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The Governance Department carries out research and policy analysis on devolution and policy process, legal and institutional reforms, economic and corporate governance, land reforms and conflict management. The main objective is to address policy-related governance issues such as strengthening of the rule of law, land management, the fight against corruption, improved security as well as enhancement of transparency and accountability in public and corporate institutions.

The current theme of ongoing research in the department is “Supporting County Governments in Enhancing Social Accountability”. This entails conducting a review of the policy, regulatory and legal frameworks and the institutional structures supporting public participation; Developing a public affairs index that will support in monitoring and strengthening social accountability at the county level; and Acritical Review of public participation initiatives at national and county level, given that public participation is now a central pillar in democratic governance.

Among the recent research, blogs and articles published from the department include: What works, what doesn’t and Why: Assessing the Efficacy of Anti-Corruption Strategies in Kenya; Encouraging Institutions to Enhance their Reach in the Fight Against Counterfeit Goods; Community Policing in Kenya: Way Forward; Women Representation in Kenyan Politics: Challenges and Opportunities Women and land ownership rights in Kenya: Status, challenges and opportunities for reform Need to Embrace Perspective, Persistence and Normative Values in Public Sector Reforms; and Empowering Women through Information: Strengthening the Implementation of Access to Information Laws.


  1. Challenges in Coordinating Government Policy at National and County Level : 

    The study is to identify and explore mechanisms for coordinating government policy at national and county level to enhance intergovernmental relations in Kenya.

  2. Recurring Themes on Public Finance Management Compliance in County Governments based on the Auditor General’s report : Highlight recurrent and prominent themes of PFM compliance in County Governments by undertaking a comparative analysis of the findings of the Auditor General’s reports from 2014 – 2017 financial years and provide possible recommendations on effective financial resource management
  3. Assessing the extend of implementation of electoral reforms in Kenya :assesses the extend of the implementation of electoral reforms in Kenya under the new constitutional dispensation giving an analysis of the performance of state and non-state actors towards the implementation of electoral reforms as well as the barriers to electoral reforms. The study will provide policy options on what reforms are required and how best to implement the reforms

  4. Efficacy of anti-corruption institutions in Kenya :effectiveness of anti-corruption institutions in Kenya and will provide policy options and recommendations towards strengthening anti-corruption initiatives.

The focus of the Infrastructure and Economic Services Department is to develop innovative, research-based infrastructure policy options and move them to the practical marketplace of policy making to tackle infrastructure management and policy challenges. It focuses on problems inhibiting the development and provision of physical infrastructure and services in energy; petroleum transmission and distribution; water and waste management; transport; construction and housing; urban and regional planning and management; information and communications technology (ICT); environmental health; Infrastructure finance, investment and productivity; and public service delivery.

Currently, the theme of the department’s research work is the “Role of infrastructure in effective delivery of the Big 4 agenda in Kenya”. The department is focusing on review of policies, regulations and institutional frameworks in the infrastructure sector; assessing infrastructure inadequacies impeding the country’s economic growth; evaluating impact of infrastructure development past and present on Kenya’s future prospects and economic outlook, particularly in energy sector; and analyzing alternative models of financing water and sanitation infrastructural projects in Kenya.

Among the recent research, blogs and articles published from the department include: Leveraging on Existing Legal Provisions to Deliver Adequate, Affordable and Decent Housing; Gender Access to Water and Energy and its Implications on Household Well-being; Households’ Energy Preference and Consumption Intensity in Kenya; and, Local Content in the Energy Sector.


  1. Development of strategic plan for Kenya Space Agency (KSA).
  2. Study on the effects of power outages on manufacturing industries ; To assess the implications of power outages in industries and the   impact on production cost.
  3. Review of a Policy for Kenya National Library Services.

Macroeconomics Department key objective is to improve public policy that supports growth, equity and poverty reduction. It conducts research in macroeconomic policy and support public policy process through capacity building and networking. The key research themes in the department are economic growth analysis; fiscal policy; monetary policy; external sector; and forecasting analysis using tools such as the KIPPRA-Treasury Macroeconomic Model (KTMM), Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) and poverty modules. The department also influences policy through participation in several economic policy taskforces in the government

Currently, the theme of ongoing research in the department is “Public Debt Dynamics in Kenya”. The issue of public debt has given mixed signals in the economic arena. This theme focuses on understanding the public debt dynamics through analysis, with a view to influencing fiscal policy stability. The department is also supporting analysis of macroeconomic policy through use of macro models that are based on Kenyan economy with a view to supporting active participation in the policy formulation process. One of the key macro-models is the KIPPRA-Treasury Macro-Model.

Recent research, blogs and articles published from the department include: The Importance of Excisable Duty in Kenya and Its Implications; Inclusive Growth and its Relevance in Kenya; Interest Rate Cap Two Years On: Outcomes for Kenya’s Economy; and, Composition of Domestic Debt in Kenya and Implication on Refinancing Risk.


  1. Analysis of 30% procurement spend ;To assess and identify the factors that influence the uptake of the 30% procurement spend by Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Kenya.

The mission of the Private Sector Development Department is to conduct objective research; provide policy advice and undertake capacity building on issues that are related to the private sector and its role in the development process, including investment opportunities and growth; manufacturing; financing needs; and the role of the government in private sector growth; and firms operations and performance.

The department’s research is currently guided by two themes namely “Employment Creation through industrialization” (focusing on enhancing innovation and technology in Kenya; Strengthening value chain linkages in selected manufacturing sub-sectors; Understanding scope of the informal sector in Kenya; and providing an enabling business environment for MSEs in the Counties); and “Financing needs of private sector” (which focuses on assessing factors informing the structuring of “bankable” infrastructure projects for Big 4 Agenda sector projects; and assessing the demand on the participatory capital market products and services in Kenya).

The recent research, blogs and articles published from the department include: Role of Manufacturing and Engineering in Employment Creation in Kenya; MSE Sector Harmonization and Coordination Framework; East Africa Needs to Cut Costs of Doing Business and Nurture Industrial Skills to Spur Jobs; Characteristics of Kenyan MSMEs Relevant to the Proposed Kenya Credit Guarantee Scheme; Challenges of women in business based on evidence from the 2016 MSME Survey; and, Supplier Diversity Key in Entrepreneurship.


  1. Kenya National Leather Development PolicyThe policy envisions a sustainable and globally competitive leather sector in Kenya with the aim of positioning it as a leading source of quality leather and leather products and exports earnings.

The Social Sector Department carries out research, policy analysis and capacity building that is aimed at human resource development for the country. Key research areas include poverty dynamics, social protection, population dynamics, inequalities, health, education, and labour markets.

The theme of the department’s current research work is “Status of Children in Kenya” which entails review of policies, regulations and Institutions dealing with issues of children; to identify gaps in addressing these issues, delineate the institutions responsible for the various task, the budgets, and framework guiding the implementation of the policies and interventions, with a view to eradication of child and intergenerational poverty and improving delivery of services targeting children. The department is developing a framework for monitoring status of Children in Kenya through establishing suitable indicators. Finally, the department is looking at effects of drought and floods (climate change) on schooling in Kenya, giving special consideration to issues of water, sanitation and hygiene in schooling.

The recent research, blogs and articles published from the social sector department include: Improving Productivity of the Informal sector in creating decent jobs for the youth; Child sensitive planning and budgeting with special focus on four key sectors: health, education, water and sanitation and social protection; Revitalizing Technical and Vocational Education and Training; Leveraging on TVET to unlock employment opportunities for youth in Kenya to inform on matching technical skills with industry needs; Promoting structural transformation for high productivity jobs in Kenya; Enhancing technical skills development for Kenya’s structural transformation; and, Tightening compliance with the Basic Education Act.


  1. A research project on “Youth employment in Industries with and without smokestacks” ; To assess the employment creation potential of smokestack industries and the enabling environment for Kenya country case study to access the scope for selected value chains to generate burge scale formal employment opportunities for young people in Kenya.
  2. UNICEF- Child Sensitive Budgeting ;The overall objective is to develop analytical capacity in the area of child sensitive planning and budgeting with a view to promote the capacity of county governments in policy decision making.

The objective of the research activities in the Trade and Foreign Policy Department are to: increase domestic and international trade; promote regional economic integration; enhance Kenya’s relations and diplomatic engagements with the international community; and provide capacity building stakeholder in the public and private sectors among others. The research activities are aligned to the aspirations of the Kenya Vision 2030 and the National Trade Policy which seeks to enhance the supply of goods and services to the domestic market, while at the same time deepening economic and commercial ties through regional economic integration, and bilateral and multilateral partnerships.

The theme of the department’s current research activities is “Assessing Kenya’s Institutional and Regulatory Framework for Trade Development in Kenya”. The department is conducting research on enhancing competitiveness to advance Kenya’s economic and geo-political interests; and developing a framework for monitoring process in the implementation of regulatory and institutional environment – aimed at assisting the policy makers to establish whether existing regulations promote development of efficient trade both for the domestic and international market).

Among the recent research, blogs and articles published from the department include: Effects of Devolved Governance System on Domestic Trade in Kenya; Fair Trade Rules a Must For States to Gain From AfCFTA; How Change of Currency Notes Affects the Economy; Why County Assets, Debt Must be Managed Well; Revitalizing The Leather Industry; and, Why Isn’t Manufacturing Creating Employment Opportunities for Kenya’s Women and Youth?.

The Productive Sector Department carries out research and policy analysis to support government efforts in enhancing productivity of Kenya economy in meeting the development goals. It organizes its research along three primary sectors of the economy namely; Agriculture, Tourism, and Environment and Natural Resources, which are further broken down into flexible research and knowledge areas. These include, but not limited to, agribusiness, livelihoods, food security, climate change, oil, gas and mining, tourism demand and competitiveness.

Currently, the theme of the department’s research is “Achieving Food and Nutrition Security through effective and efficient markets”. Under the theme, the department is conducting a review of policies, legislatives, regulatory and institution that have hindered food markets from functioning and develop index for monitoring food markets; assessment of Collective Marketing of Horticultural Crops with a view to identifying partnerships for creating positive impact on food security; the role of water in achieving food security; the role of informal markets in the food system; and identifying characteristic factors that could enable small-holder maize farmers to access markets for their crop.

The recent research, blogs and articles published from the department include: The status of Youth and women’s access to financial services in the Agricultural sector; Can Agriculture deliver Jobs for the youth for inclusive growth?; Women surest bet in quest for food security; Addressing the Impacts of climate change on maize production in East Africa Community through policy response; and, Bee bulking and farmer capacity building in beekeeping: an opportunity for increasing youth employment and food security in rural areas.


  1. National Information Platform on Food and Nutrition  ;To build data on nutrition and analyze food security in the country.