Our greatest strength is in the membership with most of our members teaching at the University. Others are renowned International consultants with one of the WERK Board Members sitting in the Technical Advisory Group of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Initiative on education.
WERK has been involved in self-driven research and research for other organizations, with a special focus on gender and girls and women in particular.
WERK has been linking research to advocacy and is the current Chair of Elimu Yetu Coalition.
WERK has been running the Quality of Education Program that has been carrying out the Uwezo National Assessment since 2009 – 2012. The assessment seeks to establish the competences of children aged between 6-16 years in basic literacy in English and Kiswahili, numeracy and life skills.
Opportunity Schools Program: The Opportunity Schools Program falls within WERK’s Education for Pastoralists Program (EfPP), whose vision is that all children (aged 5-17 years) living within Northern Kenya and other arid lands, access their constitutional right to quality education. The goal of the proposed Opportunity Schools project is that learning outcomes of primary school children of the target pastoralist communities are improved by 50% by 2015 for enhanced retention and progression at all levels.
Education for Minorities Program is also part of EfPP and it seeks to reduce the growing inequalities in the Kenyan education sector, towards Education for All by 2015. The project aims at tapping available local knowledge among selected minority groups, who fall within the clusters of pastoralists, nomads, or hunters and gatherers. It is being implemented among the Sanye and Munyoyaya of Tana Delta.
Wasichana Wote Wasome (WWW – ‘Let All Girls Read’) is a project under the Girl’s education Challenge funded by the UK Government through DFID. In Kenya it is being implemented by a consortium of CfBT, WERK, Concern International, AMURT and Girl Child Network. The project aims to improve school enrollment, retention, attendance and learning outcomes for 81,000 marginalized girls in Kenya. The project is working in 500 primary schools and the communities they serve in two contexts: Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) and urban slums. The role of WERK is carrying out the baseline and M&E.
Jielimishe I Choose Life – Africa through financial and technical support of DfID is implementing a 2.5 year (2013-2015) project that seeks to increase the life chances of 30,000 Marginalized Kenyan Girls by improving their school attendance and learning through an integrated approach. The project will be implemented in Laikipia, Meru and Mombasa counties.Other partners in the Jielimishe Girl Education Challenge Innovation Window project include: Kenya Red Cross Society, SOS Children’s Villages and Mothers & Daughters. The role of WERK is to design, plan and conduct a baseline study for the project, carry out an independent and rigorous research to assess the initial conditions against which progress will be measured as well as offer a benchmark upon which impact can be assessed.
Community of Practice: WERK is currently taking lead in coordinating the Learning Outcomes Network which seeks to ensure that learning outcomes become the measure for quality education by 2015 and beyond.
By 2001, WERK had formed strong linkages and was the organisation of choice for researches in development and education. This led to it becoming the focal point in Kenya for the Girls Education Movement that was headquartered in Uganda. The Seminar series that had been launched the previous year had picked up and an extensive research on street children was undertaken.
This period saw WERK re-assess, re-evaluate and re-strategize to ensure that it remained relevant to the society. The Executive Committee used the year 2007 to embark on aon new strategic focus of programme implementation while at the same time retaining research as an important precursor to all programming. WERK began the process of sourcing for project based funding and managed to access funding for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs), a project that ran through the period.
WERK was greatly revitalized during this period. Hosting of Uwezo Kenya initiative became the main re-launch pad for WERK. With time WERK has steadily transformed itself from being a purely research based organization to one with capacity to undertake national projects such as Uwezo. Other significant projects include: Education for Minorities, School Safety and Opportunity Schools. This is in addition to numerous studies across the board from education to gender based violence based studies (see details in WERK Organization programme report).
To achieve the above stated goals, WERK has been working with in partnership with likeminded organizations with a view to having a vibrant and community of practice. The core team is made up of the following organizations: