Visibility, Openness and Integrity through Community Engagement (1)

Location
Kenya
Grant Amount
US$400,000
Start/Finish
Oct 2017 – Jun 2019
Donor
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

In this initiative, communities have taken ownership of the mechanism for citizens and government representatives together in an unprecedented way. Now, local authority staff actively solicit feedback and updates from community monitors.

“The Member of the County Assembly calls me when there is an important meeting. Me!! Can you imagine? Important people ask for my opinion and listen to me. My phone keeps ringing all day long and parents tell their children ‘I want you to be like this one later on’. I became a role model in my community”. Mwanakombo Kibwa – CM in Tiwi, Kwale, Kenya

This initiative contributed to equitable and better quality services in health, livelihoods, education, water, and sanitation in Kwale county, Kenya, by empowering citizens and those that serve them to act with integrity, as well as encouraging institutions to become accountable.

The devolution process in Kenya started in 2013 and the new devolved structure presents opportunities for citizens to engage more closely and proactively with duty bearers in order to improve service delivery in the county.

Citizens in Kwale acted as community monitors and checked local services, reporting any problems they identified using the DevelopmentCheck mobile app. They then worked with key stakeholders in order to get the issues addressed, and when problems are fixed, this was also reported in the app.

This initiative aimed to improve how county authorities and other duty bearers listen to and respond to citizens’ concerns on services and infrastructure.

This initiative was implemented by partner organisations Kwale Welfare and Education Association (KWEA), Kwale County Natural Resource Network (KCNRN) and Kwale Youth and Governance Consortium (KYGC). A follow up project is currently being implemented, building on the initial initiative.