Robert Rono is the Head and founder member of the team that established and grew the Research and Sponsored Projects Office (RSPO) within Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and Moi University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS). He has post graduate training in Research Administration and Finance and he is also a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Public Secretary (Kenya). As the Head of RSPO, he has overall oversight of the financial and administrative management of grants, contracts and donations awarded to MTRH and MUCHS including pre-award phase of proposal development, award, post-award and close-out of projects. RSPO is currently managing more than 140 grants with an annual budget of more than $ 30 million funded by various donors/funders such as the National Institute of Health, United States Agency for International Development, Center for Disease Control, Grand Challenges Canada, Gates Foundation, Abbvie Foundation, Astrazeneca, EDCTP among other donors. He has over 10 years extensive experience in Research Administration and he was also a Co-PI for the NICHD IAERDA award (2009) to Moi University.
Prof Vivian Oliver Wasonga is an Ecologist with specialization in Range Management and Pastoral Production Systems, and over 20 years’ experience in work related to Sustainable Dryland Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Pastoral Livelihoods. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and leader of teh BSc. Range Management and MSc. Range Mangement Prtogrammes in the Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT), University of Nairobi (https://profiles.uonbi.ac.ke/oliverwasonga). During 2011- 2014, he worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the German Institute for Tropical and Sub-Tropical Agriculture (DITSL) at the University of Kassel in Witzenhausen, Germany (https://www.ditsl.org/en/team-contact). In addition to teaching, he has supervised twelve (12) PhD and sixteen (16) MSc students to completion, and currenty supervising six (6) PhD and five (5) MSc. students.
He chairs the Faculty Postgraduate Studies Committee, and is the immediate former chair of the Faculty Timetabling Committee, and represent the University of Nairobi in the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems Management Committee (MANCO). In addition, he is a member of East and Southern Africa Working Group-International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralist (IYRP2026); and a member of Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA).
He has been leading the following current and previous research projects at the University of Nairobi: i) Drought Resilience In East African dryland Regions (DRIER) project, funded by the Royal Society, UK (New); ii) Translation of climate information into multilevel decision support for social adaptation, policy development, and resilience to water scarcity in the Horn of Africa Drylands (DOWN2EARTH), funded by EU (New); iii) International Virtual Course (IVC): Tackling Climate Change through Global Learning, funded by the Mercator Foundation Switzerland (New); iv) Socially Inclusive Adaptation Knowledge for Resilient Livelihoods in Northern Kenya, funded by IDRC (New); v) Climate Resilient Development Pathways for Semi-Arid Regions of Africa and Asia (CRDPs) Project, funded by IDRC (New); vi) COVID Observatories: Monitoring the interaction of pandemics, climate risks, and food systems among the world’s most disadvantaged communities, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (New); vii) Economic Valuation of Sustainable Rangeland Management Practices in Northern Kenya, funded by EU& GIZ; viii) Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) funded by IDRC and DFID; ix) Fodder Production for Enhanced Pastoral and Agro-Pastoral Resilience in the Drylands of Kenya (PREPARED), funded by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM); x) Assessing the Role of Stratified Livestock Production in Reduction of Post-Harvest Losses in Pastoral meat Value Chain in Kenya, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); xi) Role of Livestock Marketing Associations in Pastoral Meat value chain, funded by BMBF; xii) Foundations for climate resilient and sustainable growing settlements (U-RES), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF); and xiii) Re-Packing Indigenous Knowledge to Inform Policy, Development and Pastoral Community Action in Kenya (PIK), funded by the Christensen Fund. He serves as a reviewer in 11 peer refereed Journals (mainly Elsevier and Springer), and as an editor in two of them.
Dr. Wasonga’s other experiences include consultancies with several international and national organizations such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, UNDP, WFP, GAIN, AU-IBAR, FAO, ILRI, IUCN, IIED, IGAD/ICPAC; IGAD/ICPALD; AWF/KWS, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), AMREF, ACF, NCCK, GIZ, MS-TCDC-Action Aid, CORDAID-Netherlands, IFAW, CARE-Tanzania, VSF-Belgium, among others. He has published in diverse areas including rangeland ecology, pastoral livelihoods, climate change adaptation, natural resource management, and indigenous knowledge.
Charles did his Masters in Development Studies in Baraton University,Kenya and is a development practitioner, sociologist by training and a person committed to social work equity. He worked as a Program Manager for close to 15 years guiding interventions at the community level, working to raise resources needed, implementing programs, monitoring and evaluating and now training. In trainings, he has engaged with development workers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia Sudan and Somalia, mainly through trainings he has conducted on project management, proposal writing/fundraising, monitoring and evaluation.
His thoughts on resource mobilization
Development organizations are in the business of identifying community and or social challenges that affect people (problem), developing interventions/responses to counter those challenges (project design), cost those responses (budget) and effectively intervene (implementation). These responses therefore require specific inputs (resources) for them to be carried out (activities), thus the perennial need for organizations to continuously be on the resource mobilization work.
Conventionally, development programs have used proposal writing as the mainstay of their fundraising work, developing and submitting proposals to prospective agencies that would provide the resources (funds) they need. Consequently, there have been efforts to improve on this strategy through proposal writing workshops. In my view, proposal writing is just one of the strategies organizations will use to tap into resources they need. Conversely, funds are just one of the many resources we need to run our programs. We cannot therefore do better for ourselves and our organizations by just looking into proposal writing as our only way. Indeed, there are several other avenues and strategies we could effectively utilize in pursuit of resources our programs need.
When we look at the complexity of inputs our programs require to deliver on the set objectives, we realize that we may not do justice to this scenario by just looking at proposal writing skills. Ideally, programs and their managers require skills on resource mobilization. Resource mobilization is a wide area that looks at what resources exist in our respective communities/country/Globe, internal and external factors that enhance or inhibit our chances of getting the resources and the strategies for tapping into them. A workshop on resource mobilization will therefore be more ideal in enabling organizations to strategically position themselves for progress and sustainability.