KEFEP Newsletter

Main Content

Investing in Collaboration

October 2019 - March 2020

1. Message from the STA

The year 2020 started no differently than previous years. Like everyone, the KEFEP team and partners kicked off the new decade with a commitment to ambitious goals and targets that set the tone for the rest of the year.

The year started strongly: we quickly received approval to incorporate 19 Competence Based Education and Training (CBET) courses into the national polytechnics’ curricula. The delivery of modern equipment also started well during the first part of the year, with some of our Kenyan partner institutions receiving some equipment deliveries. These will assist with their current and future training needs. In non-KEFEP news, CICan received approval for a significant new TVET program under the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative. With growing needs comes a bigger team and to facilitate these changes, we have shifted to a larger office. Some new staff are also set to report for duty at the start of the second quarter.

Of course, 2020 has proven to be anything but predictable. The global COVID-19 pandemic has had tremendous human, social and economic costs, and has led to immense disruption around the world including KEFEP. This project is built on connections, between countries, institutions, and individuals, and we cannot underestimate the impact COVID has had. We have seen governments announce various measures aimed at containing the virus. Travel restrictions have come into effect in numerous countries. Many organizations have been directed to close down their offices and have their employees work from home instead. The disbandment of public gatherings including in restaurants, at religious institutions and entertainment hubs has been and continues to be observed.

While everyone reading this will of course have their own COVID stories, for the KEFEP team it has meant delays in launching courses, the cancellation of the annual CICan conference, and the inability to travel, among many other smaller impacts.

Despite the challenges, as we write this there is also a sense of optimism and opportunity, as we explore ways to connect virtually to continue this important work.

This issue features examples of connection, how we and our many partners are working on KEFEP and supporting each other. Let us all strive to treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves by adjusting and changing our lifestyles to suit the current situation. Stay safe.

Finally, on a personal note: as some of you know, I will be transitioning to a Canada-based STA role with CICan. I will still be supporting KEFEP and the program is in excellent hands, and we are pleased to note that in mid-2020 we will hire a local STA to direct field operations. Stay tuned!

2. KEFEP Partners

KEFEP Partners Working From Home Due To COVID-19

Mr. Jahonga a registrar at Sigalagala National Polytechnic doing a good job balancing work and parenting from the comfort of his home in March 2020.

This work station that beautifully captures how human beings and nature can coexist belongs to Ana Jimenez, the International Projects Coordinator of our KEFEP partner institution Durham College.

Some of our partners are observing social distancing while being creative. Wilsa (pictured) is Erin Sweet’s work-from-home colleague and buddy.

The show must go on even with the coronavirus having halted most operations around us. Pictured are Elizabeth Vincent and Erin Sweet of College of the North Atlantic (CNA) working on the KEFEP-04 partnership from their respective homes via Skype in March 2020.

Pictured are the Humber College faculty members on a Skype call discussing the new CBET Industrial Plant Operations and Maintenance Program in March 2020. Their Kenyan counterparts normally have their meetings via Whatsapp.

KEFEP-07 partners Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) and Nova Scotia Community College enjoying a hearty laugh during their virtual meeting in May 2020.

3. Partner Updates


Staff, faculty and students from Kitale National Polytechnic after judging and awards presentation for the student environmental sustainability micro-project competition managed by Algonquin College in February 2020.

Olds College and The Kitale National Polytechnic having their regular KEFEP team meeting via Skype on October 2019. The team uses a variety of methods to connect including Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and regular phone calls.

Algonquin College faculty members Damien Dunne, Rebecca and Tammy sign the visitors’ book during their visit to The Eldoret National Polytechnic in February 2020.


The Kisumu National Polytechnic and Sigalagala National Polytechnic faculty members were in Humber College, Toronto – Canada for a benchmarking trip in May, 2019.

Ted Glenn from Humber College and The Kisumu National Polytechnic team working on the hyacinth harvester at the port of Kisumu, Lake Victoria, Kenya.

Vancouver Island University’s Kathleen Bortolin and Jessie Magee-Chalmers present Kisii National Polytechnic with new textbooks on best practices to support the new Teaching and Learning Centre in February 2020.

Pictured from left (Jessie Magee-Chalmers, Kathleen Bortolin, Daniel Nyariki, John Gekonde and Evans Mogeni)


The Nyeri National Polytechnic team were among those in attendance at the Dairy Processors Stakeholders Forum held in Wambugu Farm, in Nyeri. KEFEP has partnered with the institution to support the Agro-processing courses, with a focus on Dairy Farming.

The Meru National Polytechnic trainers with CICan team inspecting a prospective classroom at institution for the Agricultural Extension Technician Level 4 CBET course with Laura Malbogat of Champlain College explaining how the room should be organized.

From right: Dennis Munene, Francis M. Gitonga, Evelyne Magana, Florence Muthoni, Simon Muchomba, Kenneth Mutea, Peter Kariuki, Bruno Smith of Cegep-Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, and Laura Malbogat


The Kabete National Polytechnic Electrical and Electronics Department Head, Booker Odhiambo, was in New Brunswick Community College in November 2019 for a benchmarking visit on behalf of KEFEP 04 partners, with a focus on Industrial Automation and Robotics.


Ian Warrender of Camosun College hosting a break-out discussion group on the opportunities in the Marine Industry, during the Youth and Blue Economy Conference that took place at Kenya Coast National Polytechnic, courtesy of The Canadian High Commission and The UN Habitat, in December 2019.


A pilot workshop conducted by Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) at Nairobi Technical Training Institute (NTTI) in November 2019. The former developed and delivered materials to the Heads of Departments of the latter institution.


From left Katie Orr, John Muraguri and Edna Adala.
Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) and Nova Scotia Community College held a joint marketing toolkit workshop at KTTC in December 2019, to encourage women and girls to take up Stem and other non-traditional courses

Susan Campbell and Krista Taverner of Nova Scotia Community College facilitated a workshop at KTTC on encouraging women into STEM courses and helped develop a mentorship program for women in STEM, in December 2019.


Two Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) faculty members visited Bow Valley College and Algonquin College in February 2020 for a week for mutual learning around CBET implementation practices.

From left: Derek Lemieux, Lillian Soi, Robert Okinda, Trevor McIvor and Chris Enns.

4. KEFEP News and Events

6th Canadian Education Partners Forum

Canadian Partners in the Education sector congregated in Kwale county in October 2019 where they were hosted by Plan International Kenya. This forum allows for the players in this sector to promote their work as well as create collaboration opportunities amongst themselves.

Susan Karuti of WUSC kicks off the 6th CEP Forum held in Kwale at the start of October 2019 with a presentation on the work being done by the Canadian High Commission in Kenya.

Launch of the Gender Analysis Report

The KEFEP Gender Analysis Report was launched on 8th October 2019. The purpose of the report was to explore the state of gender equality in Kenya’s TVET Sector.

Former KEFEP Senior Program Officer Catherine Paquin-Schmidt moderates a panel discussion during the launch of the KEFEP Gender Analysis Report on 8th October 2019. The panel had representation from students, trainers, TVET Authority and industry.

Youth and Blue Economy Conference

The KEFEP team was in Mombasa for a 1-day Youth & Blue Economy Conference held at Kenya Coast National Polytechnic organized by CICan and hosted jointly with UN-Habitat and The Canadian High Commission. The theme was “Harnessing Economic Opportunities for the Youth through Innovation.”

Pictured is Canadian High Commissioner Lisa Stadelbauer sharing her work experiences with some youth on 6th December 2019.

Former TVET Principal Secretary Dr. Kevit Desai listens in on discussions involving the youth and an industry player on the opportunities in Blue Economy in Kenya on 6th December 2019.

12 Days of KEFEP videos

Throughout January 2020 KEFEP shared videos of the KEFEP partners speaking on the benefits and challenges that have resulted from collaboration with the KEFEP project. These videos were categorized into various playlists including:

Program Technical Committee (PTC) meeting

The quarterly meeting of the Program Technical Committee (PTC) was hosted by WUSC at their office in Nairobi on 13th February 2020.

Program Steering Committee (PSC) meeting

The 7th Program Steering Committee meeting which saw members of The Canadian High Commission from the Ottawa and Nairobi offices, The Ministry of Education, CDACC, TVETA and the KEFEP team attend was hosted by Sigalagala National Polytechnic on 18th February 2020.

We witnessed the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Sigalagala National Polytechnic’s CBET Training and Learning Resource Centre which was spearheaded by top officials from The Canadian High Commission from Kenya as well as from Canada, The Ministry of Education and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) on 19th February 2020.

7th Canadian Education Partners Forum

The 7th CEP Forum was held in Kisumu from 19th to 20th February 2020. The Canadian Education Partners were treated to a visit of one of KEFEP partners’ institution, Kisumu National Polytechnic where they got to learn about how the institution works with the community around it in the Fisheries Industry. They were also privileged to visit Ahero Vocational Training Centre and Kisumu Rotary Vocational Training Centre, both mentee institutions to the national polytechnic.

KUCCPS Open Days

In Kisumu National Polytechnic’s 2-day open day comprised of students displaying their innovations, some of which were exhibited at the Western Kenya TVET Exhibition, as well as presentations on research papers on the Blue Economy.

Approved KEFEP CBET courses

19 KEFEP CBET courses were approved by CDACC, TVETA and Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA), and are now ready for use at the national polytechnics.

New Hires

To support the growing needs that have come with the extension of the KEFEP project as well as taking on Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative, we have new hires that will be coming on board from the start of the start of the second quarter, to offer support to both projects.

Dan Oswago, Dorine Kodemo, Jackline Adisa and Ellyjoy Masila will be joining CICan Kenya in the positions of Finance Officer, Office Manager, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Officer and Gender and Youth Specialist respectively.

Delivery of CBET equipment

The KEFEP partner institutions are being provided with all the necessary equipment in the thematic areas to allow for industry-aligned training.

The Eldoret National Polytechnic was the first of the KEFEP partners to receive the KEFEP equipment for their Surveying course on 11th March 2020, which is among the 19 approved KEFEP CBET courses. Additional equipment is expected throughout April and May 2020.

Monitoring & Evaluation Trainings

KEFEP conducted a 3-day workshop in November 2019 to address the progress of M&E in the national polytechnics, gender transformative approaches and how to utilize performance measurement frameworks.

Erick Kayere kicked off the November 2019 M&E workshop by asking participants to share the successes, challenges and lessons learned from the previous year and later touched on the way forward with M&E in their institutions.

KEFEP partners from the Kenyan national polytechnics during one of the breakout sessions analyzing the reported significant changes from the KEFEP boundary partners including trainers, trainees, institutional management, industry and government.

Anne Nyamoko of Kenya Coast National Polytechnic shows off her dustcoat which she was awarded for clenching top position for the institution with the highest number of Learning Based Management (LBM) submissions.

The obligatory group photo after an interactive, informative and transformative 3 days in Watamu, Kenya

Gender Equality (GE) Training

Former KEFEP Gender Program Officer Ruth Oloo as well as the participants conjointly examined case studies on gender transformative approaches along with the gender strategy and performance measurement framework during the M&E workshop conducted in November 2019.

Participants from the November 2019 M&E workshop recapitulate the gender strategy implementation discussions from the previous day

5. Closing

Kindly note that we are committed to ensuring that we are in line with the Kenyan government’s directives. The health and safety of our staff as well as our partners comes first and as a result, we have made the decision to implement a work-from-home order until further notice. Our staff can be contacted via email or phone during business hours. Once things return to normal, we can be found at our new office location below.

KEFEP Office Address: THE PROMENADE – 3rd Floor, General Mathenge Road
PO Box 66552 – 00800, Nairobi, Kenya
Mobile: +254 720 992 081
KEFEP Website
KEFEP Facebook
CICan YouTube