests as well as provide a sensitive central linking / coordinating structure. The administrative structure will, therefore, provide clear links and authority, paying particular attention to the relationship between the various research and training activities and their management.

Implementation Structure

TOWS Matrix

Implementation Approaches

CRIT will need to be recognized not only as a highly skilled program delivery partner, but also as an acknowledged innovator and leader in the design and delivery of successful, sustainable programmes. In this regard, there will be need for:

  1. Allocating to CRIT, the resources to achieve the goals and strategies of the Strategic Plan;
  2. Acquiring the necessary infrastructure for research, training, consultancy and business incubation services;
  3. Attracting and retaining the requisite top talent human resource capacity for the activities of the Centre
  4. Engaging the private sector to support technology uptake
  5. Adopting a comprehensive and aggressive communications and marketing programme to enhance the visibility and influence of CRIT;
  6. Marketing, writing grant proposals and expanding external funding of CRIT to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan;
  7. Monitoring and regularly reporting on the CRIT progress in implementing the Strategic Plan;
  8. Preparing quarterly and annual work plans to operationalise the Strategic Plan;
  9. Periodically reviewing implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  10. Working together to consult, coordinate, collaborate and communicate.

Implementation Matrix

TOWS Matrix

Monitoring and Evaluation

Develop a Monitoring and Evaluation framework for CRIT

CRIT will develop an M&E framework to ensure consistency, accuracy and timely reporting of the activities of the Centre.

Continual data collection and analysis

CRIT will conduct continual data collection, analyse the output and compare against targets and indicators of success. Reports shall be submitted to the Management for decision-making.

Performance supervision

The Director shall supervise performance of all functions to ensure that the Strategic Plan is implemented.

Review M meetings

CRIT shall hold regular performance review meetings to assess the status of the Strategic Plan.

Quarterly Sstatus R reviews

CRIT shall conduct quarterly reviews, compile quarterly reports and submit the same to management.

Annual Strategic Plan performance audits

CRIT shall conduct an annual performance audit to evaluate performance progress, impact and relevance.

Policy rreviews

Based on the results of the M&E reports, CRIT shall review policies, strategies and activities with a view to improving performance.

Assumptions and Risks

Implementation of this Strategic Plan is premised on the assumptions and risks listed below.

Assumptions

  1. That the University will continue allocating sufficient resources for operations of the CRIT;
  2. That partners and stakeholders will continue supporting endeavours of the CRIT;
  3. That our offerings match the stakeholders expectations.

Risks

  1. Social, Environmental, Political and Legal;
  2. Delays in disbursement of resources;
  3. Delays in facilitating procurement of materials;
  4. Availability of adequate expertise;
  5. Professional Risks.

ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE

CRIT will operate under the Division of Research Innovation and Outreach. The Director will oversee the day-to-day running of the Centre. The Centre will be governed by a board to be constituted by the DVC, RIO. CRIT will be expected to take up the challenge of responding adequately to national, regional and international needs.  It must have relative autonomy and legitimacy as a centre for reputable and innovative research and training in order to attract national, regional and international attention and support.

The Centre requires a basic administrative structure of its own for it to effectively manage the various activities and satisfy the various interests in research, training and community outreach. To this end, the following structure needs to be considered and be in place in the next five years.

TOWS Matrix

List of Selected Stakeholders

Item

Stakeholders

 

 

Internal (JOOUST)

 

1.

Researchers and Technology Developers

 

2.

Postgraduate Students

 

3.

Graduate Students

 

4.

University Administration

 

 

Central Government / State Departments

5.

MOEST

 

6.

MOIED

 

7.

MO Labour (Employment)

 

8.

The National Treasury

 

9.

Ministry of Health

 

10.

Trade and East African Affairs

 

11.

County Governments

 

 

Regulation / Accrediting / Certification Bodies

12.

Commission for University Education

 

13.

Kenya Bureau of Standards

 

14.

NACOSTI

 

15.

National Industrial Training Authority

 

16.

KIPI

 

17.

KEPHIS

 

 

General industry

 

18.

Manufacturing

 

 

Agro-Industries

 

19.

Dominion

 

20.

Unilever

 

21.

James Finlay

 

 

Trade/Commerce

 

22.

Exporters

 

23.

Importers

 

 

Services

 

24.

Banks

 

25.

Telecoms

 

26.

Hospitality

 

 

State Corporations

 

27.

LBDA

 

28.

KVDA

 

29.

Miwani Sugar Co.

 

30.

Muhuroni Sugar Co

 

31.

Mumias Sugar Co.

 

32.

Sony Sugar Co

 

33.

West Sugar

 

 

Private sector

 

34.

Local communities

 

35.

Civil Society Organizations

 

 

Peer Institutions (Universities and Research Institutions)

36.

All public and private universities in Kenya

 

37.

Kenya Medical Research Institute

 

38.

Kenya Forest Research Institute

 

39.

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute

 

40.

Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute (KIRDI)

 

41.

Kenya Sugar Research Foundation (KESREF)

 

42.

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisations (KALRO)

 

43.

International Research & Donor Agencies

 

 

Office of Center for Research, Innovation and Technology - Staff Members

Designation Name View staff profile (Biography, CV, Publications and Research Groups)
DirectorDr. Benard  Muokview profile
Senior Research FellowDr. Lorna  Okottoview profile
Senior Research FellowDr. Henry   Ogolaview profile
Senior Research FellowMr. K.   Adudaview profile

 

 

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