Dignified Identities 2: Cross Border Simulations. 

The Dignified Identity in Cash Assistance (DIGID) project started in 2018. The first phase was piloted in Kenya as part of cash assistance during Covid-19 targeting vulnerable populations without identification. Lessons learned from the pilot project have been documented and several research studies have been conducted and published to examine opportunities for using technology to establish eligibility and provide assistance to vulnerable people without any form of identity. 

The second phase of the DIGID project (or DIGID2) explores opportunities and risks of digital credentials in the context of migration in Kenya and Uganda. The pilot project in Kenya led by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) is being implemented in Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement aimed to provide digital health credentials to patients with non-communicable diseases from the host and migrant communities, including refugee and asylum seekers. The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCSve ) project, led by Uganda, focuses on simulating the use of digital credentials to establish eligibility and provide cash assistance to migrants.  

DIGID2 also aims to explore opportunities and risks in using digital credentials across borders. It was proposed to have a cross-border simulation to understand the potential interactions of migrants that may move from one country where they were assisted by a National Society to another where they seek help from another National Society (NS).  

Through the Innovation Unit and the IFRC, Kenya Red Cross Society conducted two cross-border simulations, one with partners and stakeholders and the other with the South Sudan Red Cross.  

The cross-border simulation aimed to: 

1. Understand the opportunities and risks of digital credentials issued by one NS and verified by another as a person of concern moves across borders. 

2. Explore how digital credentials could complement services provided at Humanitarian Service Points. 

3. Foster more and better collaboration between NSs on using digital credentials in cash and health context during migration. 

The simulations targeted the African Inland Church, Kakuma Mission Hospital, Norwegian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, Save the Children Organisation, Cash IM Department from ICHA, ECHO, and The South Sudan Red Cross team comprising the Cash and Disaster Management team. Two Cross-border scenarios were conducted where participants posed as “People of Concern” would get assisted by participants who posed to be humanitarian aid organizations. The cross-border scenarios highlighted the referral pathways and how the Digital wallets determined eligibility. 


Do-it-Yourself and 3D modeling for Students

Kenya Red Cross Society’s Innovation unit hosted a Do-it-Yourself (DIY), 3D modeling and printing workshop at the I.O.Me 001 Hub on 29th October 2022 to recognize and upgrade students’ innovation and creativity. The session targeted young students of 9-14yrs of age in Mombasa County.

The Discovery Space Program, under which these workshops and sessions happen, is critical to building creativity and motivating the upcoming generation to embrace STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

The activity had a total of 30 participants, where 22 were students and eight were parents and patrons from the selected AFDS schools in Mombasa County, including Mbaraki girls primary School, Consolata Primary School, and Shimo la Tewa Primary.

The participants were divided into groups and taken through the steps of 3D Modelling as a prototyping skill. Later on, the participants were taken through two sessions of the DIY, where the students made creative pieces of what they learned during the AFDS sessions in schools. The DIY practicals revolved around the solar system and the science of flight.
The students were able to make models of rockets and the solar system through the DIY session.
The KRCS Staff, patrons, and parents also shared insights on sustaining the students’ creativity and encouraging them to pursue more STEM-based programs.

Besides inspiring the young generation into creativity and innovation in STEM-based programs, the program aims to grow their interest in STEM-Based gadgets, which is ultimately meant to spike their entrepreneurial spirits


The Innovation Unit’s welcome role in the Kenya Plastic Pact

The Innovations team took part in the first Kenya Plastic Pact (KPP) summit, which was organized on 27th October 2022 in Nairobi-Kenya by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and other partners.

The Innovations Unit was invited to plug in its resource team to contribute innovative ways, designs, and initiatives to support the reuse of plastics. The Innovation Lab Coordinator, Mr. Derrick Mugasia, who represented ICHA’s innovation Unit , reiterated that the innovations unit is at the forefront in looking into creative ways of ensuring environmental preservation and restoration.

During this event, the KPP Roadmap to 2030 and a Priority list of problematic and unnecessary plastic items were launched. The roadmap highlights the expected outcomes of each of the four targets and areas through which it supports the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) being developed by the government.
The Priority list of materials for elimination includes: All polystyrene packaging, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – with an exemption of pharmaceutical PVC, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG), secondary plastic cling film on takeaway packaging, consumer plastic multi-wrap around cans, tins, bottles, and cartons for multiuse, PETG and PVC shrink sleeves on PET bottles, plastic straws, plastic stirrers, plastic cotton bud sticks, disposable plastic plates and bowls, and disposable plastic cutlery.

There were various discussions on how to use ‘Innovative Financing’ by the private sector to mobilize and direct funds into circular initiatives. There were also conversations around green financing and its importance in supporting various initiatives geared toward environmental preservation.
There were discussions also on the need to connect the ecosystem with academia and researchers who can develop new processes, approaches, and innovative products that can bring competitiveness and relevance to recycled products.

It was agreed that Innovation done through formal and informal sectors needs to be documented accordingly to guide standards, and the team would be followed-up by a select committee of the attending stakeholders.

The Kenya Plastic Pact (KPP) was officially launched in October 2021 to address the design, use, and reuse of plastics (circular economy) to keep plastics in and out of the environment. Coupled with four targets; eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic packaging, 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable and recyclable, increasing the amount of plastic being recycled to 40% and 15% average recycled content across all plastic packaging, the pact anticipates to have a practical reduction of environmental effects by 2030.


The Innovation Unit leads the first-ever Youth Entrepreneurship Day

The Innovations team organized a Youth Entrepreneurship Day on the 22nd of October 2022, at Swahili Pot, Mombasa County, Kenya, in partnership with several external entrepreneurial stakeholders and other partners such as KEPSA, Somo Africa, Tech Kidz, Strathmore Business School, and Close The Gap.
The grand event attracted hundreds of people majority being women and young people who show-cased their products from as early as 8:00 am in their allocated stalls. There were more than twenty-two vendors already set up in the first hour. Most participants were drawn from Mombasa, Kwale, and Tana River with innovatively designed products ranging from Eco-Friendly Charcoal, Textile Merchandise, and Paintings to leather clothes and shoes among others.
The team also organized focused meetings with the youth and select panelists from the attending entrepreneurial stakeholders.
The first-panel discussion focused on empowering the youth with the right business mentality and practical ways of choosing the best line of entrepreneurial work.” The panelists encouraged the youth to consider enterprise development as a means of livelihood instead of relying only on formal employment. They demonstrated practical ways of identifying viable businesses and discussed getting past youths’ common challenges in entrepreneurship.

The second-panel discussion involved Kenya Small Business Development Centre(Strathmore University) representatives, Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN), and KEPSA. They took the youth through practical ways of identifying and getting grants and the required commitment of the sponsors.
Besides this, The French Red Cross launched a hybrid Women Social Entrepreneurship Program, attracting a lot of interest from the attending young women. There was also a robotics challenge whereby the beneficiaries joined into two groups for a Robotic Hackathon Presentation on making innovative gadgets for Sustainability. One team was doing an Automated Dustbin, and the other was doing a boat meant for persons with disability. Prizes were awarded to the winning team.

Led by the Overall Manager, Priyanka Patel, the Innovations Unit is at the forefront of organizing entrepreneurship initiatives and opportunities to raise awareness among youth on the importance of considering enterprise development as a livelihood. The Youth Entrepreneurship Day will be a yearly event.


ICHA plays a key role in the Development of the Anticipatory Action Roadmap meeting

The International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA)’s Sarah Nduku- Policy and Advocacy Manager, and Peter Murgor- Cash and Voucher Assistance Manager, gave opening remarks and updates on the drought Early Action Protocols (EAP) during the Development of the Anticipatory Action Roadmap focused meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. The four-day meeting brought together various stakeholders like Kenya Red Cross, World Food Programme, Welthungerhilfe, Save the Children, ICPAC, The National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC) of Kenya, The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Kenya Meteorological Department for high-level collaborative discussions on Anticipatory Actions.
The purpose of the meeting was to map the stakeholders working on anticipatory action in Kenya. It was also intended to showcase the products and services developed to support Anticipatory Action and to discuss how to enhance the linkage between the county and national-level procedures that support anticipatory action.

On day two, the stakeholders gave presentations on their experiences, priority areas, gaps, and opportunities identified in their Anticipatory Actions. On the third day, they discussed data’s importance in generating evidence for early action interventions. On the final day, they had group discussions and presentations on the roles & responsibilities of different critical stakeholders on resource mobilization and the importance of strengthening coordination and institutional arrangements on Anticipatory Action. They also identified various agencies responsible for implementing proposed priority interventions on anticipatory actions and triggers.
A team consisting of some of the attending stakeholders will be formed to review the resolutions of the meeting and establish a high-level Anticipatory Action Roadmap which will be documented and used in Kenya for climate change interventions.

The anticipatory action approach is a practical way to minimize and avert the loss and damage caused by climate change.
In Kenya, the frequency and intensity of droughts and floods have weakened communities’ coping capacities and resilience and have increased their vulnerability, accounting for over 70% of disaster impacts. Kenya is ranked 152 out of 181 countries globally of countries most vulnerable to climate change and readiness to improve resilience.


KRCS Public Policy Executive program training.

Kenya Red Cross Society senior management, regional & county coordinators and Programmatic staff undergo a Public Policy Executive program training.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) senior management, regional & county coordinators and Programmatic staff were taken through a Public Policy Executive Program training at Strathmore Business School. The training was funded by USAID under the Enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness for Effective Response Project. The main aim of the training was to capacity build and prepare the KRCS staff for their interactions with key policymakers in light of the transition in the political cycle.

The five-day training involved twenty-four KRCS staff spread through different regional offices. In attendance also was Sarah Nduku, who heads the Policy and Advocacy Unit at the International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA) and supports Kenya Red Cross’ overall Policy needs. Aisha Mazrui, the Head of Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance, was also in attendance.

The trainees were taken through Public Policy Analysis, Comparative Public Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals, which expounded on the role and relationship between humanitarian work and the 17 SDGs. Mr. Paul Ouma, a life member of KRCS, took the team through Negotiations and its effectiveness in humanitarian work, especially in seeking mutual agreements between warring parties.

The group was also taken through Kenya’s planning process and cycle in a bid to establish the best time to advocate for policy inclusion in the various arms of the government. Dr. Beatrice Njeru also engaged the trainees in Stakeholder analysis, while Dr. Thomas Kibua facilitated several other sessions, including Lobbying and Advocacy for Public Policy. The last session was facilitated by Dr. Elizabeth Muthuma, who expounded on the role of the Private Sector in Public Policy Development. All the sessions involved real-life experiences and discussions on current affairs relating to the mandate of the Kenya Red Cross Society.

Mr. Ahmed Idris, the Deputy Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Society and the Executive Director at the International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA) gave the closing remarks. He stated that the training serves as one of the many that aim at building the capacity of KRCS staff in their contribution toward meaningful public policy formulation.


EDRR Taita Taveta 2022

Kenya Red Cross Society, through funding from the Office of U.S Foreign Disaster Assistance is implementing a recovery project that seeks to enhance the resilience of communities in Taita Taveta County. This project aims to improve communities’ capacities, the county government and KRCS in preparing and responding to disaster risks on emergence response.

A key component of the project is to strengthen county and community disaster management systems through establishing policies and legislation that anticipate disasters to enhance preparedness and allocate resources for preparedness and response.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in collaboration with the County Government of Taita-Taveta through the department of Special Programmes and Service Delivery conducted a five-day workshop at Green Park Hotel in Taveta Sub-County and developed County Early Warning Early Action Protocols and Multi-Hazard contingency planning. The Early Action Protocols will feed into the Multi-Hazard Contingency plan meant to strengthen County preparedness, allocate resources and minimize humanitarian, economic and environmental consequences.

The workshop was officially opened by Voi Deputy County Commissioner Daniel Nduti, County Chief Officer Special Programmes, and SDU Eng. Mwakitele Mwalandi brought together different stakeholders from the county department of Health, Education, Finance, Water, Environment, Climate Change, Public Works, Livestock and Agriculture, National Drought Management Authority, and Kenya Meteorological Department, among others

The Stakeholders developed the Early Action sectoral, Early Action Protocols based on October, November and December 2022 rainfall forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Department KMD and the National Drought Management Authority NDMA bulletin. Building and promoting group discussions and presentations at the end resulted in understanding risk knowledge to better manage disaster risk in the county and national levels.

The participants also focused on developing scenario building, an essential component of the contingency plan involving mapping hotspots, indicating elements at risk and early warning triggers for five common hazards in Taita Taveta.

Lastly, the participants developed the implementation plans and budgets highlighting specific interventions pre, during and post common hazards in the county, namely drought, floods, human-wildlife conflicts, drugs and substance abuse, Livestock and human diseases. The Stakeholders in their respective sectors were mainly from the Health and Nutrition, Water, Agriculture, Livestock, and Peace, Coordination and Security-developed response strategies and interventions towards the county’s hazards.

Closing remarks:

“I appreciate the collaboration and all the work we have been able to do with various Disaster Risk Management DRM county stakeholders. With all the right interventions, we can increase our capacities to deal with various hazards,” said Ms. Teresa Wainaina (Disaster Risk Reduction officer)

Zachary Misiani, a Climate Research officer at International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA), echoed Teresa’s sentiments, adding that their presence in the county is part of the greater efforts in supporting disaster preparedness through implementing recovery projects that focus on embedding a culture of preparedness through early action. “County stakeholder engagement is important because it enables one to understand a multi-agency approach in handling different forms of hazards. To respond better, there is a need to have contingency plans and proper disaster communication structures, information sharing platforms and trained quick response of communities to early warning messages,” Misiani said.

Afterward, Sub-County Administrator Mwatate Ruel Mwawaswho stood in for County Chief officer Special Programmes and SDU, said that the simulation exercise and plans will steer the County one step ahead and he promised to lead in mobilizing the county government to implement the plan for better livelihood of the people.


ICHA conducts first-ever mapathon in Wajir County

ICHA instrutcor guiding a participatant of the Wajir mapathon

The International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA), through its Data & Preparedness Unit team, successfully conducted its first-ever mapathon in Wajir County. The two-day mapping event attracted 30 new mappers from the Wajir County government and the local community. The event focused on introducing the mappers to open data and platforms such as the OpenStreetMap (OSM) and enhancing their capacity to map buildings footprints and other features of interest using the HOT tasking manager – a tool designed for a collaborative mapping process on OpenStreetMap.
A mapathon is a coordinated mapping event whereby participants can join physically or remotely to add map data of a particular area through a web-based mapping platform. The idea is that a small contribution from many mappers who know the area will ultimately lead to improved maps and data that organizations can use for decision-making before and after a disaster.


The mapping area focused on two wards within the Wajir West sub-county: Ganyure Wagalla and Hadado Athbohol. By the end of the exercise, the mappers managed to add close to 2,500 building footprints to OSM, which are freely accessible. The project has added close to 43,600 building footprints and 360 km of road. The project intends to expand its mapping efforts to cover the entire county.
ICHA’s Data & Preparedness Unit, with funding from the HOTOSM ESA hub, is currently conducting a Community Participatory Mapping for Disaster Resilience project in Wajir County. This year-long project seeks to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate-related disasters through open map data. The project aims to collect comprehensive and up-to-date datasets on buildings, roads, water points, markets, health facilities, schools, social amenities, etc. These datasets are important because they form part of the capacities and vulnerabilities that are found within the communities.
Open access to such datasets is imperative since it helps humanitarian actors make informed and targeted efforts on where resources are most needed. The project also intends to build the local stakeholders’ capacity to use map data for decision-making and educate them on disaster risk management.