Interactive Public Engagement Workshop in Naivasha

It was an exciting couple of days at the Naivasha Salewa lodge in Kenya, where a workshop on public engagement, the first in Africa was held. The Wellcome Programmes in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand-Laos, and Viet Nam were all represented at the 3 day workshop that took place from 7-8th of March 2017.

The workshop theme ‘it’s complicated: navigating scientific complexity in public and community engagement’,was explored in sessions that were designed to make it fun and interactive. Participants who took part acquired new skills in communicating complex scientific research studies and ideas into drawings. Exercises were structured to be thought provoking, enjoyable and provided space for learning new public engagement methods and skills.

Participants had the opportunity to do experiments and practical exercises that have been used in the UK to engage adults or young people with science and health. In one of the mini science-fayre, participants had an opportunity to carry out a simple experiment where within minutes they could extract and see their DNA in a test tube. A first for most who had never seen their DNA.





Drawing exercise by participants on communicating science and research ideas using art.


Bola Adeyemo a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria leads a discussion on ‘engaging with cultural complexity’


Jim Lavery, a professor at the Emory University, Rollins School of Public Healthtakes part in discussions on the topic ‘perspectives on social complexity’ at the workshop.
Hephzie Tagoe, Imran Khan and Duy Vu Than.Imran Khan, centre, the Head of Public engagement at Wellcome in the UK, leads a panel discussion on experience sharing on tackling science engagement in schools.


Grace Mwango of KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in a panel sharing her experience on public engagement with schools in Kilifi County in Kenya and a bit on the schools engagement programme.


Robin Vincent, a consultant social anthropologist in the UK, shares a discussion on evaluation of public engagement.