Doctor of Philosophy in Dryland Resource Management


    The sustainable development of drylands and improvement of livelihoods in the drylands characterized by intense poverty is a priority development agenda in eastern and southern Africa. This will involve interventions targeting, inter alia, increased production and livelihoods systems productivity, and water management options. As elsewhere in the world, the long-term driving force of modern economic growth will be science-based technological advances. The challenges associated with the drylands of eastern and southern Africa require an approach to science and innovation which is entrepreneurial and oriented toward key development challenges.

    Advances in various aspects of dryland science and community development practices in recent years suggest a common framework for managing drylands. This framework, the Dryland Development Paradigm, centres on the livelihoods of humans in drylands and their dependence on these ecosystems, through the study of highly interactive human-environment systems. The dryland paradigm responds to recent research and policy trends that link ecosystem management with human livelihoods. It is a convergence of insights and key advances drawn from a diverse array of research in desertification, vulnerability, poverty alleviation, and community development. Key lessons under the dryland development paradigm include, one, that ecological and social issues are interwoven, as well as the options for  livelihood support and ecological management. Two, that drylands are not at equilibrium, but have multiple thresholds, and thus often exhibit multiple ecological and social states, and three, the practice of indigenous / local environmental knowledge is central to the management of most drylands, but is often ignored or undervalued. 

    Universities have a key role in this new paradigm which will need them to be proactive within national innovation systems to generate relevant and timely interventions for improving livelihoods. Thus this doctorate programme will contribute to the goal of improving the livelihoods of communities in drylands through sustainable resource management supported by focused research, graduate training and community based interventions.

    1. The degree programme shall consist of course work, examinations and thesis. The course work shall be taken in the first year of study, within a duration of 1 year.
    2. The programme shall take a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years.
    3. Students shall be required to take seven core courses and at least five elective courses to make a total of twelve courses.
    4. The common regulations governing Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in the University of Nairobi shall apply. Accordingly the following rules will apply:
    • The research proposal shall be developed during the first year of study. However, the candidate shall be required to pass coursework before embarking on field research.
    • Subject to the approval of senate, the faculty may require the candidate to attend such a course or courses as may be considered appropriate to remedy deficiencies in the candidates academic background, or to endow the candidate with specialized skills in order to assist in his or her study or research work. Course or courses undertaken by the candidate will be assessed.


    • Holders of a Master of Science degree in agricultural related disciplines, biological sciences, environmental sciences or in natural resource management or an equivalent qualification from an institution recognized by senate.

    • Holders of Masters degree in relevant social sciences recommended by the faculty board and approved by senate.

    1. To develop cadre of high level dryland specialists in academia, research and policy.
    2. To enhance productivity of natural resources through improved management based on sound understanding of dryland system interactions and dynamics.
    3. To develop site specific guidelines and information tools on suitable dryland resource use and management techniques for use by communities, extension agents and development specialists.
    4. The programme will produce specialists with a sound background who are specialized and competent in articulating cross cutting issues and equipped with the relevant tools for development and utilization of drylands to produce goods and services needed by society.
    5. The programme strengthens linkages and partnerships among universities in the region, and between universities and national, regional and international institutions with mandates in dryland research and capacity development.
       Year I    Year 2    Year 3   Totals 
    TUITION                    432,000.00                  432,000.00                       432,000.00                1,296,000.00
    EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                      10,000.00                                    -                                          -                        10,000.00
    ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                        7,000.00                       7,000.00                           7,000.00                      21,000.00
    LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                        5,000.00                       5,000.00                           5,000.00                      15,000.00
    THESIS EXAMINATION                             50,000.00                      50,000.00
    REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                        4,500.00                       4,500.00                           4,500.00                      13,500.00
    ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                        1,000.00                       1,000.00                           1,000.00                        3,000.00
    CAUTION - (ONCE)                        5,000.00                                    -                                          -                          5,000.00
    MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                        6,500.00                       6,500.00                           6,500.00                      19,500.00
    ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                        2,000.00                       2,000.00                           2,000.00                        6,000.00
    STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                        1,000.00                       1,000.00                           1,000.00                        3,000.00
    Grand totals        474,000.00      459,000.00          509,000.00    1,442,000.00


    Mode of Delivery

    Course and research

    Contacts of support persons

    Prof. Moses Nyangito