Innovation, Resilience and Inclusive Development



Prof. Kairu is a seasoned environment / development consultant and practitioner with particular interest in the nexus between water resources, agriculture / food security, climate change, poverty, and sustainable development. He has a 25 years track record of successful implementation of projects in partnership with international development agencies (e.g. UNDP, Global Environment Facility – GEF, and the World Bank), African Governments, National and International Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector. Initially, he worked for 5 years as a Senior Consultant with ETC East Africa in charge of the Natural Resources portfolio and thereafter as their Associate Consultant.

Prof.Kairu has worked for several UN agencies e.g. Climate change adviser based at UNDP Head office in New York where he was attached to the Asia / Pacific region. Thereafter, he was hired by UNOPS as a Chief Technical Adviser to oversee the implementation of environment projects in Lesotho. He has served as an adviser to the Global Water Partnership / Stockholm International Water Institute for the development of a Strategic Framework for Water Security and Climate Resilient Development in Africa. He has also been an Adviser for SPLASH – (European Union Water Initiative) which is a consortium of 16 European ministries, funding agencies and research organizations as well as serving on the board of RiPPLE – Research inspired Policy and Practice Learning – DfID funded project covering Ethiopia and Nile region.

In Kenya, Prof. Kairu has been hired as a consultant by the World Bank and UN agencies e.g. UNICEF and UNDP. He has also been responsible for the implementation of large programmes e.g.  Kenya’s Slum Upgrading Programme funded by UN Habitat and the Government of Kenya in Nairobi. In partnership with Overseas Development Institute (UK), he coordinated joint assessment of the water component of Kenya’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme. He has worked as a Team Leader in many appraisals, assessments and evaluations of development programmes/projects in Eastern and Western Africa and the Horn of Africa Countries, as well as a facilitator for numerous participatory workshops in Eastern and Western African and the Horn of African Countries.

As an Adjunct Professor of Environment at Kenyatta University since 2011, Prof. Kairu is often asked to advise graduate students and faculty members on how to develop useful environment and development research programmes and teaching courses. He also supervises graduate students on their Masters and PhD projects and theses writing.

Prof. Kairu holds a PhD in Climatology (the parent scientific discipline which logically supports climate change, as its most visible sub-discipline) from McGill University in Canada, as well as an MSc in hydrology from the University of Nairobi.