Amkeni Wakenya approach to programming
Amkeni Wakenya approach to programming
Amkeni Wakenya’s programme approach is anchored on its mandate. This mandate is underpinned by a strategic logic that state of democratic transition in Kenya presents critical windows of opportunity for system and sectoral reforms, and for entrenchment of democratic principles of governance that need to be exploited swiftly. Civic advocacy organizations, including non-mainstream actors such as the faith – based organizations, trade unions and the media have been critical in democratic transition and reforms in Kenya.
Systemic reforms and essentials democratic growth processes such as the constitutional review, transitional review justice reforms, decentralization, anti-corruption reforms, and Agenda 4, which constitute the main core of the Reform Agenda, require sustained massive broad – based public support that is beyond the capacities of the small cadre of the mainstream national advocacy organizations. Alternative and additional sources of support and alliances such as the community groups, networks and coalitions representing various interests connected to national reforms, labour organizations, professional organizations, and student unions among other need to be cultivated and supported.
Amkeni WaKenya’s tactical logic identifies civil society organizations as a potent core target constituency for support. The logic here is that arenas for reform such as parliament, local government, are accessible to grassroots communities through various forums and mechanisms that gives citizens and the organizations that represent them avenues for public participation. Furthermore, Amkeni’s programme approach is based on the wider UNDP policy of engagement with civil society.
Amkeni WaKenya believes in and seeks to contribute to achievement of the ideals of the United Nations and the international community such as international peace and security, sustainable human development, poverty and reduction, protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, good governance, democracy and gender equality. Amkeni Wakenya’s programme and approaches aim to give meaning and purpose to the ideals of United Nations and its related organs. These ideals which are reflected in documents of international consensus including the charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, other international human rights instruments and the United Nations Millennium Declaration, all place of individual person at the center of all development efforts. The Methodology and approach employed by Amkeni WaKenya aims to give meaning and purpose to these ideals.
The civil society sector is crucial to democratic governance, and unless communities are empowered to engage in democratic governance, alternatives such as armed conflict may be utilized to express discontent, as was witnessed during Kenya’s 2008 post- election violence. These communities need to be supported to engage effectively in the processes of democratization, and to take advantage of opportunities that will enhance their organizational capacities as well as increase their role in the reform process. Informed public engagement would help to entrench democratic principles of governance on the ground, and would more likely sustain the push for the reforms in the long term.
All aspects of Amkeni WaKenya’s programmatic and strategic work are informed by the desire to people put the human person center. Amkeni WaKenya will therefore implement all its programmatic and support processes such as capacity development, monitoring and evaluation, outreach and reporting, communication and partnership building, etc. in a manner that puts the citizens at the center.
Amkeni will therefore promote and protect the dignity of the human person in all its processes and implement its programme in a participatory, accountable, human rights respecting way that entrenches of furthers access to information, gender equality, etc. human dignity and Human rights are incorporated in the work of Amkeni WaKenya. At all stages of programming design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation – Amkeni WaKenya will make every effort to adopt these approaches in an integrated and not isolated or exclusive manner.
The Human Rights Based Approach
“…Applying a human rights – based approach to development will enable UNDP, the UN system, and its partners to enhance the effectiveness of their work through a focus on equality and nondiscrimination, accountability, justice and transparency as the care of human development results.”
HRBA focuses on giving people a say and a role in the activities, projects and programmes that target them or that are intended to affect them in one way or another. It empowers people to make their own decisions and acknowledges that for the fight against poverty and vulnerability to succeed, the poor and vulnerable need to be given a stake and a voice in the societies in which they live. While the HRBA may not necessarily change what we do, it does change how we do it.
In the context of Amkeni WaKenya’s work, this means that in whatever it does, Amkeni must seek to respect, protect and promote human rights as r4ecognized by the International human rights standards and principles, and strengthens the capacities of rights holders and duty bearers alike contribute to better protection of those rights. The UN ideals that give meaning and purpose to Amkeni WaKenya programmes and approaches place the individual person at the center of all development efforts. As such, all aspects of Amkeni WaKenya’s activities are informed by that good.
Human rights dignity and human rights are specifically incorporated in the work of Amkeni WaKenya by integrating two (2) fundamental approaches in all activities undertaken by the PMU, including grant making, capacity development, and learning and knowledge management. These approaches are human rights based approach (HRBA) and Gender Mainstreaming. Human rights are entitlements which are due to all human beings, everywhere, by virtue of their simply being human. They are based on the inherent dignity of the human person and are not acquired or donated; the rights are codified in various human rights instruments at the international, regional and national levels.
Human rights instruments at the international level include Charter of the United Nations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the international Covenants on Civil and Political Rights AND ON Economic, Social Cultural Rights, International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC), Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Declaration on the Elimination of the Violence Against Women. At the regional level in Africa, mechanisms such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa codify the rights individuals. Nationally, states provide for these rights in national constitutions and other legislation. Other law such as the Sexual Offences Act, Persons with Disability Act, and the Children Act, also recognizes and protect different human rights.
Apart from fundamental rights, by endorsing the United Nations Millennium Declaration in 2000, the global community reached consensus on related goals that are expected to be met by the international community. These millennium development goals cannot be achieved without direct and effective participation of the poor decisions that affect their lives. The Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) embodies human rights principles, values and standards. These principles include universality indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, equality and nondiscrimination, participation and inclusion, accountability and rule of law. These has three main elements: firstly, the principles translate peoples’ needs and rights, and recognize the human person as the subject of development as a rights- holder. Secondly, it identifies the duties and obligations of those against whom a claim can be brought— the duty bearers; and thirdly, focuses on the marginalized groups, whose rights are normally neglected or violated.
In addition, the HRBA creates obligations on duty bearers, especially states to respect and protect their human rights obligations. In this context, the human rights based approach to programming which underpins Amkeni WaKenya’s activities requires that:
Ø All programmes must contribute to the protection of all human rights – civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the rights to development, to a clean and healthy environment, and other group rights.
Ø All phases of programmes – from programme design, planning, implementation, to monitoring and evaluation – must be guided by international human rights standards and principles
Ø Programmes contribute to the development of the capacities of duty-bearers to meet their obligations, and of rights – holders to claim their rights.
Programme delivery methodology
In its effort to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations in the democratic governance sector in Kenya, GTCSN has developed three (3) programme delivery methodologies that are designed to channel support to civil society organizations and enhances civil society engagement in Kenya’s governance reform process. These are:
Grant Making Capacity Building
Fig 3. GTCSN three (3) programme delivery methodologies
Civil society organizations need considerable financial and human resources to enable them to pursue their visions and missions and implement projects and programmes aims at improving the livelihoods of ordinary people. Unfortunately, CSOs in Turkana like in many other jurisdictions do not have adequate resources of their own. This is because most CSOs have not developed strategies to secure financial sustainability e.g. through income generation strategies, many membership organizations have lost the confidence and financial support of their members as a result of incessant leadership wrangles and management of organizational affairs and resources and the culture of volunteerism has not taken root in Kenya and many people prefer paid placement opportunities to volunteering.
Consequently, CSOs rely almost entirely on donor funding, which has in the recent past been dwindling. This comes with a number of challenges: with less donor resources going to civil society now than ever , competition among CSOs has become very high. CSOs are in perpetual fundraising mode and spent most of their time and resources looking for resources. Smaller rural – based CBOs with lower capacity are less likely to win favour with donors and get funding especially when they have to complete on the same footing with their bigger urban-based counterparts.
In recognition of these challenges, GTCSN has identified grant making as one of the strategies for channeling support to civil society and, by extension Kenyan citizens.
GTCSN grant making approach is, however different from traditional grant making. Unlike other latter where funding support is given to grantees that satisfy donor’s requirements on a strictly competitive basis. GTCSN acknowledges that the bulk of donors funding to CSOs has, by large, benefitted mainly big and established organizations that are often based in urban areas, which have access to information on available donor funding opportunities and that have the capacity to meet the usually stringent donor requirements. This situation has served to marginalize rural organizations that often times have no access to information on potential sources of funding, do not have demonstrable institutional /organizational capacity to impress potential donors and that work in areas where civil society interventions (awareness, creation, advocacy, monitoring, etc.) have least penetrated. Yet Amkeni WaKenya recognizes the work of big and small, urban and rural, NGOs and CBOs is important and needs to be supported.
Amkeni WaKenya provides grant support to civil society organizations through open and targeted calls for proposals which are subsequently reviewed and evaluated and grants awarded based the capacity to demonstrate human rights based approach, adequate grasp of issues and a viable methodology of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project. Amkeni grant making promotes equity and has an affirmative action in form of targeted grants to marginalized groups and vulnerable groups such as women, youth and people with disabilities (PWD).
Learning and Knowledge Management
Learning and knowledge management strategies and tools are critical in ensuring that civil society organizations from the grassroots to the national levels are able to maintain constant contract with the citizen of Kenya, across the regions, and interact with government and with other actors that are directly and indirectly affect Kenya ‘s democratic development. Information exchange makes it possible for civil society to share valuable knowledge and expertise that can inform democracy related initiatives and increase the vibrancy and effectiveness of the advocacy activities. Shared and easily accessible information can also facilitate innovation and learning, leverage the expertise of individual across organizations and the sector, and increase networking within and between organizations. Ultimately, it enriches debate and discourse within the democracy and governance sector in Kenya, and enables organizations to learn new ways of doing business.
Despite the manifest importance of knowledge sharing, in the past, CSOs have managed knowledge in a manner that was often sporadic, uncoordinated, disconnected from the current issues or reactive, and/or self serving (i.e., focused on publicity or rather than on community and issue priorities). Follow – up on public or sector discussions was often minimal and or non-existent; as such, critical dialogues were often abandoned without establishing a way forward and without developing linkages among interested actors. In most cases, information sharing activities have been conducted in urban areas, and involve urban actors and organizations.
To inform meaningful policy dialogue and debate with government and donors, and a conduct effective evidence based advocacy and lobbying, it is critical that CSOs acquire and share knowledge from each other and from other jurisdictions that they combine the respective strengths of the different individuals and organizations, that they share information about methodologies, lessons and best practices, and that they share and understand the aspirations of the grassroots. GTCSN learning and knowledge management pillar contributes to making such exchanges possible across the county.
GTCSN activities involve the three fundamental sectors that affect democracy in Kenya: civil society, the private sector, and government. Each of these sectors operates at different levels and performs functions of a different though complementary nature. They monitor implementation of those policies at the county and local levels. An effective knowledge management strategy focuses not only providing the knowledge needs of civil society; it must also identify, create, distribute and enable the adoption of knowledge across the sectors, so that information can be shared, ideas cross-pollinated, and full democracy brought to the county.
Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of practices used to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of skills, expertise, understanding and experiences i.e. knowledge. An effective Knowledge Management Strategy for GTCSN must focus on the management of both internal and external knowledge.
i. Internal KM
Within GTCSN there is a wealth of information and data that must be organized in a useful manner not only to contribute to the effective and efficiency of the organization but will also be managed in a way that it can be shared and disseminated to promote democratic governance and preserve the institutional the institutional memory. Individual staff members deal with a wide range of issues but often this information is not shared internally therefore threatens institutional memory and continuity in case of officers leave. The internal KM system will mainly support the work and operations of GTCSN.
The Objectives of Internal KM are to:
Ø Establish an effective system of information capturing and storage;
Ø Establish an accessible retrieval and dissemination system (intranet);
Ø Inculcate a culture of sharing knowledge among the staff and consultants with GTCSN
ii. External KM
Based on the continued interaction of GTCSN with local and national CSO including various actors in the democratic governance sector, there is need for central repository that effectively captures and organizes the information, knowledge and lessons learnt. The External KM system will provide a platform for information exchange with the partner, donors and CSOs and will connect with the internal intranet as needed.
The objectives for the external based KM system are to:
Ø Encourage the generation of knowledge that will inform GTCSN and partners chosen area of programme implementation;
Ø Promote the sharing of knowledge including best practices and lessons learnt within the DG sector;
Ø Establish a system of storage and retrieval of information;
Ø Establish a comprehensive resource center for the stakeholders in this sector;
Ø Encourage linkages between GTCSN partners
In order to facilitate the learning and knowledge sharing, GTCSN will provide /facilitate the following avenues:
a) Learning forms
Learning forums will be convened by GTCSN to give turkana people and the CSOs that represent them, opportunities to exchange information, strategies and lessons learnt on critical democracy, governance, and reforms issues. Forum participants will also develop and agree upon “action plans” that will ensure that discussions lead to meaningful and active participation, and impact. At least two types of learning forums will be supported and organized, depending on
(a) The scope of participation i.e. the category of persons invited to participate, and
(b) The purpose of the forum.
- General forums open to members of the public: These platforms will raise public awareness about a particular thematic issue; share/ explain positions taken or preferred by CSOs on particular topic issues, or mobilize public support for a particular issue. Actions plans will outline what citizens can do to affect decision-making related to the issue.
- Specific forums open to CSOs: these forums will target representatives of CSOs working in the democratic governance sector. Forums will be convened on specific governance issues, such as police, judicial or constitutional reform, boundaries review, women’s rights, or minority rights. In addition, forums focused on methodological areas such as lobbying, advocacy, or networking may be convened for organizations working on particular issues areas.
b) Communities of practice
GTCSN will facilitate CSOs internet-based caucuses that focus on thematic, areas, geographical areas of operation, or other common characteristics. These groups, called Communities of Practice (CoP), will facilitate civil society – driven discussions and knowledge sharing that are open and unstructured. This will be broken down to:
- Thematic Communities of Practice that concentrate on the three thematic focus area of GTCSN on governance, human rights and justice.
- Geographical and Regional Networks: to promote linkage and sharing of information and knowledge. Geographical Communities of Practice will be promoted bring together organizations or individuals working in the democracy and governance sector within a particular geographical locality. Geographical communities of practice will facilitate networking among organizations in particular areas, encourage faster responses to unfolding events, and encourage development of local solutions to local problems.
c) GTCSN Civil Society Resource Centres:
Resource centres will play key knowledge management roles as repositories of information, and as central locations for research and networking via the web or in person. In addition, Resource Centers will enable CSOs to generate, store and disseminate knowledge in a more structured way. GTCSN will set up and maintain one central Civil Society Resource Centre in Turkana for centralized access by organizations. It may also facilitate the establishment of regional Resource Centers managed by CSOs networks, and/or communities of practice. Resource centres will make available publications, computers and internet links; they may also accommodate conference and meeting facilities for communities, and/ or teaching centres that will host trainings on capacity development and topical areas relevant to the civil society sector and its constituent communities.
d) Learning and Knowledge Management products
Knowledge must be captured and stored a in an easy and accessible manner for it to disseminate. From all above activities including policy papers, reports from learning forums, lessons learnt derived from monitoring reports will be captured and disseminated.
In the context of democratic process, the fundamental roles performed by civil society organizations include;
i. Aggregating the voice of the public and articulating public demand
ii. Presenting a coherent and consistent set demands and recommendations around a single issue to increase the likelihood that policy makers will focus on constituency demands
iii. Serving as a link between communities /constituents and decision makers and implementers
iv. Analyzing policy issues, engaging in evidence based public advocacy, and providing alternative recommendation and solutions to government
v. Mobilizing constituencies in support of policy dialogue and reform
vi. Serving as monitors of legal /policy implementation and accountability in government, and
vii. Acting as agents of reform in strengthening and broadening democratic governance
In fulfillment of its mandate, GTCSN implements a capacity development component which strengthens the ability of organizations to function efficiently and to participate more effectively in the democratic process. Capacity development activities;
i. Strengthen CSOs advocacy, organizational and financial capacities necessary to implement democracy and governance activities, and
ii. Foster and support networking, linkage building and dialogue fora for policy reform to ensure informed, coherent and integrated reform agendas, and effective monitoring when reforms are implemented
a) Advocacy, Lobbying and Monitoring
While government is the principal “duty bearer” in relation to its citizens, it is the responsibility of CSOs that focuses on democratic governance and reform to ensure that the government understands citizen’s needs and demands, and that cogent and coherent recommendations and alternative options are presented.
Advocacy and monitoring initiatives may utilize an array of processes and mechanisms. These include; research and policy analysis that identifies and defines challenges and needed reforms, and develops viable solutions that address identified problems, report and testimony writing that presents cogent arguments for reform, legislative drafting bodies constrained by limited staff, public information campaign that increase understanding and demand for reform, public relations initiatives that press for change, participation in public or legislative hearings , and support for mechanisms that open policy making processes to public input. Less formal, but nonetheless critical, mechanisms for advocacy include establishing and fostering relations with reformers within the government and legislature, decision makers, policy/regulatory implementers and those who may influence them.
To ensure that gains made in the legislative and policy arena are meaningful, implementation needs to be monitored lapses need to be made public, and corrections need to be made. It is for this reason that citizens, communities and the CSOs need to continue to be involved in the political process, even after advocacy has achieved its aims.
b) Support for Civil Society
i. Capacity Development of the Strategic Level: GTCSN acknowledges the different needs and interests of local and national constituents, as well as the fundamental and necessary links between the two levels. At the county level, it supports civic advocacy organizations that mobilize constituents and press for reforms that are debated, drafted, and legislated at the executive /parliamentary level. At the local level it supports CBOs that focuses on an array of governance and rights issues that affect communities.
While recognizing that county and local level democracy and governance –related concerns may be understood and manifested differently, meaningful governance reform requires (i) that all citizens understand how county and local problems and needs are interlinked, (ii) that the voice of all turkana people is heard and (iii) that the national level advocacy efforts represents and are supported by local level community. The unique niche occupied by GTCSN in the context of the support it extends to both small local level organizations and county level advocacy institutions, makes it possible for it to play a distinctive role in facilitating strategic linkages between local regional and county organizations and networks, with the aim of effecting coherent and integrated reform agendas and advocacy initiatives.
ii. At the tactical level, GTCSN focuses on two geographical levels of support for democratic governance and advocacy activities:
a) Support for local CSOs to implement activities that mobilize and engage communities to advocate for democratic governance and reform issues at the local level. Local level successes give communities confidence in their abilities to effect change.
b) Parallel to individuals CSO support, Amkeni WaKenya seeks to foster greater impact by strengthening /supporting formal and informal CSO networks and coalitions particularly at the regional and county levels to serve as conduits through which information and lessons learnt could be shared, to aggregate and amplify the public voice and to develop coherent agendas on specific issues,. Local/regional networks may also provide training to members, following TOT supported by Amkeni Wakenya.
c) Capacity Development Approaches
Capacity support is provided through a number of mechanisms. These include:
Core Training on Financial and Organizational capacity support (including: accounting procedures, procurement policy, strategic planning, project and budget development/implementation, monitoring and evaluation, organizational structure and management systems, human resource and personnel management) and Human Rights Based Approach and Gender Mainstreaming in project development and programme management.
Reformed Focused Technical Capacity Support
- Advocacy Skills and Training (including: research and policy analysis, report writing and public information, public relations and media skills)
- CSO/CBO – Local Government Dialogues: Fundamental to advocacy and monitoring are formal and informal linkages and processes that integrate citizen views and concerns, and serve into policy making and policy implementation
- CSO/CBO discussions and dialogues focus on local /national governance issues and local issues of concern, and serve as mechanisms for advocating for policy reform and/or resolving policy related and governance issues.
- Budget – Analysis particularly for guarantees implementing activities related to devolved funds.
Capacity Development Synergies
- Change Framework / Demonstration Effect: Democracy and governance reform success achieved by civil society actors; particularly at the local and regional levels, serve as valuable lessons learned for organization and communities throughout the county. Discussions that focuses on how change and governance reform success were achieved, what challenges were faced and how they were addressed, often serve as models and inspiration for communities and CSOs working in comparable environments.
- Mentoring Across the Civil Society Sector: Mentoring is encouraged among national, regional and local CSOs and networks in areas including technical support, organizational skills and network building
- Informal Linkage Building with Local Government and Media : where possible, group training, particularly on substantive issues, or on such topics as budget reading and the budget process, will include local government and/or media representative
- Training of Trainers: To ensure sustainability of capacity building assets at the local level, Amkeni WaKenya will conduct pilot training of trainers activities for representatives of CBO/CSO networks, umbrella networks, and the local training institutions. These networks are expected to train and support their constituent/member organizations, and retain capacity development skills, locally, and thereby serving as “multiplier agents” at the community/provincial level.
TOT Apprenticeship: To increase their training competence, network trainers who have undergone TOT, will be invited to participate in CSO group and individual training exercises conducted by the capacity building Consultant. Training conducted by the TOT participants is supervised by the capacity building Consultant.
- Proposals Development: Proposal development training is provided for selected organizations that are invited to submit proposals, but who may experience challenges with proposals writing. These organizations are invited based on Expression of Interest (EOI) submitted in response to public calls for EOIs
Cross Cutting Programme Components
Communications and Partnerships Building
The communication and partnership strategy is informed by the strategic objectives and outcomes of Amkeni WaKenya. The purpose of Amkeni WaKenya’s Communication and Partnership Building Strategy is to ensure that effective communication with stakeholders and partners, as well as wide dissemination of knowledge through various platforms.
The strategy will also be used as a platform for educating and informing Kenyans about the significance of democratic governance, and encourage them to participate in the processes that strengthen democratic governance. Principles underpinning this strategy include communications that must be: honest and truthful and therefore credible; inclusive and respectful of the diversity of Kenyans, cost-effective, timely and responsive.
Objectives of the Communication and Partnerships Building Strategy are to:
Educate Kenyans on the importance of democratic governance-the need to promote human rights, observe the rule of law, improve access to justice, and incorporate transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs.
Empower Kenyans to participate effectively in decision making processes
Create demand focused on government and other duty bearers to deliver on democratic governance
Influence policies and policy makers to further strengthen democratic governance systems and processes in Turkana.
Secure the commitments of various stakeholders to support the creation of a culture of democratic governance
Create partnerships and linkages that are useful in safeguarding gains made in the democratic governances sector.
To achieve the above objectives, messages that are fundamental to the promotion and strengthening of democratic governance in Turkana are consistently communicated. These include:
Citizen participation in governance is a right and a responsibility
Citizens ability to make demands in relation to duty bearers is critical for national stability
Turkana’s deserve a county that embraces democratic governance and that promotes and protects human rights , observe the rule of law, provides access to justice, and does not tolerate corruption
Impunity is a threat to democracy and the rule of law and needs to be confronted.
Audiences: The audiences targeted by GTCSN Communications and Partnership Building Strategy are:
a) Kenyan “mwananchi”: the aim of GTCSN is to reach a critical mass of citizens who are aware of the value of democratic governance. To achieve this objective, communications must reach the citizen /mwananchi and help this group understand its role in the democratization process, embrace principles of democratic governance, and participate in governance in Turkana. The above target group responds to communication that has relevance to daily life. In this regard, messages about democratic governance must be directly linked to the mwananchi’s day to day existence.
b) Civil Society Organizations: As the implements of projects, CSOs need to be constantly informed by, and involved with the project. CSO concerns will include timely information on grants – related and political issues such as the status of applications, information on implementation of projects, and key political and civil society developments. CSOs will also need a platform through which to share experiences. In addition, GTCSN communications must reach out to the majority of CSOs that are not grant recipients, but that are nonetheless constituents and partners of GTCSN
c) Stakeholders Reference Group (SRG): the SRG is composed of representatives of CSOs, Development Partners and the UNDP; it provides strategic advice and support to GTCSN and serves as a direct link between CSOs and GTCSN. Members of SRG are elected from within the CSO sector and are thus useful resources in communicating on behalf of GTCSN; as such, they are utilized as a fundamental communications medium with civil society
d) Media: The media is an important medium for transmitting information about programs, change initiatives, and the democratic governance and reform environment. GTCSN pursues a proactive strategy to ensure that relevant and timely information is made available to the media so that it is able to inform the CSO sector about democratic governance issues and initiatives, and ensure that information is transmitted onward to relevant audiences. Further civil society organizations must learn on how to optimally use the media in order to promote democratic governance.
e) Other Target Audiences: Fundamental to GTCSN work, and to success of the civil society sector and democratic reform in Turkana are the donors, whose input is critical to the strategic and programmatic direction taken by GTCSN; UNDP, which is the managing institution under which GTCSN and Turkana people which is a key player in the context of democratic development of Kenya. Because of their key roles, GTCSN Communication and Partnership Building Strategy ensures that these actors are regularly and well informed about GTCSN and related civil society activities that affect the democracy and governance dynamics in the county.
Monitoring, Reporting and Outreach
The primary goal of monitoring and reporting is to support, enhance and promote the gathering of evidence from GTCSN activities. The Outreach component of GTCSN work is to promote community development through organizational development and enhancements of capacities of the civil society organizations. GTCSN’s reporting and outreach interventions are aimed at providing technical assistance and support to CSOs thereby empowering them to develop organizational and financial capacity to submit timely and accurate reports and supporting the organizational growth of CBOs through hand holding mentoring and technical support.
GTCSN outreach interventions will primarily focus on community and civil society organizations located in the rural and remote areas of Turkana. GTCSN believes that these groups need more technical support and capacity enhancement to enhance their ability to serve their communities. Affirmative action is therefore integrated in the outreach approach to address the needs of CSOs representing the interests at the minority, marginalized and vulnerable members of society. GTCSN outreach work is also used to address challenges faced by organizations during the implementation of projects funded by UNDP.
Reporting remains a crucial function of the monitoring process. GTCSN’s reporting framework presents a systematic way of gathering evidence of the work undertaken by the implementing partners. It also sets out the reporting timeless and the reporting templates for both narrative and financial reports for the CSOs partners. Amkeni will receive and analyze quarterly and biannual progress narrative and financial from implementing partners report. Feed-back will be sent to all the implementing partners on the areas of improvement and for subsequent reports. The progress reports will be captured in Amkeni’s reporting template and will highlight among others. The outputs and the results of the activities undertaken including the variations in the intended and achieved results, challenges encountered, lessons learnt and recommendations. The partner reports will be reviewed, analyzed and captured in Amkeni’s quarterly partner reports for each quarter.
The results captured will be fed into an ongoing process by which stakeholders obtain regular feedback on the progress being made towards achieving project goals and objectives. The reports from implementing partners will be juxtaposed to the corresponding partner Annual work plans so that decisions of projects are based on facts and evidence. The lessons learned will be systematically captured for knowledge and improving future programmes and projects.
Outreach missions are an essential component of Amkeni’s strategy for supporting and providing capacity development to community organizations. Outreach missions will be complemented by specialized mentoring, technical and outreach support in accordance with the capacity gaps highlighted by the capacity assessment.
Organizations supported by GTCSN will be supported to ensure that their monthly narrative and financial reports comply with UNDP reporting guidelines on financial accountability. The CSOs institutional frameworks will be strengthened through mentoring and hand holding. Outreach programme will address the CSOs governance and management structures, financial management and reporting and programmatic issues. It is envisaged that the structures and systems of organizations funded by Amkeni WaKenya will be strengthened during the project implementation phase as indicated but the capacity assessment reports.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The purpose for undertaking monitoring and evaluation at GTCSN is to provide quality assurance of the programme results, during and after the implementation phases. Monitoring and evaluation at GTCSN is informed by UNDP’s results based M&E, a subset of the results based management approach and the principles of Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM$E). These two principles are in recognition of the important role of GTCSN stakeholders, and the need to seek and demonstrate results. The GTCSN logical framework provides the results framework as well as the indicators of success.
Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation
Results based management (RBM) is “a broad management strategy aimed at achieving improved performance and demonstrates results.” GTCSN shall utilize the RBM approach as an ongoing process that involves constant feedback, learning and improvement. Once GTCSN organizational plans are developed in consultation with the key stakeholders, they are regularly modified based lessons learned through monitoring and evaluation, and future plans developed based on these lessons.
This ongoing process of doing, learning and improving is what is referred to as RBM life cycle approach. Learning not only helps improve results from existing programmes and projects, but also enhances the capacity of the organization and individuals to make better decisions in the future and improves the formulation of future programmes and projects. GTCSN has developed a robust results based monitoring system through effective policies, tools, processes and systems which informs Greater Turkana Overall M&E strategy and its engagement with partners.
Monitoring at GTCSN presents an opportunity to: engage beneficiaries so that they feel ownership of results being achieved and are motivated to sustain them, demonstrate achievement of development results, leverage support of the beneficiaries and other stakeholders to address any operational challenges faced, nurture an inclusive and purposeful monitoring culture to make implementation and management effective and interesting and support the gathering of data and evidence objectively to back achievements and make decisions
GTCSN will generate the overall quarterly progress reports from consolidated partner reports and other related programme activities. Biannual and Annual narrative and financial reports will also be derived from the quarterly progress reports. These reports will be disseminated to and shared with the donor group and other stakeholders. The reports will juxtapose the achievements vis-à-vis the intended results as captured in the GTCSN logical framework
GTCSN in collaboration with its stakeholders has developed an M&E framework to facilitate the monitoring of GTCSN activities throughout the project period. GTCSN logical framework, M&E framework, and Work plans have been developed and will be reviewed periodically during the midterm and Annual reviews to modify the same to respond to the changing dynamics on the ground.
As part of capacity building of the implementing partners on M&E, the GTCSN team will periodically review and refine the logical frameworks, M&E framework, and Work plans of the implementing partners in order to ensure that these documents capture the results of the project and aligning these to the implementing partners approved proposals as well as the GTCSN outcomes and outputs as set out. This will be done in consultation with the implementing partners. Capacity building will be carried out to enhance the partner’s capacity to monitor, evaluate and report on their progress on a continuous basis.
Field Visits and spot – checks will be utilized by GTCSN to determine among others: The timeliness of project implementation, the adherence to the approved wok plans, the quality and relevance of the project to the local community, appropriateness of the methods of delivery of the project activities, the successes of the project, the challenges encountered by the implementing partners and the lessons learnt. The implementing partners will be provided with instant feed-back on the project implementation and recommendations on improvements made to the partners. The field visits reports conducted jointly by GTCSN staff, Donor Group members and the SRG. Field visit reports capturing the findings of the visits shall be produced and shared. Follow-up of the issues identified during field visits shall be undertaken by the GTCSN team
Programme Reviews: Programme reviews at GTCSN are periodic and are often light assessment of the performance of the facility and do not apply the due process of evaluation or rigor in methodology. As part of its mandate, GTCSN will conduct internal Mid-Year Reviews in July and Annual reviews in December every year. The review reports will be shared with project stakeholders for management decisions aimed at improving the project delivery. In order to institutionalize the process of reviews at GTCSN, all GTCSN partners implementing partners are required to conduct internal mid-year reviews on the 6th month and internal annual reviews on the 12th month of project implementation and these should be reflected in their M&E Frameworks and work plans before they are approved by Amkeni. The reports from these internal reviews should also be shared internally and corrective measures taken as appropriate.
Evaluation at GTCSN is a rigorous and independent assessment of either completed or ongoing activities to determine the extent to which they are achieving stated objectives and outputs. Evaluation draws heavily on data generated through monitoring during the programme and project cycle, including, for example, baseline data, information on the programme or project implementation process and measurements of results, in this regard, GTCSN places a lot of emphasis on monitoring and reporting of the facility’s activities as preparation for the evaluation. GTCSN shall commission an external evaluator to undertake the mid-term evaluation of its programmes mid-way and another evaluator at the end of the first phase of project implementation to determine the extent to which the programme is achieving the stated results.
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation
Stakeholder’s participation throughout the programming cycle ensures ownership learning and sustainability of results. GTCSN has moved away from conventional M&E that was more concerned with policing to embrace participatory M & E and encourages all its implementing partners to follow suit. Unlike conventional M&E which emphasized on “finding out” and “expert knowledge”, participatory GTCSN emphasizes on “learning” and “local knowledge” and represents a shift from “knowledge generation” to “knowledge sharing”
Continued stakeholder participation in monitoring and evaluation cannot be assumed, it must be institutionalized. At GTCSN specific measure have seen built into programme and project management process to ensure continued and effective involvement of Stakeholders Reference Group, Donor Group, Implementing Organizations, local communities, and media among others, all play important role in monitoring and evaluation of GTCSN. Their feedback is sought and incorporated into the programme. Implementing partners are specifically requested to undertake continuous monitoring and evaluation of their project from the onset of implementation.
Participatory, monitoring and evaluation at GTCSN begins early, during the evaluation of the expressions of interest and the calls for proposals, the GTCSN team ensures that there has been adequate involvement of the project beneficiaries during the project planning phase for ownership and support of the project activities once the project rolls out. GTCSN work plans also capture the ideas of the diverse stakeholders who approve these documents before the programmes are rolled out, and participate in subsequent reviews and evaluations. During field visits, the GTCSN team is able to check whether the project beneficiaries are involved and during subsequent reviews and evaluations, all the stakeholders are consulted and their views are captured and incorporated in the subsequent phase of programme implementation.
Posted on March 23, 2012, in Categorized and tagged Africa, Amkeni WaKenya, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Human Right, International human rights instruments, United Nations, United Nations Millennium Declaration, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.