The report entails the program achievement summary realized between January through December 2021 in our journey to entrench constitutionalism by innovatively creating trusted and diverse spaces for people who love Kenya.
DEFEND RECORD YAKO
Siasa Place in partnership with FORUMCIV implemented the Defend Record Yako project aimed at improving attitudes and behaviors of right holders and duty bearers for upholding and defending human rights, democratic culture and gender equality targeting thirty wards of Kericho County between January 2020 and December 2021.
The project was able to;
Establish county, ward and social media stakeholders engagement platforms, through which youth were able to push for improved service delivery resulting in government equipping health facilities, completing stalled projects and constructing ablution blocks in 5 out of 18 schools identified.
Petitioned and influenced the county Assembly to allocate Ksh 30m for youth programs from Zero budget.
Collaborated with the county assembly legal and research department to draft Kericho youth empowerment bill 2020. The bill was introduced at the county assembly but was never discussed by the assembly.
Improved women participation in governance from 7% at the start to 21% within one year and 38% within 2 year
Influenced the county to devolve public participation from subcounty to the ward and increase budget allocation for public participation from Ksh 1,000,000 to Ksh 2.5m
capacity built and influenced youth attitudes to embrace constructive engagement leading to increase in the number of correspondence (petitions and letters) from youth to government from zero (0) at the start to 36 within two years, youth understanding the importance of public participation and lead in mobilizing colleagues to attend public participation meetings and gaining interest in governance thus initiating advocacy follow ups on projects identified during the stakeholders forums within the respective communities.
Established county youth leadership and initiated mentorship for sixteen (16) ward based youth groups to help sustain the push for youth involvement in governance and demand for government responsiveness after the project.
Initiated a campaign on the state of abolition blocks in schools. The campaign influenced the government to construct abolition blocks in five (5) out of eighteen schools. The national constituency development fund also promised to construct more from the list of schools that were in the campaign.
Imara Fellowship is a policy-oriented program hosted by Siasa Place (SP) in partnership with Africa Youth Leadership Forum (AYLF) and Mark Appeal Group (MA) with support from Ford Foundation. The third cohort was aimed at developing community centered dialogue and follow up mechanisms for feedback, capacity build and help young to organize themselves to participate in governance and support community initiatives to improve service delivery. As a result, the project:
DEVELOPED COMMUNITY CENTERED FOLLOW UP MECHANISMS: Trained 16 (11M & 5F) youth as county social accountability champions from 12 counties with interest in governance on the importance of public participation, strategies and avenues to engage duty bearers and supported them to identify governance issues affecting their communities, advocacy methods around the issues identified and engage responsible offices. Champions organized 55 community dialogue forums attended by 1894 people (1334M & 560F) to identify governance concerns and developed advocacy strategies including petitions and memorandums.
IMPROVED YOUTH RESPONSIVENESS TO GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Youth improved their attitude from being passive to being more engaged and taking initiative when it comes to demanding information and accountability from duty bearers.
Youth started to demand for accountability for stalled projects in their communities by submitting petitions. For example, youth in Busia petitioned the County demanding completion of ‘Asinge Market’ ‘Ngelechom’ water projects and Moloi ECED classrooms which were stalled and were completed immediately after the petition. Also demanded to be included and were incorporated in the development of Busia County Vocational Training Institutions Act 2020 and Busia County ECED Act. In Kisumu, youth petitioned the county assembly to stop double allocation of money to Kudho nursery (which was halted), account for money allocated for waste management in Railways ward (no response was given) and block area member of the county assembly from naming a public facility in his name which was successful.
DEVELOPED YOUTH INTEREST AND SKILLS IN LEADERSHIP: Created a platform for youth to grow interest, skills and career in leadership. For example Mairian Abukayo (Busia Fellow) applied and succeeded to be appointed EU-advisor on youth while also co-founded Busia Hub to promote sexual reproductive health rights, Emanuel Opiyo and Joseph Odiwuor (Kisumu Imara fellows ) initiated an organization focusing on policy. A number of youth involved also gained interest in political leadership. Emmanuel Opiyo (Kisumu), Frederick Ekaseba (Busia) and Racheal Resiato Olodidio ( Kajiado) are contesting political seats within their respective counties while others gained inspiration to further their studies in policy. For example Sheila Bore has secured an international scholarship to study policy making in America.
INCREASED PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATION BETWEEN YOUTH AND DUTY BEARERS: Adopted a more collaborative approach by involving the duty bearers and other youth stakeholders in planning and implementation. For example, they involved the Department of Health to audit service delivery and they gave letters permitting the survey in fifteen (15) facilities being five (Kericho), five (Kisumu) and five (Busia). The result of the survey was adopted in the three counties and Kericho and Busia committed to implement the recommendations while Kisumu failed to commit. The recommendations were also adopted by other stakeholders who were involved where Manyatta in Kisumu held one follow up meeting on the recommendations of the report.
IMPROVED DUTY BEARERS RESPONSIVENESS: The project adopted a more collaborative and involving approach which was highly welcome among the duty bearers. For instance, the project involved the department of health in conducting customer satisfaction surveys. As a result, Kericho and Busia County adopted the report and committed to implement the recommendation even though Kisumu never committed.
The project also promoted use of correspondence including letters, petition and memorandum to engage the county instead of demonstrations. As a result, most of the county officials became more receptive and took action on the issues detailed in the correspondence. For example twelve (12) out of twenty three (23) correspondence were acted upon.
CREATED STRUCTURES FOR THE COMMUNITY TO PUSH FOR ACCOUNTABILITY: Identification and training of county accountability champions (Youth based in the counties with interest in good governance) made it easier for the community to identify governance issues, organize dialogue advocacy forums around the issues and follow ups for the agreed strategies implemented.
Through the champions, communities raised governance issues and the necessary support was organized. For example, in Kipchebor ward, Kericho county where community members were complaining that some parts of the ward were not benefiting from the ward bursary. As a result, the project used the forum to elect members from those areas hence improving their representation in the committee.
IMPROVED ADVOCACY STRATEGIES AMONG THE YOUTH WITHIN THE COUNTIES: From the training offered, youth embraced constructive engagements, collaboration and use of social media as advocacy tools to engage duty bearers to improve service delivery. Instead of demonstration, youth wrote a total of 23 correspondence (Letters, petition and memorandum). 12 out of the 23 were acted upon, organized 768 social media engagements leading to public awareness on some stalled projects and collaborating with different stakeholders to solve problems affecting communities like when Kericho and Busia adopted the customer satisfaction survey report and committed to implement the recommendations.
IMPROVED YOUTH CAPACITY TO DEMAND FOR ACCOUNTABILITY: The project helped to improve youth attitude, leadership, analytical and organizing skills which enable them demand for accountability from duty bearers. For example, the champions were able to organize 55 dialogue meetings in 12 counties through which communities identified governance issues affecting the counties and developed advocacy around them leading to drafting of 23 petitions. 12 were acted upon by duty bearers
Youth also analyzed county budgets and provided oversight on budget implementation. They observed double allocation for projects, failure to allocate money for youth programs and failure by contractors to complete work. As a result, youth were able to draft 23 petitions seeking government response on various issues and 12 were acted upon. For example youth in Kisumu petitioned the county to stop allocating money for Kudho Nursery which had received allocation in three consecutive financial years and was stopped, Busia petitioning department of water force contractor to complete a stalled project and was completed as well as Kericho petitioning the county assembly to allocate money for youth programs and Ksh 30,000,000 was allocated.
DEEPENING YOUTH INCLUSION IN DEMOCRACY
Deepening youth inclusion in democracy was a two year project implemented by Siasa Place with the financial support from Ifa with the aim of improving youth participation in governance in Kericho, Kisumu and Busia counties. The program targeted and capacity built youth stakeholders (Youth, administrators and members of the county assembly) and created platforms for engagements leading to the following result
Training of county officials created a platform for identifying issues affecting their ability to effectively deliver services and developing strategies for solving them. 265 county officials from 100 wards across 3 counties were trained on public participation with a focus on the youth. The training identified poor communication from the county to the administrators. As a result, they found a way of working together thus reducing the conflict used to be experienced before.
Improved government officials responsiveness to youth issues in that some of the government officials have started embracing engaging young people. For example Mr Okwach, chief officer office of the governor (Busia) responding to youth sending him messages on WhatsApp, four administrators in Busia, three each in Kisumu and Kericho created ward online platforms (WhatsApp) groups to facilitate engagements.
Improved youth attitude towards their involvement in governance processes. For example, youth initiated advocacy follow up meetings with the respective government officials on the progress towards the governance issues identified during the public baraza with Kericho organizing six (6) while Busia and Kisumu organizing three each.
Increase engagement between youth and administrators. Internal project evaluation reported ten (10) youth having visited the administrators’ offices to engage them on governance issues affecting them within the ward after the baraza. They include ward and village administrators in Nambale (Busia county) reported to have received three (3) and four (4) youth to consult on youth issues after the baraza respectively while the administrator in Nyakach East Kisumu county received three (3). They indicated that youth had never visited their offices to engage them before.
WOMEN AT WEB
Women@Web is an ongoing women digital literacy program developed to respond to increase in online violence against women and girls globally and especially during the emergence of COVID-19. The period also experienced increased internet penetration leading to online harassment, cyber bullying among others.
A survey conducted among the 200 women attending Women@Web workshops showed that 60% had experienced online harassment. 90% believed women needed more digital training, and that more than 90% believed women were particularly vulnerable online and recommended the need for a collective sustained effort from individuals, corporations, and governments to create awareness and social media companies need to take proactive measures to ensure their spaces do not enable these acts.
To improve the situation, Siasa Place in response managed to:
- Created an online safe space for women to be capacity built, share their experience and get support.
- Developed digital literacy handbook to help create awareness on how to use the spaces.
- Initiated an online campaign against violence against women.
CONVENING YOUTH SERVING ORGANIZATION
The Youth Serving Organizations Consortium is a network of youth groups, youth focused and youth serving organizations working both nationally and at community level. The consortium seeks to unify the diverse youth voices through strategic collaboration and partnerships with different stakeholders to ensure meaningful and inclusive youth participation in development processes. Siasa Place convened the platform for the third year since inception.
In 2021, the platform realized a number of things including;
- Drafted organizational operation procedure and signed a memorandum of understanding on its operationalization by fifteen out of twenty two members.
- Identified individual members capacity gap and organized training on monitoring and evaluation and financial management which were identified by the assessment
- Collaborated and initiated a campaign on youth agriculture and food systems in Kenya during the international youth week.
- Developed the organization’s strategic plan (in progress).
- Established a collaboration with the senate to review the bills being discussed by the house.
- Increased the network membership from ten in 2020 to 22 in 2021.
Siasa Wednesday (#Siasawednesday) is a weekly online program aimed at creating youth friendly platforms for awareness creation and engagement in politics and governance of the country. In 2021, the organization organized thirty three (33) online discussions on current issues affecting the youth. The organization also ventured into TikTok. The matrix represent online performance:
ROOTING YOUTH INCLUSION IN THE KENYA DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESS
Rooting youth inclusion in the Kenyan democratization process was a six (6) months project (January-June 2021) implemented in collaboration between Siasa Place (SP) a youth-led organization and the National Youth Bunge Association (NYBA) with financial support from USAID seeking to increase youth engagement in political governance processes to strengthen Kenyan democracy. The project managed to:
The project established partnerships with the National government through the national youth council and County government through the youth department of County government of Kisumu, eleven (11) political parties through the youth wing of parties, twenty county-based youth serving organizations from eight counties representing the former Kenyan provinces.
Developed and adopted a collective youth voice on what constitutes a reform agenda and developed a plan of action towards solving the identified issues as was identified by the status of youth governance report.
Partnership and established with the youth wing of eleven political parties. Four (4) including KANU, ANC, NARK-Kenya and FORD Kenya out of the eleven (11)signed a memorandum of understanding to have a long term working relationship that would see Siasa Place help in capacity building their youth wing
Improved working relationship among county based youth organizations. As a result, the youth organizations that were part of the program also mobilized others within the counties to initiate advocacy follow up on the governance concerns that were identified by the project. By the end of the project, twelve (12) advocacy follow up had been initiated
Created a dialogue platform for youth concerns. For instance, Ajenda Kenya (Mombasa) have organized two meetings with the university students to advocate for amendment of university Act 2016 since the law was limiting students right to participate, National Youth Bunge Association (Muranga chapter) organized one meeting with the county officials on the need to increase money for public participation. Other organizations are also supporting the implementation of the report. A case in point is MUHURI (Mombasa) partnering with Ajenda Kenya to organize the meeting for the students towards amendment of the bill.
Improved youth capacity, attitude and strategies in dealing with youth governance concerns leading to thirteen (13) dialogue meetings organized by county based youth organizations with Mombasa, Nairobi and Muranga county holding three (3) each, Kisumu (2) while Uasin Gishu held one (1) dialogue meeting with respective duty bearers to push for the implementation of the recommendations of the status of youth governance report. The organizations have also increased the number of county based youth organizations working on the concerns recommended by the status of youth governance report. Mandera and Makueni however never posted any progress towards pushing for the implementation of the report as they had leadership challenges
Created neutral platforms for awareness creation and youth engagement in politics and governance decision making. As a result, organized physical forums attended by 375 and online attended by 17,937,637 as detailed in the matrix.
Improved youth organizations capacity to operate. Status of youth governance report identified the need for mentorship and Siasa place initiated the mentorship of seven youth organizations including National Youth Bunge Association (National organization),Kericho Youth Network (Kericho County),Busia Steering Committee (Busia County),Youth Serving Organizations Consortium, County Social Accountability Champions (12 counties),Maono Africa (Based in Nairobi) and Badili Africa (Hosted at Siasa Place and work on Women Issues within Nairobi). NYBA progress over the period is presented on the matrix:
|Jan 2021||Feb 2021||March 2021||April 2021||May 2021||June|
|With admin but dormant
Had 45k followers
|With admin but dormant
Identified people to be trained
|Started training of admin and started posting||Started sharing videos
Developed social media plan
|Hosted Facebook live
Started implementing the plan
|Consistently following the plan
Presence grow to 46.7k
|Account without admin||Account without admin
Identified people to be trained
|Open new account and started posting||Posting videos
Gained 11 followers
|Implement social media plan
Post every week to increase presence
Gained 29 followers
|Program planning and implementation||Collective planning of all activities||Collective planning of all activities||Giving full responsibility for specific activities||Giving full responsibility for specific activities||Giving full responsibility for specific activities||Giving full responsibility for specific activities|
|County NYBA||5 incorporated into monthly mentorship
Trained on activity reporting
|5 are assigned role in reporting with support from SP||Some from the 5 given a report rewriting||The trainees are given activity to report||The trainees are given activity to report||The trainees are given activity to report|
ED – Nerima Wako SELECTED IN UNDP YOUTH SOUNDING BOARD
The UNDP Youth sounding board is a diverse and all-inclusive entity created by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in consultation with the Ministry of ICT and Youth Affairs, to enhance youth-sensitive programming and promote youth development agenda in Kenya.
Nerima’s appointment will contribute towards prioritization of what the ministry of youth will plan and implement.