JPR Ochieng’-Odero is a research entomologist with a PhD who has had a long career as a research scientist later building expertise in Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) for Research and Development (R&D) in Africa; as well as Capacity Strengthening, strategic research, mentorship and resource mobilization. He has been team leader at three research financing facilities since 2008. He has a keen interest in the place of ST&I in economic development, and the role of learning and knowledge sharing in capacity strengthening, particularly in Africa, as well as within the Global South. He is an ardent lobbyist for the enhancement of research evidence to inform policy and practice.

JPR graduated with a BSc. (Zoology) in 1982 from the University of Pune, India and a PhD from the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 1989.

Since March 2023, JPR has been the Research and Relationship Manager of the Evidence Fund for eastern Africa fund managed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the UK.

JPR worked (June 2015-March 2021) as the Project Team Leader of the DFID supported East Africa Research Fund (EARF).

Between 2008-2015 JPR was Deputy Director & Head of Scientific Programmes of the Consortium for National Health Research (CNHR) funded by Wellcome Trust, DFID and IDRC, which was a Kenyan-based health research grantmaking initiative.

From 1984 to 2008 he worked at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), rising to be a Senior Research Scientist and Head of its capacity strengthening programme including serving as the Network Coordinator of the African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science (ARPPIS) a training programme implemented in partnership with 29 African universities as well as research institutions from 16 African countries. 

He was appointed an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow (Research and Innovation) with Strathmore University in 2021.

In terms of governance and oversight, JPR has been:

  • Appointed (2015-2021) member of the Board of Trustees of the National Research Fund (NRF whose role is to facilitate research for the advancement of science, technology and innovation in Kenya; and
  • Appointed (2013-2017) to the board of the Commission of University Education (CUE) of Kenya.
  • Board Member, Governing Council of Mater Misericordiae Hospital (2018-2021).
  • Committee member and Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi (October, 2021).
  • Member of the Board of the International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya (ICRH-K, 2021-Current)
  • Member of Board of Trustees of Training Centre in Communication (TCC-Africa, 2021-current)

JPR was mentored by the founding Director of ICIPE, the late Prof. Thomas R. Odhiambo between 1984-2003.

JPR has published several articles on scientific research, capacity building and technology policy. He is a published and BBC celebrated playwright. For his various contributions to national development, he was awarded a Head of State Commendation (HSC) Kenya.  He is a member of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS). 

Coordinates: E-mail: 

More about JPR:

JPR’s Profile as a Thespian

JPR has lived an active and distinguished life in theatre where he has excelled as an actor, director and writer.   His creative writing goes as far back to 1975 when in high school he wrote his first play, titled Me, Myself and I, which won awards at the schools drama festival and was later screened for Voice of Kenya (VOK) Television (1978) under the direction of the legendary Mambo Hazary.   

In May, 1984, JPR was declared the winner of the first Kenyan Radio Play Writing Competition organized by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) Cologne and the Goethe Institut, Nairobi, with his play Why? In the Name of God.  He was later awarded a three-month cultural scholarship to West Germany by the Goethe Institut. The play was subsequently translated into German and broadcast by the DLF Radio in 1986. In July 1988, the Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) translated the play into Norwegian and broadcast it over their network.

In June 1985, he was one of the 19 finalists in the Deutsche Welle Africa-Wide Radio Play Competition with the play The Mad King-Beggar of the Bus Park.  The play was produced by the WDR in 1986, and then later in 1988, as an international joint venture between Deutsche Welle and Radio Zimbabwe. It has been re-broadcasted by WDR this summer (1999) in Europe.  JPR’s pioneering play that raised awareness on HIV/AIDS was scripted while a student in New Zealand. The play, Beer… was broadcast by the African Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on 20th December, 1987, and by the WDR, in 1988 and produced by the Nairobi based Miujiza Players in1994 under the direction of James Falkland.

In 1993 he authored two plays, Kachinja and No 15, which were later produced by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) in December 1994 and by the Miujiza Players in 1995.  Other dramatic works include The Passion (1977), Thim (1978), The Clash (1979), Faces of the Kiwi (1987), The Border Post (1988), Who is in Control here? (1989). 

In 1995 he wrote four episodes of a serial, named Towers of Babel: The Times and Tribulations of Naliaka, the Housemaid. The first episode of the serial was declared third overall in the 1997 BBC African Playwriting Competition and was first broadcast on 13th March 1997. The Gearbox Synchronizer was written in January and February, 1997 and was declared the runner up in the 1998 BBC African Performance competition and broadcast in March, 1998. The Gearbox Synchronizer was later translated into German and broadcasted by WDR in late 1998. Towards the end of 1997 JPR scripted an emotional drama that discusses the issue of ethnic or tribal clashes in Africa titled The Night-Long Conversion of Shehu Abdin. The play was translated into Swedish and broadcast by Swedish (Sveriges) Radio in 1998.

Following the tragic bomb blast that rocked Nairobi on August 7, 1998, JPR and a few of his colleagues developed a memorial drama titled Hopes Aflame. The satirical comedy Falling into Place premiered in Nairobi on 9th December, 1999 in a major production performed in conjunction with Arts Ablaze. The play won the Most Outstanding Creative Award in the Mbalamwezi Theatre Awards, 2000. His play Slow down my teacher explores the predatory relationship between a male teacher and his female student premiered at the French Cultural Centre, Nairobi on 12th September, 2001. Thereafter, a political satire, Unearthing the Worm was scripted during the Kenyan election fever of 2002 and was first performed by the Phoenix Players in June-July of the same year. 

Phoenix was also involved in the production of When it Rains….that premiered in Nairobi in September, 2010 under the direction of George Mungai.

As a result of the political crisis that Kenya is undergoing since the contested election of 27th December, 2007, JPR has been using his vast contacts with stage performers worldwide, to collaboratively work to develop an analytical multi-media script under the working title `Tawesa. An expedition to Isukha, Kakamega, Kenya is being planned for December, 2012 to study how traditional leaders contributed to peace-building. The expedition will investigate the circumstances and life of a local hero, Mambili.

JPR is currently leading an initiative to pay tribute to one of his foremost mentors, the well-known composer and dramatist, the late Dr. Arthur Kemoli. Through the initiative, artistes are planning a national staging performance of Joe de Graft’s epic drama `Muntu’ in 2013.

JPR has also been keen in developing supportive institutional structures to performing arts. Some of these are the Eldoret Theatre Group (1977) and the MTC Folk and Culture Club (1977-1979). While in India he formed the African Theatre Group (ATG), Shades and Sudds. In 1991 he was instrumental in putting together ProPerArt Associates/Creations. 

For his national contribution to the development of theatre in Kenya, he was awarded the prestigious Head of State Commendation (HSC) in December 2013. 

The following are some of JPR’s publications in area of theatre:

(a) General literature (Published)

1991:  The Mad King-Beggar of the Bus-Park. In: African Radio Plays ISBN 3-7890-2240-3. Pages 266-295.

1991:  Beer.  In: African Radio Plays ISBN 3-7890-2240-3. Pages 323-351

2001: Slow Down My Teacher. Acacia Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya. ISBN 9966 917 22 5

2010: When it Rains…. Acacia Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya. ISBN 9966 917 68 3

(b) General literature (un-published stage plays)

  • Me, Myself and I (1976)
  • Passion (1977),
  • Thim (1978)
  • Why? In the Name of God (1984)
  • Kachinja (1993)
  • No 15 (1993)
  • Faces of the Kiwi (1987)
  • The Border Post (1988)
  • Who is in Control here? (1989). 
  • Towers of Babel: The Times and Tribulations of Naliaka, the Housemaid (1995)
  • The Gearbox Synchronizer (1997)
  • The Night-Long Conversion of Shehu Abdin (1997)
  • Hopes Aflame (1998)
  • Falling into Place (1999)
  • Slow down my teacher (2001)
  • Unearthing the Worm (2002)
  • You Gave me the Urge… (Why then deny me the performance?) (2014)
  • Master Speak, Thy Servant Heareth! (In development)