Building Higher Education and Research Capacity to Address The Physical Activity and Nutrition Transition in Kenya: The Kenya-Finland Education and Research Alliance (KENFIN-EDURA)

Academic Disciplines Human Nutrition, Exercise and Sports Sciences, Health Promotion and Education, Social Psychology
Project Budget € 515 500 with MFA funding, total project budget € 648 880
Project Duration 36 months
Coordinating Institution University of Helsinki, Deaprtment of Food and Environmental Research, Division of Human Nutrition
Contact Details Prof. Mikael Fogelholm, mikaeil.fogelholm@helsinki.fi
Partner Institution(s) Kenyatta University, Department of Recreation Management and Exercise Science
Affiliate Partners Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Department of Sport and Leisure Management
Fact SheetKENFIN-EDURA_fact sheet.pdf

Description of the Project

Kenya, like many other African nations, is experiencing rapid physical activity and nutrition transitions. Although technologies such as computers, the internet, satellite TV, and cell phones took decades to permeate North American and European societies, all of these ‘electronic age’ items are becoming available very quickly in Kenya. These transitions are leading to a serious public health crisis related to NCDs. This project has been put up in order to:

i. Build capacity so as to strengthen the role and relevance of our institutions in societal development especially in the backdrop of the physical activity and nutrition transition.

ii. Share expertise and information with the aim of improving quality of higher education and the research environment, in particular regarding health promotion and healthy lifestyles.

iii. Share best practices with goal of enhancing systems and capacity to support quality of teaching and research in our institutions.

Our project aims at a) developing new study programmes (new courses); b) increasing multidisciplinary cooperation within the curriculum (joint study programmes); c) training of teachers and researchers by specific training, exchange visits and several “learning by doing” approaches in the new curriculum; d) developing and improving the use of modern, mobile technologies as pedagogical tools in teaching and also practical health promotion.

We will also strengthen the role of academia (University of Kenyatta) in providing expertise and co-operation for practical health promotion in Kenya. The activities include partnership with key ministries (particularly the ministries of health, education and transportation), local communities and NGO’s with a mission towards health and consumer rights.

Key Results to be Achieved

1. Improved scientific activity (nr. of scientific publications and academic degrees) and quality (H-index etc.) of Kenyatta University (participating departments)

2. New, multidisciplinary curriculum of health promotion and prevention of non-communicable diseases;

3. New active partnerships of the Kenyatta University experts with key external organizations (ministries, local communities, NGO’s etc.): memberships in advisory boards, new projects.