Coastal Kenya is home to some of the poorest people in Kenya suffering from among other problems; long standing land ownership problems; a persistent feeling of being politically marginalized among others. These issues, in development discourses, have often overshadowed the otherwise central role of poor and ineffectual governance in the areas – that not only perpetuates these problems but also sustains despondency among the people.
It’s against this background that Eco Ethics Kenya has partnered with the European Union under UNDP’s Amkeni Wakenya facility to promote civic education in Kilifi County with regard to devolution in order to respond to the matter of poor governance. This is through the Elewa Katiba Mashinani Project implemented in Kilifi County.
The Elewa Katiba Mashinani project seeks to address the above mentioned problems through building the capacity of local communities to participate in governance processes of devolution as provided for under the national constitution. The project strengthens community understanding of the devolution concept; builds community capacity in election of credible leadership of the county governments and; enhancing accountability, transparency and responsiveness to citizen needs through community led monitoring, input, feedback and probity of county governments.
The project has since reached about 300,000 people with information under the above objectives in Kilifi County. This has had outcomes such as a strengthened and vibrant civil society movement under the Kilifi Katiba Watch (KiliKaWa); increased participation in the 2013 general elections despite serious security challenges and; strong networks and forums among elected leaders and community institutions. This is geared towards enhancing citizen participation in the setting up and sustenance of people centered accountable and responsive devolved governments in the County. Further, this would improve transparency and accountability in the management of county resources and provision of social services thereby expediting the full realization of Economic Social and Cultural (ECOSOC) rights of an otherwise deeply impoverished community.