The TAITAGIS project developed a Master’s degree programme in Geoinformatics for the young under and postgraduate students at the Taita Taveta University, and build teacher capacity in the field through Training of Trainers education.

Key information 

Improving Capacity, Quality and Access of Geoinformatics Teaching, Research and Daily Application in Taita Taveta County, Kenya (TAITAGIS)

Project Budget: €698 272 with MFA funding, total project budget €873 784
Project Duration: 1.3.2017–31.12.2020
Coordinating Institution: University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
Partner Institution(s): Taita Taveta University (TTU), Kenya

Project description and Key Results 

The TAITAGIS project developed a Master’s degree programme in Geoinformatics for the postgraduate students at the Taita Taveta University (TTU), and  developed its teaching capacity through Training of Trainers (ToT) education in Geoinformatics which aimed at improving technological and methodological capabilities of TTU staff members.  

The project  programme developed also a Certificate programme in Geoinformatics for the Taita Taveta County stakeholders including in-service professionals working at the county government, corporate bodies, such as the Kenya Forest Service, ministry offices, research institutes, NGOs and CBOs in the county in Kenya. Taita Taveta University developed also a Bachelor’s programme in geoinformatics.

Jointly developed programmes convinced Commission for Higher Education (CUE) in Kenya to accredit these quality programmes in a record time.  

By strengthening geoinformatics teaching, research and decision-making capacity in TTU and other stakeholder organizations in Taita Taveta County, staff members of these are better capable of collecting and analyzing environmental and climatic data and disseminate their findings to various policy makers.

Based on this more accurate and relevant information, policy makers can make more informed decisions on regional planning, the sustainable use of natural resources, adaptation to climate change, preparations for natural disasters, and environmental protection. 

The jointly developed Degree programmes and the Certificate Programme in Geoinformatics are expected to boost the use and application of geoinformation by different actors and sectors in forestry, agriculture, water resources, housing, health, education, and commerce, to name a few.  

At the TTU, emphasis was also given to entrepreneurship skills, which ensures that the graduates from the programme are capable of establishing small and medium-sized enterprises of GIS and geoinformation to serve local, regional and international clienteles, bring growth to local economy, and create employment, especially for the youth. 

The project also established a state-of-the-art GIS-lab with powerful PC 's and laptops and with other hardware, all essential equipment's which are needed for a modern day GIS-lab which is a rarity in smaller Kenyan universities.  The project also built Moodle platform using a web server that was bought for TAITAGIS teaching purposes. The server has also been used by other TTU online courses during the COVID-19.   

TAITAGIS on University of Helsinki's website