Our Research Portfolio

Our researchers have experience in working in English, Kiswahili, Luganda, and other local languages and with SPSS, STATA, Atlas.ti NVIVO, and other qualitative data analysis and other software. We have experience undertaking baseline Surveys, Feasibility Studies, Action Research, Operations, and formative Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, cost management and budgeting as well as skills in research ethics and data security. Our researchers and associates comprise a mix of social scientists, policy analysts, and economists including development economists. The researchers have extensive expertise in different fields and cultural contexts at national, regional, and international levels. 

Our past studies fall under the following broad themes: Poverty and social protection Research, the voice of women and youth in Coffee, Tea, and Gold mining value chains, Educational research,  Youth employment, and child labor, Early Childhood Care and Development, State-NGO relations in Social Development, and Youth Inclusion in Cooperatives in Africa and livelihoods.

Nascent RDO has experience in engaging various policy actors on policy and practice. We have in the past engaged the policy actors through workshops, validation meetings, mass media, preparation of policy briefs, high-level breakfast meetings, and other youth-focused advocacy strategies. 

Nascent RDO researchers are widely published in peer-reviewed Journals, blogs, books, and monographs.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Economic Empowerment – Supporting Out-of-school Adolescent girls’ Rights and Skills (SHE SOARS) Program Baseline Evaluation (2022)

CARE International plans to implement the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Economic Empowerment – Supporting Out-of-school Adolescent girls’ Rights and Skills (SHE SOARS) Program in Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. As an initial step, the organisation commissioned a Baseline Evaluation in the three countries to develop baseline indicators, generate evidence and develop the program priority areas in Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

In Kenya, Nascent Research and Development Organisation (Nascent RDO) was commissioned to conduct the study which we designed to use a Cross-Sectional Mixed Method with 1,035 households participating in the household survey, while 221 study participants participated in the qualitative study through either Focus Group Discussions, In-depth Interviews or Key informant interviews.

MWA – Gender Assessment Kenya-RAPID Phase I Program (2021)

Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) has been implementing the Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (Kenya-RAPID) Phase 1 program (2015 -2020) funded by multiple donors, private sector partners, and MWA members. The program’s focus has broadly been on applying a multiple actor approach (public and private institutions) to mobilize and provide resources, assets, investments, innovation, and access to markets. 

Nascent RDO was contracted to conduct a Gender Assessment Study to enhance a deeper understanding of how gender dynamics/trajectories influence access, control, and ownership to water, rangeland resources, and services in target (ASAL) areas of Garissa, Wajir, Isiolo, Turkana, and Marsabit, so as to ensure implementation of an engendered intervention. The gender assessment explored, identified, and analyzed unequal power relations between men and women and how these are linked to unequal access to resources and opportunities. The study also examined gender gaps, needs, and constraints of women and men including differently located boys and girls, and youth.

Development of a Community Strategic Plan for Magadi Division, Kenya: (2019-2024) 
Magadi Soda Foundation (MSF) is a community welfare organization instituted by Tata chemicals Magadi Ltd –a part of the Tata Chemicals group in Kajiado County, Kenya. Nascent RDO was contracted to conduct a background assessment and facilitate the development of a renewed strategic plan for the 2019-2024 period.

Participatory Needs Assessment for Magadi Soda Foundation (May – September 2018)

In this research, we carried out a participatory needs assessment with communities and stakeholders benefitting from the corporate social responsibility initiatives by Magadi soda Foundation, an initiative by Tata chemicals Kenya. The aim of the assessment was to identify opportunities for working with the nomadic communities around the company’s areas of operation. In this research, we used a strength-based model of investigation where communities in four zones served by the company identified various strengths and resources that could be leveraged to enhance their livelihoods and create wealth, to enable them to get out of poverty.

Technical backstopping for Strengthening Education and Training capacity in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SET-SRHR 2017-2020)
In Uganda, a four-year project was implemented by a consortium of partners and led by the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.

Specific responsibilities include: supporting curriculum development and delivery of specified courses, supporting the research component, and handling other logistics.

Convenor and Coordinator of Sub-national level Community of Practice (CoP) activities for a four-year project (2017-2020)Strengthening Education and Training Capacity for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Uganda.  This project was funded by the Dutch Government. The larger project was led by the International Institute of Social Studies, of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Makerere  University School of Public Health and other local and international consortium members. The COP  project was working with  84 community leaders in Kampala (Central Uganda) and Iganga (Eastern Uganda).

Research and Chair of Community of Practice for Strengthening Education and Training capacity in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SET-SRHR 2017-2020).

Our main roles are to convene and coordinate the Community of Practice (CoP) activities at the sub-national level with a concentration in Kampala (Central Uganda) and
Iganga (Eastern Uganda) by supporting change-making projects implemented under the project as well as training leaders in SRHR.

Research on Sexual and Reproductive Health for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth in Kenya (2014-2015).

This was a two-year research, carried out with deaf youth peer researchers both with in-school and out-of-school youth in western Kenya. The research was funded by the council for social science research in Africa (CODESRIA)
Review of school re-entry policy for student mothers in Kenya 2012, the research was funded by Girl child network.
Baseline survey on child labor & protection, education and certification in a gold mining area in Busia Uganda (Supported by Hivos)
Baseline Survey on Child Labour Free Zones in West Nile (Supported by Hivos 2015)
Action Research on Integrated Area Based approach for Elimination of Child Labor In Uganda- Commissioned by ILO/IPEC (July- October 2011)
Coordination of learning for Village health teams in Kumi, Apac, and Nakapiripirit( 2011-2012). This was a part of a larger project on Early childhood care and Development led by the Private Sector Foundation in Uganda and funded by Bernard van Leer Foundation in the Netherlands.

Operations and  Formative  Research on  Comprehensive  Sexuality  Education program (Keep it Real 2013-2016)

This was a research project led by youth peer researchers on a project titled Comprehensive Sexuality Education and implemented by saving the children in Uganda and Ethiopia with in-school and out-of-school youth in urban slums and rural communities in different contexts. We implemented this research project in collaboration with the International Institute of social studies of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam with funding from Save the Children Netherlands.

Righting the Future; South-South Collaboration and Capacity Building for Universalizing Secondary Education for Girls in Africa (2013-2016)

This project was funded by Master Card Foundation from 2013-2016. The main goal of the project was to ensure access, retention, and completion of girls in secondary schools in the slums of Kasubi and Nakulabye in Kampala. This project was guided by the area-based approach which emphasizes the creation of supportive norms for girls’ education. Through this project, we enabled a total of 1052 girls to re-join schooling being supported by their parents and caretakers. Community leaders and the formed groups continue to engage with communities on the importance of girls’ education as well as do advocacy mainly with government bodies and institutions. As part of the project, we conducted a baseline and end-line survey and also had an external evaluation.

Refresher Course for ISS Alumni in Eastern Africa (2013)

In 2013, Nascent RDO organized a two-week refresher course on the Sexual and reproductive health of youth in Eastern Africa for ISS alumni from Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The course was funded by the International Institute of Social Studies in collaboration with NUFFIC, the Netherlands

Organizing and Hosting International and Regional Conferences and Meetings (2013)

International Conference “Out of Work and into School: Working Towards Child Labour Free Zones”.

In 2013, Nascent RDO was part of the consortia of organizations that organized the International Conference “Out of Work and into School: Working Towards Child Labour Free Zones”. The conference was organized by the International Campaign “Stop Child Labour – School is the best place to work” in cooperation with local partner organizations in Uganda. These partners included, Kids in Need (KIN), African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) Uganda Chapter, and Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU). The Ministries of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) and Education and Sports (MoES), the ILO-IPEC Uganda, the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), and National Council for Children (NCC).

Research on Social Protection (2012-2013)

In 2012-2013, we undertook year-long research on social protection for vulnerable children in Kenya, which was funded by the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR). The research involved the mapping of actors in social protection and an in-depth review of the strategies by the actors providing support to vulnerable children. Part of the findings of this research has been published into a working paper and also an edited book chapter titled, Social Protection and Citizenship Rights of Vulnerable Children. A Perspective on Interventions by Non-state Actors in Western Kenya was published by Routledge in 2018.

Research on  Social  protection  and  citizenship  rights  for  Children  in  Kenya; Commissioned by Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, (PASGR) (September 2012- March 2014)

  • Baseline Survey for Women of Faith net Work Uganda- 2013
  • Evaluation Research for Education project implemented by Harambee Foundation Holland (2012-2013)
  • A research project titled “Youth and Cooperatives: Factors that shape their participation and Inclusion in Africa” A research commissioned by the African Confederation for Cooperative Credit and Savings Unions (ACCOSCA), Nairobi, Kenya (January to April 2011)
  • A study on the Situation Analysis of Children in Uganda under the 3 areas of the physical living environment of young children, Violence among children, and Early Learning.
  • A one-year Action Participatory Research on Leveraging Indigenous Knowledge for the care and  Protection of  Young  Children in  Uganda and  Kenya  (2008-2009) commissioned by the Bernard van Leer Foundation.
  • Situation Analysis for Children without or at Risk of Losing Parental Care in Kenya. A Research Commissioned by SOS Children’s Villages, Kenya in 2008.

Research on Local Knowledge on Child Care

This was a year-long participatory research on local resources and community-based strategies for childcare in Kenya and Uganda. This research was based on an appreciative model of inquiry, which involved three generations of caregivers in both contexts. The findings of this research have been shared widely including with partners implementing child development projects in both countries and in collaboration with other researchers who hold similar views internationally. The research was in 2011 published in a book the role of Local knowledge and Culture In child care in Africa: A Sociological Study of Several Ethnic groups in Kenya and Uganda. Edwin Mellen Press. This book has been used as a resource by several organizations working with children in Africa and other contexts.

International ECD Conference 2009 – Dakar, Senegal

Nascent-RDO coordinated the participation of partners from 15 partner organizations to attend an international Early childhood (ECD) conference held in Dakar Senegal. Activities included supporting partners to prepare papers for presentation, organizing for transport and accommodation in Dakar, and coordinating reflection meetings after the conference.

Coordinator of the Learning and funding hub Early Childhood Development Learning Community (ECD-LC)

15 partners supported by  Bernard van Leer Foundation implementing Early Childhood Development Programmes in Uganda were part of community of practice. Nascent RDO also facilitated learning through biannual one-week face-to-face workshops with partners and online learning and international conferences.

Coordinating a Learning Community for Partners in Kenya and Uganda

Nascent RDO was the local coordinating hub for Bernard van Leer funded programs in Kenya and Uganda in 2009-2011. We facilitated collective learning for 15 partners on three goal areas of Early Learning, Violence against Children as well as Physical Environment. Activities included holding quarterly workshops in both countries, online-based support for partners, technical visits to partner organizations, organizing exchange visits for sharing best practices as well as organizing partners’ participation in international conferences. For example, one of the partners we supported who was implementing a child care project won a prize for innovation in the International ECD conference held in Senegal in 2009.

Project Evaluation on Education Project on Hearing Aids

This was a project for a project on hearing aids and education support to children with hearing problems in Kenya and was funded by Eardrop Foundation in the Netherlands. The evaluation was done with several stakeholders and beneficiaries including the Ministry of Education, Special Needs Schools, Early Assessment Centers and project donors in the Netherlands.

Coordinating Communities of Practice

In Nascent-RDO, we believe that learning does not take place in silos, but we can learn together. We have established ourselves as a ‘place to go’ for coordinating collective learning processes and bringing together various partners to learn and engage towards a common cause. For example:

  • We chair and host the Stop Child Labour coalition platform in Uganda (2017-2019), a platform that brings together different partners who are fighting child labor in Uganda. Some of the partners under the coalition include UNICEF, Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans, Somero Uganda, Uganda National Association of Teachers’ Union, Kyagulanyi Coffee Farmers, Environmental Women in Action for Development, CEFORD among others.
  • We are a resource agency to the stop child labor global campaign in Uganda (2016- ongoing). We build the capacity of organizations that implement or have an interest in implementing child labor programs.
  • We coordinated a  three-year learning mechanism funded by the Bernard  Van leer foundation for 15 partners in Kenya and Uganda in 2009-2011.
  • We also coordinated learning for village health teams in three districts in Uganda in 2011-2012.

Training and conferences

Hosted and coordinated a refresher course for ISS alumni in Eastern Africa (2013) with the theme ‘Re-imagining Young People’s Right to Education, Health and well-being: A gender and generation perspective on current dilemmas and challenges in Eastern Africa’. This conference brought together participants from Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Kenya. We organized the conference in collaboration with the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam with funding from Nuffic.

Supported, and trained the faculty members of Bugema University on a course on Research, Writing, and Publication (2015).

Coordinated and hosted the conference we organized, for Stop Child Labour Global Campaign (2017) a conference that brought together practitioners from Uganda, Mali, Zimbabwe, India, Nicaragua, Turkey, and the Netherlands. We hosted this conference in collaboration with Hivos Foundation-Netherlands.

We coordinated and hosted the conference for Stop Child Labour Global Campaign (2017) a conference that brought together practitioners from Uganda, Mali, Zimbabwe, India, Nicaragua, Turkey, and the Netherlands. We hosted this conference in collaboration with Hivos Foundation-Netherlands

Capacity building

  • Nascent RDO has extensive experience in delivering training on a range of areas in social development, organizational development, and capacity building/enhancement. Our courses have been professionally developed over years and our learner-centered curriculum means that we run inspirational sessions using interactive, lively, and highly effective techniques. They are based on real-life experience and build key skills and confidence in a practical and enjoyable way. Additionally, our courses are tailor-made to the needs and wishes of a partner organization. We offer a range of capacity development courses/Training including but not limited to Organizational   Development,   Community   Development, Mainstreaming Childhood/Youth/ issues in Development, Early Childhood Development, Gender mainstreaming and development management, Strategic Development management (Including Strategic planning for NGO), NGO management, Resource mobilization, and grant administration and Proposal development. We aim at creating communities of practice and networks, which enable cross-learning, foster positive and effective communication, and bridge boundaries.
  • Nascent RDO facilitated the Early Childhood Development Learning Community (ECD-LC) for 15 partners of the Bernard van Leer Foundation implementing Early Childhood Development Programmes in Uganda and Kenya. Nascent RDO also facilitated learning through biannual one-week face-to-face workshops with partners and online learning.