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In support of Tegemeo's mandate, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been funding the Tegemeo Agricultural Policy Research and Analysis (TAPRA) program whose overall goal was to inform and influence policies and development interventions geared towards short and long-term improvement in agricultural productivity, incomes, and food security. Under TAPRA and preceding programs funded by USAID, Tegemeo Institute in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), have been participating in the policy process in Kenya for the last 20 years.
For Tegemeo to continue offering sound, coherent, and empirically based policy options that effectively contribute to the country's development and efforts to reduce food insecurity and poverty, Tegemeo Institute (in collaboration with MSU) received support from USAID to implement a 5-year program (2012-2017), the Tegemeo Policy Research and Analysis (TAPRA II) program. The overall goal of the program is to improve the policy environment and investment in the agriculture and rural sectors, and also enhance capacity for policy research and analysis. Under TAPRA II, Tegemeo and MSU carry out policy research and analysis and engage in outreach and capacity building activities in order to provide an expanded empirical basis for agricultural policy formulation and debate. Tegemeo continues to broaden and deepen the engagement of relevant stakeholders in the policy process in support of key development goals and initiatives in Kenya's agriculture sector. TAPRA's activities are organized around four broad themes/objectives:

Monitoring (tracking) trends and patterns in rural livelihoods
This involves monitoring changes at the household, commodity, sector/ sub-sector and macroeconomic levels in order to inform the interventions and policies in the agriculture sector,which are geared toward improved food security and poverty reduction. This is accomplished through collecting and analyzing household-level data in various aspects of rural livelihoods. The indicators on which changes are monitored include productivity, income and poverty, food security and nutrition, technology development and use, environment and climate change.

Policy research

Policy research is aimed at offering policy guidance by providing timely empirical information and feedback on government interventions and all other stakeholders in the agricultural sector. To achieve this objective, various activities and studies focus on the following, among others: crop and livestock value chain analysis, analysis of food/commodity prices and productivity, use of fertilizer and improved seeds, including those of drought-tolerant crops,climate variability & change, and gender issues in agriculture.

Outreach and advocacy

This entails informing public and private sector stakeholders about promising policy and investment opportunities to promote rural incomes and food security in Kenya. The relevant empirical information provided by the Institute will form a basis for meaningful discussions and interactions among researchers, policy makers,and other stakeholders. Consequently, such discussions will be based on reliable evidence based policy recommendations,which will inform and guide investment opportunities and lead to increased growth.

Capacity building
Tegemeo continues to build and strengthen the capacity of its researchers through short- and long-term training to sustain its quality policy research and analysis work. Also, to enhance public sector policy research and analysis in Kenya, the Institute proposes to build capacity of stakeholders in the agricultural sector through short-term trainings focused on survey design and implementation, data collection, management and analysis and policy analysis.