Linking Spatial Planning to Agribusiness and Public Policy Development in Greater Western Kenya (SPADE)


Time span of the project2017 - 2020
Contact person
Dr Denyse Snelder (project coordinator)
Project directorProf dr Jacqueline Broerse (Athena Institute, Faculty of Science)
Project partnersFaculty of Science, SBE, ACE, SPINLab (VU); DASUDA (Netherlands); RVO (Netherlands); Moi University (Kenya); School of Planning and Architecture, Maseno University (Kenya)
Project sponsorEP-Nuffic

The Centre for International Cooperation of VU Amsterdam (CIS-VU) has been awarded a grant worth €1.780.000 to implement a project on Spatial Planning for Agribusiness and Public Policy Development in Kenya. The grant is part of the Netherlands Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE), a Netherlands-funded development cooperation programme.
The main beneficiaries of this project will be the staff and students of the School of Planning and Architecture at Maseno University (MU-SPA). In addition to the provision of 6 PhDs (2 VU and 4 local) and 8 Masters (all local), the project will contribute to curriculum development, interdisciplinary research, and tailor-made training and counselling services in the field of spatial planning for agribusiness and policy development.
The contributions will be a joint effort of Dutch and Kenyan partners from scientific, business and governmental institutes, including the VU Amsterdam represented by CIS-VU, Athena Institute, Spatial Information Laboratory (SPINlab), Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE), and Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies; Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Urban Development in Africa (DASUDA); Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO); and Moi University in Kenya.

SPADE encountered some delay in the implementation of project activities due to the political unrest in and around Kisumu, after the elections last August and October 2017. MSU was closed during these months and is currently affected by strikes which, altogether, have caused a delay of more than two months in the provision of educational programs at MSU. SPADE activities planned for October – November 2017 were postponed and are scheduled for May 2018. The project management team visited Maseno University in Kisumu last February 2018 for conducting preparatory work on SPADE’s annual report 1 (submitted on 30 April 2018) and the planning of project activities 2018.  In April, preparations were made for a multi-stakeholder workshop on platform development to be facilitated by RVO and DASUDA in May 2017. The workshop will also include sessions on GIS and spatial analysis for agri-hub development, i.e., activities aimed at building capacity among MSU staff on the provision of MSU services to the counties and other stakeholders in Western Kenya.
The project director is Prof Jacqueline Broerse, Athena Institute, VU. The project builds on ongoing research in Kenya on “sustainable livelihood improvement through innovative agricultural practices” (ASALI project) implemented by VU Amsterdam in collaboration with Moi University and South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) .