JKUAT Dons and Students Trained on Cash and Voucher Assistance

In response to the escalating impact of climate change-induced natural disasters, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Nairobi CBD Campus (JKUAT-NCBD) joined forces with the CALP Network to conduct groundbreaking training sessions on Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA).

Recognizing the increasing frequency of cyclic flooding, droughts, and disease outbreaks, the initiative aimed to equip academic researchers and future NGO professionals with the essential knowledge to address the dire needs of affected communities.

The unprecedented training, held on the 16th (for academic staff) and 23rd of November (for students) of 2023, attracted 50 eager participants, with a keen interest in disaster relief.

Facilitated by Ms. Polly Bodgener, an experienced humanitarian trainer, the sessions covered fundamental aspects of CVA, such as the disaster cycle, modes of relief delivery, recipient identification, market analysis, and monitoring.

During his opening remarks, Mr. Denis Owano, CALP Network Deputy Regional Representative for East and Southern Africa, commended JKUAT for taking the lead in sensitizing researchers and students to the vital issues surrounding CVA.

CALP Network trainers & Nairobi NCBD Trainees

He emphasized the potential impact of disseminating this knowledge among future employees of implementing organizations to improve their disaster response effectiveness. Mr. Owano also expressed readiness for continued collaboration with JKUAT in the future.

Dr. Paul Kariuki, representing Prof. Peter Njenga, the Director of NCBD Campus, extended gratitude to CALP Network for facilitating the training. Stressing the topical relevance of CVA, Dr. Kariuki emphasized the need for continuous research to inform improvements and contribute to related fields, such as entrepreneurship among displaced populations.

“This training is extremely beneficial to our students undertaking courses such as project management, monitoring and evaluation, development studies, and logistics. It is also a link between academia and industry as those who get jobs in humanitarian NGOs and social services will have an important competence that their peers in other universities do not have,’’ explained Dr. Kariuki.

He thanked the coordinators of the training—Dr. Noor Ismail, Dr. Peter Wanjohi, and Dr. Paul Munene—for their dedication and affirmed JKUAT’s commitment to collaborative efforts that set trends in higher education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

The training, a first of its kind by the CALP Network in a university setting, received full support from CALP Network comprising over 100 NGOs and Multinational Humanitarian Organizations.

For Harrison Odhiambo, an MSc Procurement & Contract Management student working at the International Committee of the Red Cross, the CVA training was an eye-opening engagement on the role that mode of humanitarian assistance cash programs play in the social and economic protection of victims of war or natural calamities. The response program process, as well as CVA planning and implementation, stood out as critical areas for addressing multiple needs.

Dr. Paul Kariuki (left) receiving certificate from CALP Network Trainer Ms. Polly Bodgener

“These skills will be useful to me in the NGO field because I now understand the humanitarian modalities and mechanisms to use in various stages of response to save lives, alleviate suffering, and preserve human dignity for the affected masses through the CVA Project Cycle. I strongly recommend the training to other interested individuals, and I hope that the collaboration with JKUAT will enhance future sensitization and learning programs.”

The trainees were issued certificates of participation, marking a significant step towards fostering a well-informed and empowered community ready to contribute to disaster relief through the dignified and flexible approach of Cash and Voucher Assistance.

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