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Citizen engagement project


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Need for Citizen Engagement

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Citizen engagement project

  2. 2. PROBLEM STATEMENT • For Citizen engagement to improve development outcomes we need to shift our mindset from competition to cooperation. Governance is not a zero-sum game, but rather a dialog between the government and the governed that should result in positive outcomes for all. This needs to be our starting assumption if citizen engagement is to have a real impact. • Kenya has faced various challenges that beset development in key areas such as health, environment, and infrastructure among other key areas. For example the maternal mortality rate in Kenya, which is a key indicator of health , has been stagnant for quite some time (488 per 100,000 live births).Despite more investments in health, many indicators are yet to change and thus the paradox, what might be the hidden limiting factors? This has been mutual across other sectors and thus threatening the nation’s ambitions of becoming a middle- income country in the near future.
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION • Following the struggles our great nation has gone through, an idea roamed that citizens should be engaged in development matters for there is hidden potential and innovations among citizens. An initiative will be launched known as Development Partners Forum which aims at bringing together key stakeholders across sectors to a discussion and knowledge sharing platform. The forum will be organised by a multi- disciplinary secretariat with a subject matter expertise for each sector respectively. The secretariat, with aid of community ambassadors, a will conduct a research on the main challenges facing each sector and come up with solution themes that shall be aired during the forum. Devolution in Kenya makes it easy to get first hand information on the real challenges facing different sectors by engaging citizen. The secretariat, with support from the private sectors will travel to majority of counties where questionnaires will be administered to the citizens, through community ambassadors (volunteers) to help identify the key priority areas that ought to be addressed. An online interactive platform shall also be adopted and made available to all key stakeholders as well as the public. • The forum, bi-annual, shall bring together key players in the public sector, private sectors, development partners, institutions, academia and citizens for open knowledge sharing platform.
  4. 4. • With the recently launched sustainable development goals, there is need for innovation for the ambitious but attainable development goals to be attained. • As such our forum is seeking to invent a platform where citizens will be given the chance to air their grievances and hold key decision and policy makers into account. • This promises to be among the different paths to realising sustainable development goals which are our key priorities.
  5. 5. • The key objective of our initiative will be creating a knowledge sharing and interactive platform for major stakeholders in the respective sectors and partnerships. Some of the key areas will be: Health Infrastructure
  7. 7. • With technology turning the whole world into a small village, we have utilised the use of technology to increase the efficiency of interactions. Although technology is not a panacea for development, if well utilised under strategic guidelines, technology can highly result to increased social accountability and promote institutional and behavioural changes thus initiating development. • Various online platforms will created which have been made accessible to the public for active engagement. • The initiative will also be highly dependant on the community volunteers who will be empowered with technology gadgets and trained on how to report to the forum that shall comprise of representatives from all institutions. • The relevant representatives shall then advice on how the grievances raised by the citizens shall be addressed and the community volunteers will be in hand to report back to volunteers. By so doing, citizens will have the sense of belonging since they will feel that their efforts to highlight the challenges besetting the society are tackled with the seriousness needed. This tackles the feedback loop mechanism. • Strategic approach, thin and thick engagements have been integrated to get the best out of citizen inclusiveness. • All relevant information will be availed to the public for citizens to make informed decisions. • Currently, negotiations are on going with the help of development and private partners, to get the government fully on board as well as advocate for an enabling environment for citizen inclusion in key development issues.
  8. 8. CITIZEN RECRUITMENT AND PARTICIPATION • Through the local volunteers, a maximum of 5 citizens from each region will be recruited into the forum. • They will represent the voice of the community and they will be afforded the freedom of criticizing their leaders for matters they feel are falling out of track. • This initiative also promises to greatly decrease the menace of corruption and mismanagement of public funds which has been among the leading obstacles to development in the developing world. • Citizens will have the freedom to rightfully condemn leaders who they feel are u under-performing and dragging their counties and communities behind. • Governmental and institutional representatives shall then respond to citizens claims and allegations and advise on the steps they ought to take to ensure that the mentioned leaders are lawfully investigated and provide feedback to the community with a stipulated time frame. • During the forums that shall be hosted bi-annually, the forums will be open to citizens to attend and air their grievances to relevant stakeholders who shall be congregated.
  9. 9. • Citizen Engagement proves to be game a changer for development and especially for the developing world. If a synergy is created in the engagement between citizens and state, then development is inevitable. This will be done through creation of an enabling environment for citizens, using the appropriate approaches that work for different countries and utilising of technology which will contribute greatly to engaging citizens for a bright future. Institutions should respond to citizen needs in time to motivate them to participate, unleash their potential, feel the sense of belonging and realise the outcomes of active participation. The secret behind substantial development lies in the hands of citizen, all states should start thinking of how to actively involve their citizens for there is great potential and innovation that may be the missing dice to realisation of development goals. • Our initiative, though still at its nascent stages, promises to fill the gap between citizens and institutions through provision of an interactive platform. Any ideas on how we can nurture the idea would be welcomed.