In Kenya, WFD is carrying out its Inclusive and Accountable Programme (IAP) in partnership with Senate and National Assembly. The programme aims to improve the ability of the Parliament of Kenya to effectively address corruption and promote inclusion and accountability, helping it become a more open and efficient institution that responds to citizens’ needs.
Through the programme, WFD Kenya has established the Civil Society Parliamentary Engagement Network (CSPEN), a network of 35 civil society organisations (CSOs) with interest in Parliamentary Strengthening Programmes (PSP).
CSPEN aims to be a coordinated platform for CSOs to support parliament, its committees, and members in the areas of oversight, legislation and representation, as well as designing tools to help parliament systematically monitor and track the implementation the laws that it has made.
It also seeks to strengthen the relationship between parliament and civil society organisations through providing links between citizens and the parliament, while opening up opportunities for dialogue on key legislative, representational and oversight issues.
In July 2019, an inaugural meeting was held to discuss ways to strengthen parliamentary-civil society organisation engagement and why the network is important. It was agreed that a parliamentary engagement strategy should be developed to elaborate on the engagement strategy and how that engagement be most effective.
In October 2019, with the support of WFD Kenya, a technical team with representation from ten CSOs met in Nakuru and deliberated on the best structure and nature of engagement for the group.
The outcome of the meeting was a CSO parliamentary engagement framework, work plan and proposed structure for the network and thus, the birth of Civil Society Parliamentary Engagement Network (CSPEN) which is currently coordinated by our partners Mzalendo Trust. The network has a website and official branding.