RCMRD in partnership with the the SERVIR Support Team convened a grant kick-off meeting on Wednesday, 24th April 2019 to Friday 26th April at RCMRD premises in Nairobi. SERVIR-E&SA one of five international hubs under a joint NASA/USAID project called SERVIR awarded grants to nine organizations in the East African region. These grants, administered under SERVIR-Eastern and Southern Africa's small grants program, promote use of information provided by Earth observing satellites and geospatial technologies to support informed environmental decision making in the Eastern and Southern Africa region.
The meeting which brought together partners who will benefit from the grant funding and take lead in implementation of the key components of the SERVIR funding, sought to sensitize the members and harness input from them on how best to implement the programme.
During the three day workshop, SERVIR-E&SA personnel led by Prof. John Kiema the Director of Technical Services the kick-off workshop for nine grantee organizations selected under the SERVIR-E&SA Grants Program at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), Kenya. The purpose of the event was to define roles and responsibilities, outline grant activities, and provide opportunities for the grantees to interact in person with SERVIR-E&SA staff. Another aim was to enhance networking among organizations, universities, and institutions in these regional endeavors.
The grantees were selected through a rigorous two-stage application process under two solicitations: one focused on research activities within the four SERVIR service areas (land cover/land use & ecosystems, water resources & disasters, food security, and weather & climate), and the other focused on exploring the intersection of gender and geospatial technology in relation to improving environmental management and resilience to climate change in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region. Applications were solicited from organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.
The grantees are: 1. E-Link Consult Ltd; 2. Kenya Meteorological Society; 3. CORDIO East Africa; 4. Laikipia Wildlife Forum; 5. Rwanda Water and Forest Authority; 6. Wetlands International Kenya; 7. Ardhi University and 8. National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI). Each presentation was followed by a short Q&A session. The meeting also created an opportunity for grantees to build a collective vision and network. This grants program is managed as a partnership between the SERVIR-E&SA Hub based in Nairobi, Kenya, and the SERVIR Support Team based in Washington, DC, USA.
The grants are awarded through a Grants Under Contract (GUC) component under the SERVIR Support contract, and payments are administered by the SERVIR Support team. The SERVIR-E&SA team plays a critical role in each stage of the grants program, including providing technical feedback during the selection process, providing technical support to the grantees (both on science, and cross-cutting issues such as user engagement, monitoring & evaluation, communication, logistics, and gender mainstreaming), and providing technical approval for deliverables.