Katiba Institute joined partners in a review and reflection forum that was convened by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in partnership with Katiba Institute and Haki Africa on 5th April 2023 to review and reflect on the election’s interventions in the 2022 elections cycle, under the Deepening Democracy Project.
The discussions reflected on the achievements, challenges and the lessons learnt from the 2022 general elections. The forum provided an opportunity for partners to share field experiences and key achievements from the civic education and community engagements in the election context and governance process. Participants were drawn from communities that the project had been reached during the implementation of the project.
KI’s Programme Manager, Patriciah Joseph, took participants through a session on Citizens’ Rights and Responsibilities in Democratic and Governance Processes and roles of County level state officers and institutions and how to engage them in participatory governance process.
During these discussions, participants discussed the various ways in which citizens can engage with their elected as well as appointed leaders to ensure accountability and effective public service delivery. The discussions also focused on the various tools that citizens can employ in this regard, such petitions to the county assembly, access to inform requests, public participation convenings, and memoranda on county laws and policies such as the County Development Plans, Annual Development Plans, and budgeting process among others. Discussions also centred on the role of media and grassroots human rights organisations in participatory democracy governance.
Sessions were also dedicated on training participants on linking human rights, sustainable development goals and resource allocation and understanding the county budget process, and various ways in which citizens could participate throughout the budget cycle including budget analysis and monitoring.
Under this project, KI engaged communities through social justice centres and other grassroot networks in Nairobi, Kiambu, Vihiga, Kakamega and Bungoma counties. Our intervention focused on educating the public about the electoral process, their political rights under the Constitution, principles of electoral governance as well as the role of elected leaders at the national and county levels through community dialogues, social media engagements, development and dissemination of IEC materials and radio programmes on elections.