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The Inaugural Kenya Innovation Outlook Study

Introduction

Kenya is keen to build its innovation system as a catalyst to economic development. The country has accumulated some capabilities and efforts towards increasing investments in STI and learning (e.g. Vocational Training Institutes, Universities, National STI Agencies, National STI funds among others). The country has also recorded some growth in the development and application of STI in social-economic development. The country recently developed a national policy framework for science, technology, and innovation to guide the application of ST&I in all sectors of the economy and in line with the ‘Vision 2030’. The establishment of the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) is a huge milestone towards catalysing innovation through appropriate policies, data systems, partnerships, and the alignment of the innovation agenda across sectors.

Despite the milestones and opportunities, Kenya still grapples with how to effectively facilitate innovation and yield sustainable growth outcomes (GoK, 2012). The challenges to achieving effective and functional innovation or STI outlook/frameworks in Kenya relates to; 1) lack of contextual empirical evidence on innovation activity and functionality and a focus on international standards which might underestimate contextual aspects of innovation 2) lack of reliable and usable data and poor data collection capacity as well as weak or lack of Monitoring and Evaluation Framework to enable learning, comparability, and continuous improvement 3) capacity gaps in developing and interpreting the ST&I landscape. This study aims to develop an innovation outlook study that provides a framework for monitoring and steering innovation for sustainable growth in Kenya while addressing some of these systemic challenges. As such, this innovation outlook study is important for Kenya for a couple of reasons:

  1. An Integrated tool for effective governance of innovation activities
  2. Surveillance tool for identifying niches for strategic investments and economic growth
  3. A Learning and feedback tool that shows opportunities, gaps and challenges
  4. A tool for profiling Kenya’s best – including contextual and important activities in the informal sectors often overlooked by the more general global frameworks
  5. A step towards strengthening and organising Kenya’s Position in the regional and global STI engagements and resource mobilising

The objective of the study

  1. To define the scope and indicators of the Innovation Outlook in consultation with the KeNIA, FCDO, and other key strategic partners.
  2. To collect, analyze, structure, and present the innovation ecosystems and trends data in a format that is suitable across various stakeholders.
  3. To synthesize and present the data in an easily readable, visually appealing interactive and
    physical report and launch the inaugural Kenya Innovation Outlook report.
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