The Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IPPIA) at United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) provides technical assistance and capacity-building support for regional, national and local governments. The Institute’s mission is to improve and transform governance through innovation, research, technical assistance, and training.​

​To achieve these, the Institute adopts a multi-disciplinary approach aimed at training high-calibre personnel for quality service delivery at local, national and regional levels, with particular reference to the Horn of African region—Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The reference includes the expanded East Africa Region —Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo Somalia, and South Sudan. In this regard, the institute adopts an integrative approach that draws on the synergies and wealth of intellect and experience in other schools at USIU and beyond.

​IPPIA renders its services far beyond Kenyan boundaries. It is noteworthy that the expanded East African Community has by and large adopted the strategy of devolved governance. Indeed, most of the countries like the newly independent South Sudan already have county governments. The Institute, therefore, extend its services to such countries both in structuring and capacity building. This proposition is in line with the East African Treaty which seeks to harmonize various governmental services within and amongst member states.​

​USIU-Africa on the other hand combines the best in Business Management, Information Technology and Social Sciences. It is from these high calibre professionals, who combine both academia and field experience that provide the desired teaching capacity. The vibrant multiracial and multicultural student community provides a market-ready pool of research assistants to undertake given assignments.

​Closer home, the inclusion of the devolved government in Kenya’s newly promulgated constitution provides ample opportunities for capacity building and research. Devolved governance portends reliance on qualified human resources to continuously expand their influence, local service delivery and resource base. IPPIA therefore strategically position itself as a preferred choice for research and capacity building in all of the 47 Counties in dealing with issues of national importance like transparency and government accountability, inspiring public trust, emergency preparedness, urban policy, refugees, security, the environment and immigration matters, amongst others. The institute seizes opportunities for commissioned or/and initiated applied research, surveys, seminars and short-term consultancies in the furtherance of its stated mission

​Through partnerships and alliances with like-minded institutions of higher learning, research centres, groups and individuals, IPPIA works to establish and enhance quality service outputs and pool requisite human and financial resources. The Institute rely on USIU-Africa and other collaborators for financial support as it gains a foothold and recognition for the execution of its mandate.  Below are IPPIA’s outlined rationale and investment at USIU-Africa.


​IPPIA provides training programs that offer recognized academic and professional certification in various government services at different designated levels. Resources are oriented towards creating the human capital necessary to enable the achievement of respective regional national strategic plans like Kenya’s Vision 2030; on social, economic and political pillars. The institute delivers training in ways that build on the learner’s experience and working knowledge. Fresh graduates benefit from a wide array of case studies and mentorship programs to enable them to apply innovative solutions to challenges that they encounter in the workplace.

1.1 Profile of the clientele

Training programs at IPPIA benefit persons in the workplace who may not have gone through mainstream academic education for the work they are executing. Included in this category are those who are working in sectors like the NGO or government. Clientele to be served by the Institute also takes cognizance of states emerging from conflict situations, and are desirous of deploying nationals in various workplaces. IPPIA also serve persons who intend to pursue government service as a professional career, as well as researchers in policy and strategic studies. To achieve this, IPPIA avails training and research opportunities to these categories of people in the region. More detailed target qualification criteria are drawn up in response to need.

1.2 Curriculum and training

Curricula are developed and tailored to meet different academic needs and competence. To add credence to the academic work being undertaken, IPPIA works hand-in-hand with the Department of International Relations at USIU in training and the award of Certificate, Diploma and Degree.


With the establishment of county governance in Kenya and other East African Community member countries, IPPIA is at the forefront of knowledge dissemination and capacity building for strengthening key systems for streamlined devolved governance. Focus areas in this regard, will include but not limited to the following:

2.1 Transparency & Accountability

  1. Induction and skills upgrading for Foreign Service officials
  2. Capacity building for both national and local government officers
  3. Strengthening leadership and team development in county and national organizations
  4. Financial management (Government Financial Manual)
  5. Procurement and stock control
  6. Government Rules and Regulations (Government Manual)
  7. Cross-cutting strategies for enhanced transparency and accountability
  8. Improving organizational structures in local government
  9. Conducting and monitoring elections

2.2 Citizen participation

  1. 1) Sharpening government service delivery to citizens
  2. 2) Increasing organizational efficiency
  3. 3) Community Based Conflict Management and Peace Building programmes
  4. 4) Legal and ethical issues in governmental service delivery
  5. 5) Civic Education

2.3. Natural Resource Management & Emergency Preparedness

  1. Trans-boundary conservation of biodiversity
  2. Climate Change in the broad and specific context of Environmental Conservation

2.4 Urban policy

  1. Urban transport
  2. Rural-urban migration and its effects
  3. Best practices in urban settlement
  4. Solid waste management
  5. Shelter and slum upgrading
  6. Security of tenure
  7. Crime and security

2.5 Applied Research and Dissemination of Knowledge
IPPIA provides the research framework and opportunity for students pursuing their Master’s and Doctorate degrees. This includes research findings publication, workshops, seminars, media briefings and publicity. In carrying out this broad mandate, IPPIA relies on the multidisciplinary human resource resident in USIU-Africa and also works with local and international partners for broader scope and benchmarking.​

2.6 Peace building and conflict mediation

IPPIA is a repository of knowledge and best practices in peacebuilding and conflict mediation in Kenya and the region. Concerning this, the main thrust of all interventions and capacity-building efforts dwells primarily on the following: -​​

  1. Peace and conflict studies with focus on indigenous solutions
  2. Negotiation and mediation
  3. Humanitarian intervention


USIU-Africa has a good tradition of establishing and working with partnerships. The Department of International Relations, for instance, has established good working relations with:​

  1. The Kenya Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  2. The Foreign Service Institute
  3. The Kenya Institute for Administration
  4. The Institute of Diplomatic Studies, University of Nairobi
  5. Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan
  6. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama – Centre for Governmental Services
  7. Alabama State University
  8. Secretary of State, Montgomery, Alabama – Director of Elections
  9. United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC
  10. African American Institute, New York,
  11. Bradford University, United Kingdom – School of Peace Studies
  12. The British Council
  13. Aalborg University, Denmark – Dept. of History, International and Social Studies

IPPIA continues to seek collaboration and partnerships both local and international as it strives to consolidate its base in terms of sustainable resource mobilization, capacity, research, projects and programme implementation in an ongoing process of the Institute’s benchmarking of its quality outputs.
For sustainability, the Institute shall mobilize resources from various sources per projects and programmes offered. These shall include but not be limited to the following: -​

  1. Tuition fees levied from proposed programmes
  2. Short to long-term consultancies for training and research
  3. Grants from foundations and corporations
  4. Government (regional, national, counties, and other levels as stipulated by country-specific framework or constitutions)
  5. Conferences/conventions/workshops/seminars etc.
  6. Sale of publications/periodicals
  7. Annual subscriptions from members
  8. Commissioned or initiated research/projects/programmes
  9. Project; formulation, implementation, supervision or/and evaluation
  10. Student study trips

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