Kenya Network for Draught Animal Technology

Kenya Network for Draught Animal Technology
Empowering resource poor communities for sustainable development

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The Rural Transport Services Project for Kenya


1.  Background &implementation

The Kenya Network for Draught Animal Technology (KENDAT) is currently implementing a 2-year Rural Transport Services Project for Kenya (RTS).  This project which kicked-off in October 2001 consists of research, pilot development interventions, and policy influencing activities.  The overall goal is to:

"Systematically assemble data, information and experience that can provide key policy options for improved delivery of rural transport services which improve livelihood systems of poor men and women at the national and local levels"

New knowledge applied to food marketing systems and intermediate means of transport (IMT) are receiving special emphasis.

The project is currently supported by SIDA for 2 years and DFID/IUDD for 1 year.  SIDA’s support focuses on the analysis of rural transport patterns using a logistics-planning framework.

DFID/IUDD support focuses on the analyses of linkages between rural transport systems and sustainable livelihoods, with a specific focus on the role of IMT and the associated infrastructure. Gender and environmental aspects are cross-cutting concerns to this project. 

Natural Resources International Ltd will support the Agricultural Rural Transport (ART) component beginning April 2002, for a three-year period.  Crop post-harvest operations as influenced by rural transport services provision and the broader impact (of RTS) on the agricultural sector performance will receive special emphasis under this component.

It is foreseen that DFID/IUDD will provide additional support after 1 year, to facilitate continuation of the project as an integrated body of work.  A workshop for reporting the ongoing findings is planned for April 2002.  This workshop will also merge the ongoing with the NRIL component starting then.


2.  Key components

2.1          Research and pilot development interventions

§         Generate knowledge on the role of transport in supporting the livelihoods of poor people: The study is being carried out within the framework of sustainable livelihoods.  It seeks to establish the essential links between transport and the day to day livelihood patterns of people in the study areas.  Gender and environment factors are given the rightful operational and socio-economic base.

§         Locate the niche of IMTs within a variety of local transport service contexts: The research is addressing itself to the absence of adequate data on the mechanisms through which IMTs establish themselves spontaneously, as part of a local transport system.  The local transport system is taken to consist of a variety of means through which people move themselves and their goods, within the available transport infrastructure.  IMTs operate within the context of both competition and complementary relationships, not only among themselves, but also with other means of transport that include walking and motorised transport.

§         A detailed assessment of the organisation of rural transport system using a logistics-planning framework: Rural transport activity consists of physical movement of people and goods to designated points, along certain types of transport infrastructure, using certain means of transport.  This component seeks to find out whether transport activities in rural areas lend themselves to a certain logistical pattern that can lead to optimal use of transport resources

2.2          Uptake and Policy influencing activities

§         This component seeks to develop a platform through which new insights  can be debated and taken up on a wider basis by policy making institutions and implementing agencies


3.  Study areas.

Although national in application, the project covers three regions in Kenya with broadly contrasting socio-economic and livelihood features:

§         Limuru - characterised by high level of agricultural output and close proximity to mass markets.  This contributes to a high density of transport demand, and a rich diversity of means of transport.  Use of donkey based transport is widespread and there is a good interface between walking, IMTs and motor vehicles.

§         Machakos/Kajiado - characterised by marginal crop production, agro-pastoralism, low population density and relatively long distances to goods and services.  This belt displays a rich diversity of IMTs for personal and (subsistence) goods transport.  Walking is common, while motorisation is low.

§         Laikipia Zone: high agricultural output, distant markets for produce, extremely poor infrastructure especially in the rainy season.  Walking and animal based IMT are common means of local transport.  Though links with motorised transport is crucial for long distance haulage of produce, the interface is erratic and seasonal.

§         Kirinyaga/Embu - characterised by: low as well as high levels of agricultural output and varying proximity to markets and irrigated farming which has recently brought in time-sensitive horticultural crops, highly variable population density, a rich diversity of IMTs and medium levels of motorization.

4.     Research framework and key  activities

The Sustainable Livelihood approach is an important underpin to this project.  The approach has gained wide application in the design of projects and programmes aimed at poverty reduction.  However, there is very little experience currently regarding the utility of sustainable livelihood principles in transport sector projects.

Livelihood analysis is being employed at 2 levels: At the field level (micro-level) a livelihood framework has been incorporated into the research tools to capture the inter-relationship between transport and the development of livelihood assets - natural capital, human resources, social assets and financial capital.

The livelihood approach has also been used at a more macro level to identify how the existing policy environment and institutional system influences mobility and access issues.  In this regard, a "basic facts" paper has been developed to provide the project with clear statements regarding the current policy position and institutional status of key issues under investigation.  Key issues covered under the basic facts paper include: The role of transport in poverty reduction; The role of IMTs in transport policy, transport and rural development etc.


5.     Institutional synergies and uptake

So far, the following institutions are collaborating with the project either through joint planning and implementation, or through exchange of information.


Numerous transport users and service providers, CBOs, NGO and institutions

Information generation and experience sharing platform, including transport service piloting ground.

Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG -East Africa)

Joint planning, pilot testing new IMTs, replication and policy influencing

National Forum Group on Transport (Kenya)


Providing a representative national sharing and implementation team including a government-inclusive, policy-influencing platform.


Kenya Institute of Public Policy, Research and Analysis (KIPPRA)

Implementation of the research, and technical support to development of policy packages

Kenya Roads Board

Providing linkages to policy debates on (rural) transport infrastructure

International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD)

Technical support in implementation, and development of international dissemination products

NFG Uganda

Direct information sharing with planned direct collaboration under NRIL component

ILO ASIST (Kenya Liaison Office)

Technical advice and information sharing

Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA)

Project planning and direct information sharing.

University of Durham IMT Project / Ghana NFG

Project planning and direct information sharing. Co-implementers under the NRIL component.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Co-implementers of the SIDA component with special contribution on Logistical analysis.

University of Warwick (Development Technology Unit) - (UK)

Project planning and direct information sharing. Co-implementers under the NRIL component.

Silsoe Research Institute (UK)

Project planning and direct information sharing. Co-implementers under the NRIL component.

University of Karlsruhe (Germany)

Project planning and direct information sharing. Co-implementers under the NRIL component.

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL, UK)

Project planning and direct information sharing.

Rural Travel and Transport Programme (RTTP) World Bank

Direct information sharing

Contact us!

Kenya Network for Draught Animal Technology (KENDAT)
PO Box 2859, City Square, 00200, Nairobi, KENYA
Tel: + 254-2-766939; Fax: + 254-2-766939

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