The Centre’s work in Kenya has been implemented through the global and Eastern and Southern African regional offices until December 2013, when the country office was established. This was informed by the need to provide programmatic alignment of ICRAF research and development to the country policies and strategies. Additionally, the office has the mandate of ensuring that contextually relevant aspects of ICRAF research and development activities are conducted both in-country and elsewhere. The office also assists to inform policy decisions at the country level so that the vision of ICRAF is achieved nationally.
The country office plays a facilitatory, oversight and linkage roles for ICRAF science domains and partners. In its facilitatory role, the country office provides project developers will necessary data and information (on partners, policy, geography etc) for project development as well as participate in project development processes. In the oversight role, the country office seeks to align ICRAF programmatic investment with country agroforestry strategy in order to inform policy and investment and to minimize reputation risk for the centre. The linkage role is a service for national partners to facilitate better interaction with ICRAF.
This work involves partnership with several organizations and individual scientists at the centre usually establish mutual contacts in those partner organizations. Interest to work with ICRAF has however increased tremendously and requests are currently coming from county governments and several NGOs for technical support.
The Kisumu site office and Machakos field offices assist to extend the capacity and skills available at the headquarters in Nairobi. Where a major project falls outside these two sites and require a certain level of ICRAF presence, there have been efforts taken to identify a suitable national partner as host of liaison staff for as long as such presence is necessary. This is close to the model currently employed by EADD where ICRAF staff are hosted by Heifer International in Eldoret.