Kenya

Three pictures of people put together

Kenya

Introduction
To support stronger democracy in Kenya, WFD has been working in the East African country since 2009: from implementing parliamentary strengthening programmes that enhance the capacities of the National Assembly, Senate, and County Assemblies for more effective representation, legislation, and oversight; to programmes that promote youth and persons with disabilities’ inclusion and participation in politics. In Kenya, our programmes have produced successes such as helping the Senate to play a more effective role in providing national support and guidance to county governments as per its mandate; helping to pass disability bills in three counties; supporting the set-up of functional disability leagues as channels for engagement of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in politics in four political parties; and, strengthening engagement between parliament and civil society organizations (CSOs) towards greater legislative openness and structured civic engagement.

Our programmes

Kenya Inclusive Political Parties (KIPP) programme (August 2020 – November 2022)

Background

Equality and inclusion are key priority areas in Kenya’s national agenda. Article 54 (2) of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution stipulates that the state shall ensure that at least 5% of members of the public in elective and appointive bodies are persons with disabilities (PWDs). According to the 2019 census, 2.2% (0.9 million people) of Kenyans live with some form of disability. Despite this significant numbers, PWDs in Kenya continue to experience systemic exclusion from mainstream governance and developmental processes. This exclusion has been particularly acute in areas of political representation, with limited efforts by political parties to provide a conducive environment for PWDs to engage in politics.

Programme objectives

The participation of PWDs in political and public life is a human right as well as an important factor that promotes inclusive development. When PWDs participate in political and public life their voice is heard and reflected in policy decisions. To help strengthen inclusive democracy in Kenya, WFD and Demo Finland developed the Kenya Inclusive Political Parties (KIPP) programme. The programme addresses the critical knowledge gaps within political parties to create and promote more inclusive political discourse, political commitments, and public policymaking.

Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme (April 2019 – March 2022)

Background

The structure of the national government in Kenya consists of three arms of government – Executive, Legislature (Parliament), and Judiciary. The legislature is established by chapter eight of the Constitution of Kenya, and the legislative authority of the Republic is derived from the people. The Kenyan Parliament consists of two houses – the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly represents the people of the constituencies and special interests in the lower house. The Senate on the other hand represents the counties and serves to protect their interests and their governments in the upper house. In general, some of the functions of the Parliament of Kenya include representing the electorate; making laws; authorizing government expenditure; scrutinising the activities of government ministries, departments, and agencies; and debating issues of national importance. In all these, openness, inclusivity, and accountability to all Kenyans is crucial. This requires strong links between parliament, civil society, and the citizenry, which cannot be achieved without proper support that brings and coordinates all these actors together.

Programme objectives

Inclusive, open, and accountable democratic institutions, such as parliaments, are key to improving citizens’ trust and addressing democratic deficits. Through the FCDO-funded Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme, WFD supports the Parliament of Kenya in its efforts to become a more open, accountable, inclusive, and well enabled institution for all Kenyans. This is by providing key IAP stakeholders – including the Senate Liaison Office (SLO), Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training (CPST), African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC), and the Civil Society Parliamentary Engagement Network (CSPEN) – regular technical guidance. WFD Kenya maximises the impact of WFD global expert products on financial accountability and inclusive politics by tailoring them to the Kenyan context. The Kenyan office also serves as a link and facilitator for Kenyan MPs and civil society organisations (CSOs) to WFD global trainings and support.

Kenya Devolution Programme (KDP) (December 2021 – December 2023)

Background

The Constitution of Kenya (CoK 2010) introduced a new legal framework and respondent institutions that sought to ensure transparency, accountability, and citizens engagement in the management of public finances. Public Finance Management (PFM) is all about the effective management of public finances by the national and county governments. It encompasses the oversight responsibility of Parliament and County Assemblies. It is, therefore, an integral part of the development process.  

Financial Accountability is however compromised by lack of sound controls at the county level from the citizens and county assembly committees within the Public Expenditure Management cycle. Participation in governance is not only a challenge to citizens but also the County Assemblies whose limited engagement in county planning, public fiscal management, financial oversight has a direct impact on the transparent and accountable use of public resources. This has manifested itself in the poor Financial Management performance of county governments as captured in the annual Auditor General reports.

Programme objectives

To realize effective county planning, public fiscal management, and staff performance; county legislatures need to be adequately capacitated. WFD is a co – implementing partner on the ACT! Led Kenya Devolution Programme (KDP) funded by FCDO. WFD is working with selected County Assemblies by building the capacities of the County Budget, Departmental and Oversight committees and providing customised technical guidance and support to these committees aimed at strengthening their capacities in Public Finance Management.

Completed programmes

Supporting Parliamentarians in Sub-Saharan Africa to prepare for COP26 programme (January – June 2021)

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. To mitigate this challenge, huge changes at all levels of society, politics and businesses are required. Ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), WFD and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) implemented a programme to inform parliamentarians in five Sub-Saharan African countries, including Kenya, of COP26 issues. The January to June 2021 programme supported Kenyan parliamentarians in examining their national progress in delivering Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The programme also helped the MPs in scrutinising Kenya’s climate policies and legislations.

Status
Completed
10
Planned end date
Building Inclusiveness and Accountability for Democratic Governance at County level (2018 – 2020)

Public participation in Kenya is viewed as a constitutional right with various platforms created for citizens to engage in governance processes. Persons with disabilities (PWDs) have experienced systemic exclusion from policy and legislative processes due to challenges in accessing information and unstructured engagement. WFD through the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D) implemented a programme that sought to foster greater political engagement of PWDs. We did this by creating a platform for dialogue and structured interaction between Members of County Assembly and disabled persons organizations – enabling PWDs to engage with policy makers and duty bearers. The programme was implemented in Homa Bay, Kakamega and Kisumu counties in partnership with Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY). The programme realised the gazettement of 3 disability legislations, integration of inclusive budgeting by Kakamega County government through allocation of KES 60 million towards economic development of PWDs, and increased engagement of PWDs in governance within the 3 counties.

Status
Completed
10
East African Commonwealth Youth Leaders Programme (2018 – 2020)

Meaningful participation of young people in decision making for sustainable development and good governance has been constrained across East Africa. This is mostly due to lack of concerted efforts and platforms to include young people in democratic spaces. The challenges faced by young people are rarely discussed/given prominence or are merged with priorities in other sectors. Young people are often disregarded as actors that should be at the forefront of interventions to eradicate poverty, build resilient communities, and bring forward best practices for good governance and development. To place young people at the forefront of the regional development agenda of the EAC, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in partnership with youth organisations across the East African Community (EAC) implemented the East African Commonwealth Youth Leaders Initiative. The initiative promoted the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG). It also provided a platform for youth leaders to raise their voices and meaningfully participate in discussions about governance issues which affect development in the region. This initiative was delivered through the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D).Meaningful participation of young people in decision making for sustainable development and good governance has been constrained across East Africa. This is mostly due to lack of concerted efforts and platforms to include young people in democratic spaces. The challenges faced by young people are rarely discussed/given prominence or are merged with priorities in other sectors. Young people are often disregarded as actors that should be at the forefront of interventions to eradicate poverty, build resilient communities, and bring forward best practices for good governance and development. To place young people at the forefront of the regional development agenda of the EAC, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in partnership with youth organisations across the East African Community (EAC) implemented the East African Commonwealth Youth Leaders Initiative. The initiative promoted the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG). It also provided a platform for youth leaders to raise their voices and meaningfully participate in discussions about governance issues which affect development in the region. This initiative was delivered through the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D).

Status
Completed
10
Strengthening Public Finance Oversight Programme (2018 – 2019)

Oversight institutions in Kenya continue to be challenged by both a complex political context as well as gaps in organisational capacity, which have undermined their ability to fully discharge their mandate. The effects of these challenges have manifested themselves through increased cases of corruption, as cited in the massive losses in government projects. Effective functioning of public oversight institutions is one of the critical elements that contribute to improved accountability in the management of goods and services for a more accountable and inclusive governance. WFD through funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) implemented a programme that strengthened the oversight and scrutiny capabilities of the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC). The programme introduced principles of proactive audit to CPAIC to support periodic assessments of identified government projects during their implementation.

Status
Completed
10
Strengthening Institutional Capacity of the Senate (2016 – 2018)

In 2015, WFD Kenya shifted the focus of its work to the Senate. During its previous engagements with County Assemblies, the Senate had often played a critical role in resolving intra–county issues that would otherwise have undermined WFD’s work. Seeing the potential in helping the Senate play its role more consistently and effectively, WFD formalized its relationship with the Senate with a MOU and a multi-year programme. This in turn helped the Senate play a more effective role in providing national support and guidance to county governments as per its mandate. The programme aimed at enabling a successful devolution of powers by improving both the legislative and representative roles of the Senate.

Status
Completed
10
The Kenya Governance Improvement Programme (2012 – 2015)

The 2010 constitution of Kenya 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 is judged by the extent to which service delivery effectively and efficiently reaches all Kenyan citizens. In 2012, WFD, in partnership with civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media, prioritised working with County Assemblies to develop their capacity to oversee and influence the county budget making process. Working with the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training (CPST), WFD developed a Public Finance Management manual for legislatures which was utilised in trainings at both national and county levels. Additionally, WFD adopted an innovative approach to working with County Budget and Appropriation Committees (BAPCs) by partnering with former MPs from the National Assembly’s Budget Committee. Through WFD’s help, the former MPs created a specialist working group. The group travelled to counties and provided mentorship to members of the Assemblies’ budget committees as they responded to draft budgets submitted by the county executive.

Status
Completed
10

Key results

Supported the gazettement of the Kakamega County Disability Bill (2019)

Supported policy development for devolution at Senate and County levels

Supported the passing of the Homa Bay County disability Act, 2019 on December 2019

Creation of County Disability Caucuses that bring together Members of County Assembly and disabled persons organisations (DPOs) as advocates for persons with disabilities (PWDs) inclusion in legislative and governance processes

Information needed to monitor policy implementation improved in quality

Supported the first East African Youth parliament on the ratification and domestication of African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

Contact us

A woman smiling
Maureen Oduori, Country Representative

1st Ngong Avenue, ACK Garden House 2nd Floor, Wing A
Nairobi
Kenya