Connecting communities in arid lands with knowledge in East Africa


  • Anthony Mugo ALIN


maarifa centres, communications, Baobab, ALIN, networks, agriculture


To connect communities living in arid lands in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and provide them with Internet and information services, Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) operates 12 community knowledge centres. These Maarifa centres act as the main hub for sharing information resources with the community, for capturing indigenous and local information, and for providing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services and training to the community. ALIN?s systematic process of capturing, sharing, and analysing quantitative and qualitative information about its centres? activities and about the needs of its beneficiaries helps the organization provide its demand-driven knowledge and information services to some of the most marginalized communities in the world. This case story presents an overview of ALIN?s approach to monitoring and evaluating this knowledge management initiative, describing what was helpful and what were the main challenges in this evaluation process. This article also presents some of the lessons learned and the subsequent changes that have been made to the ongoing assessment of this initiative.


ALIN, 2009. Evaluation of ALIN?s ICT Project ? Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania (Evaluation Summary). 2009 external evaluation report, available on request.
Earl, S., Carden, F., and Smutylo, T., 2001. Outcome mapping: building learning and reflection into development programs. Ottawa: IDRC.
IFAD, 2012. Rural poverty portal. Available from:;jsessionid=CF7845EEFD3843CAF68B32E34B29421A [Accessed 6 March 2012].