IGP Stories

PROCOL Kenya: A radical approach to building sustainable prosperity for Africa

PROCOL Kenya Prosperity Index Africa

“Sustainable prosperity is a global challenge: the world needs alternative social, economic and ecological paradigms and this is nowhere more acute than in Africa. So often marginalised as the recipient rather than provider of knowledge and ideas, Africa and Kenya have the potential to leap-frog old technological dependencies and to tap into the innovation and endeavour apparent across the country, to develop home-grown solutions, inspire others, and to work to co-design new more prosperous futures.”

Dame Professor Henrietta L. Moore, Founding Director, IGP

IGP launches PROCOL Kenya in Nairobi this morning with a call for a radical collaborative approach to building sustainable prosperity for Africa that will generate new ways of working with global relevance.

PROCOL Kenya’s model for transformative change is based on two fundamental principles: one, recognising that future prosperity must focus on new ways of living, new systems and new institutions - not fixing or optimising the current unsustainable system; and two, that prosperity takes different forms in different places and for different people, and new solutions must be co-designed with communities based on local understandings and knowledge of challenges and solutions.

This morning Dame Professor Henrietta L. Moore, Founding Director of the IGP, announced a commitment to build a new Prosperity Index for Kenya - based on alternative prosperity metrics that are co-designed with Kenya communities to reflect local conditions and priorities. This work is already underway in Nairobi and Elgeyo-Marakwet County and will bring a diversity of voices and perspectives to the design of practical projects, policy and efforts to measure changes to prosperity over time.

Professor Henrietta Moore opens the launch.

What is a Prosperity Co-Lab?

IGP’s Prosperity Co-Labs are spaces for long-term collective thinking and action on the major social, environmental and economic challenges facing societies. PROCOL Kenya will combine cutting edge social and natural science research facilitated by leading Kenya, UK and other academics, that is co-designed with these communities and other stake-holders including policy makers, NGOs and businesses. PROCOL Kenya will make use of leading scientific resources such as earth observation, new forms of open access data and AI, combining these with the unique citizen-led citizen science research.

Long-term collaborative partnerships will be critical – PROCOL Kenya aims to work with county governments, national ministries and major organisations working towards sustainable and resilient livelihoods, communities and ecologies. We recognise that generating sustainable Prosperity will not be a short-term endeavour, but rather an ongoing process.

At the heart of PROCOL Kenya are citizen research teams or citizen scientists. The research generated by these teams focuses on the complex problems and challenges of specific places and investigates the community-based and scientific solutions that are applicable.

New forms of global learning

PROCOL Kenya will prompt new processes of sharing global learning that focus on the transfer of ideas, knowledge and technology from Kenya to the global north, as well as to other African countries.

“London has as much to learn from Nairobi as Nairobi has to learn from London,” says Professor Moore.

The Institute for Global Prosperity works across the world and has begun to develop Prosperity Co-Labs in London and Lebanon and we are developing new conversations and metrics of prosperity in many other places.

Image credit: Patricia Gabalova

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