Ms Purity Rima Mbaabu – Kenya

Project: Response to COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya: Tracking evidence based actions and policy decisions at all levels of government

Occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, many global economies went into massive shock. As a global emergency, immediate response was needed through policy decisions. Such decisions in various jurisdictions are critical owing to the pandemic`s multi-sectoral impacts particularly the massive loss of human lives. Policy decisions need to be based on scientific evidence, which was initially lacking for the novel COVID-19.

The purpose of this case study is to assess COVID-19 related evidence that informed policy decisions and hence responses to the pandemic in Kenya. Moreover, the case study will assess the enablers and barriers to utilisation of knowledge for policy. A combination of methods – document analysis, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires will be used to collect the data.

We aim to gather data through a survey at national level ( from all the government ministries) and all the 47 County governments. A linear model approach such as the one proposed by DEFRA 2006 or Landry et al., 2001 will be used to assess knowledge utilisation across key levels of government.

The study will provide an understanding on the extent to which policy decisions and response to COVID-19 relied on the availed scientific evidence, the factors that promoted or impeded this uptake of knowledge as well as evidence pathways.


Lecturer, PhD student and Founder BrainSave International

Purity Rima is a lecturer at Chuka University – Kenya. Besides teaching and research, she has a track record of helping, inspiring and mentoring students through academic and career success. For her, growing up in a humble background taught her that hardwork and education are key to transforming her life, family and community. Inspired by this, she founded BrainSave international (–a charity organization) in 2012 where she supports and promotes education among orphans and children from humble backgrounds Kenya. Helping others has been the most fulfilling part of her life.

She has over 10 years’ experience in the application of GIS and Remote Sensing technologies in earth sciences, holds a Bachelor’s and MSc degrees, and pursuing a PhD at the University of Nairobi. She has contributed to a number of scientific publications and works closely with affected communities in Baringo. She has worked in several valuable projects such as Swiss r4d programme, woody weeds project, Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative –Tanzania and Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) – ILRI.

While work and study engagements have taken her around the world, outside the office, she enjoys travelling and environmental conservation.