Context The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) through funding from Demo Finland is implementing the Kenya Inclusive Political Parties (KIPP) Programme phase II, which seeks to ensure that political parties respond to the strategic and practical needs of PWDs within their internal party structures, political commitments, policies and in the contestation of elections. The programme […]
WFD Kenya is currently running the Kenya Inclusive Political Parties (KIPP) programme which is funded by DemoFinland. The programme runs from August 2020 to July 2021 and seeks to strengthen inclusive multi-party democracy in Kenya by supporting Political Parties to put in place effective provisions to respond to the strategic and practical needs of persons with disabilities within their internal party structures, political commitments and policies.
Since 2009, WFD has been working in Kenya implementing legislative strengthening programmes that enhance the capacities of the National Assembly, Senate, and County Assemblies for more effective representation, legislation and oversight. WFD’s first programmes focused primarily on the National Assembly, through direct support to the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training (CPST).
In 2012, WFD prioritised working with County Assemblies to develop their capacity to oversee and influence the county budget making process, in partnership with CSOs and the media. During these engagements, the Senate often played a critical role in resolving intra–county issues that would otherwise have undermined WFD’s work.
With the launch of Kenya Devolution Support Programme-KSDP in 2015, WFD shifted its focus to the Senate level, formalizing its relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding and a multi-year programme which helps the Senate play a more effective role in providing national support and guidance to county government as per its mandate. WFD has been conducting training and mentoring for both staff and Senators, with focus on the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee.
The 2010 constitution created 47 counties and started the process of devolving power in Kenya’s political institutions. The constitutional reform sought to balance local and national interests by bringing the delivery of vital services such as sanitation, education and healthcare closer to citizens. The success of devolution will be judged by the extent to which service delivery effectively and efficiently reaches over 40 million citizens.
WFD is working directly with the Legal Services Department in the Senate of Kenya to enhance the knowledge and skills of staff to create effective legislation. The programme also supports sharing of skills between the Legal Counsel in the Senate and County Assemblies of Kenya, to perform this role effectively. To ensure the sustainability of the programme, WFD also developed a parliamentary legislative drafting manual as a reference guide for the Legal Counsel working within the legislative institutions.
The Senate Country Liaison Office is responsible for coordinating engagement between the Senate and County Assemblies. WFD is supporting data collection from the counties by setting up an information system within the Senate County Liaison Office to inform central policy.
Coordinated communication between the Senate and the County Assemblies is important for public trust in institutions. The programme has exposed both institutions to communication and outreach strategies to ensure important messaging reaches citizens in a consistent manner. This included redesign of the Parliamentary Services Commission website to a more informative and interactive platform.
Under its Commonwealth Programme for Democracy (CP4D), WFD re-engaged at county level, working in depth with three County Assemblies and grassroot CSOs in the Lake region focusing on disability inclusion.
Through the programme, WFD provided training in mainstreaming disability in legislative process as well as helped CSOs lobbying and advocacy more effectively for inclusive service delivery. This directly led to three counties WFD is working with factoring in special allocation for PWDs in their county budgets with Kakamega and Homa Bay counties enacting county disability legislation.
GDI per capita:
Addressing the critical knowledge gaps within political parties to create and promote more disability inclusive political discourse, political commitments, and public policy making is fundamental for strengthening multi-party democracy. This is not a simple task though. It requires, among other things: building strong partnerships; conducting subtle research studies to generate evidence; lobbying political parties, state […]
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time: temperatures are rising, drought and wildfires are occurring more frequently, rainfall patterns are shifting, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. To mitigate this, huge changes at all levels of society, politics and businesses are required. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the […]