The American Institutes for Research (AIR) has set up its East African office in Kenya as it seeks to solidify its pledge to advance research and technical assistance in the entire region.

The new office based in Westlands will accommodate 39 AIR staff members and serve as a central hub for ongoing and forthcoming projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and neighboring nations.

AIR President and CEO Jessica Heppen said the firm seeks to enhance education, health, workforce, and economic opportunities to improve communities and lives in East Africa.

“We are doing more than opening an office today: AIR is making a commitment to be partners with the leaders and citizens of the region to increase opportunities and create a better, more equitable world for all,” stated Heppen.

The projects to be implemented by AIR in the region encompass a diverse range of initiatives to address pressing regional challenges and spur sustainable development.

Its tasks include third-party monitoring for USAID's Afya Uwazi project, exploring links between socioeconomic indicators and climate change, supporting communications for USAID's Famine Early Warning Systems Network, evaluating environmental programs, and assessing nutritional interventions.

AIR Kenya MD Christine Kiecha stressed on the significance of collaborating with local communities and institutions to tackle the unique challenges facing the East African region.

The institute indicated that it was keen to forge close partnerships with universities and organizations in the region to ensure its research and assistance is relevant and effective.

Working with University of Nairobi and University of Dar es Salaam, through the AIR Pipeline Partnership Program backed by the AIR Equity Initiative, it seeks to empower aspiring social and behavioral scientists by offering education, training, and mentorship initiatives.

“AIR wants to serve as a catalyst to increase the development and use of timely, relevant evidence and help grow the social and behavioral science fields in East Africa,” affirmed AIR Institute Fellow Ashu Handa, who is based at the Kenya office.