Samarbetsland: Kenya

2368 medborgare har fått sina röster hörda!

För att stärka medborgarinflytande har ICLD lanserat en innovativ enkätundersökning som fokuserar på medborgares egna erfarenheter av offentliga tjänster och lokal demokrati. Initiativet, genomfört i hittills sju kommuner över tre länder som en del av ICLD:s kommunala partnerskaps program, har tagit del av tankar från 2368 personer och resultaten av undersökningen belyser vilka utmaningar de ser för den demokratiska utvecklingen.

De allra flesta medborgare har aldrig haft möjlighet att prata direkt med lokala beslutsfattare om sina upplevelser av kommunal service. Kommuner världen över går därmed miste om viktiga röster från sina medborgare som inte har möjlighet att dela deras upplevelser och därför blir ett sådant här initiativ viktigt då det kan synliggöra problem och därmed skapa en viktig grund till kommunala förbättringar. Avståndet mellan medborgare och beslutsfattare beror ofta både på flera saker, så som bristande information från lokala myndigheter om hur medborgarna kan göra sina röster hörda och avsaknad av effektiva kanaler för att nå ut bortom de grupper som själva aktivt söker sig till kommunen.

David, en bonde från Machakos County i Kenya där ICLD finansierar ett projekt, är en av många personer som har haft svårt att nå fram till kommunen.

– Ibland vet man inte var mötena hålls eller var man kan bidra med sin åsikt, eftersom de lokala myndigheterna vanligtvis bara går via våra lokala hövdingar. Kommunen skulle kunna använda mer sociala medier, lokala radiostationer och kommunicera på olika lokala språk för att nå ut direkt till oss invånare med informationen, säger David.

Den här uppfattningen delas av fler i Machakos. En enkät visar att bara 1 av 5 personer i Machakos county har haft möjlighet att lyfta sina åsikter om viktiga lokala frågor till kommunen. Ofta har detta skett genom traditionella offentliga möten i byarna. Loice Munyazi ingår i en projektgrupp för ett ICLD-finansierat projekt i kommunen Uasin Gishu County i Kenya. Hon betonar behovet av tydligare kanaler för medborgarna att uttrycka sina åsikter:

-Varje person har en åsikt som är viktig, men det är ofta inte klart för dem hur de kan uttrycka den här åsikten och till vem. De känner inte till några tillgängliga kanaler för att göra sin röst hörd.

Medborgare blir intervjuad av kommun i Kenya. Foto: ICLD

För att ge medborgare större möjligheter att dela sina åsikter och upplevelser med kommunen så har ICLD utvecklat en enkätundersökning som fokuserar just på medborgares personliga erfarenheter med servicetjänster och viktiga demokratiska funktioner. Undersökningen bygger på en metod som kallas Citizen Report Cards. Syftet är att beslutsfattare med makt över välfärden ska kunna få återkoppling direkt från de som använder kommunala tjänster, för att på så sätt kunna initiera reformer. Enkäten ska bidra till utformningen av ett ICLD-finansierat kommunalt partnerskapsprojekt som adresserar en del av de demokratiska brister som upplevs av medborgarna.

Joel Wernersson, kvalitetstrateg på ICLD, har lett utvecklingen av metoden:

– Det bästa sättet att identifiera servicebrister och nyckelområden för demokratisk utveckling i en kommun är att lyssna på medborgarna. Genom den här undersökningen vill vi tillhandahålla ett effektivt verktyg som lyfter fram medborgares egna upplevelser direkt till beslutsfattare och som kan ligga till grund för policyrekommendationer och kritiska diskussioner i kommunerna. Det kan bli startskottet för reformer för ökad jämlikhet, delaktighet, transparens och ansvarsutkrävande i kommunen.

Resultaten hittills från undersökningen har lyft flera “deltagande gap” mellan olika grupper där framförallt kvinnor och ungdomar har färre möjligheter att göra sina röster hörda än män och äldre medborgare. I Rufunsa-distriktet i Zambia har endast 8,4 % av unga under 35 år haft möjlighet att ge synpunkter på lokala frågor som berör dem, jämfört med 22,1 % av dem över 35 år. Dessutom syns tydliga skillnader mellan unga kvinnor och män där de unga kvinnorna har avsevärt sämre möjligheter att delta i lokalpolitiken. Dessa resultat bidrar till en större förståelse av var ytterligare åtgärder behövs från de lokala myndigheterna. Dessutom har processen med enkäten i sig gjort ett viktigt bidrag till lokal delaktighet.

– Människor uppskattar vår vilja att lyssna och är ivriga att vilja dela med sig av sina tankar. Informationen från undersökningen är användbar för oss. Men det viktigaste är att vi har involverat dem och lyssnat på dem, för det innebär också att vi själva känner ett större ansvar att ta tillvara på åsikterna och kunna ge dem feedback tillbaka om vad vi gjorde därefter, säger Loice Munyazi. 

Under 2023 har undersökningen genomförts i totalt sju kommuner i tre olika länder. Svaren, har samlats in från ett representativt urval av medborgare och sammanställts till rekommendationer och diskussionsfrågor till beslutsfattare. I takt med att undersökningen sprider sig till fler länder kan den ge ytterligare information till ICLD-finansierade projekt och bidra till reformer som gynnar lokalsamhället. Initiativet höjer inte bara rösterna från de tillfrågade medborgarna, utan bidrar också till att de ageras på, vilket främjar en mer inkluderande lokal demokrati.

Projektområde
Inclusive leadership and governanceTechnical Services and Infrastructure

Nudging for Sustainability: Insights for Sustainable Consumption

Regional focus: Kenya & Sweden / The Climate Action Network

Time: October 2023 – April 2024

This small-scale project is the follow up on a Local Democracy Lab with Mombasa County and the region of Västerbotten, where they jointly asked researchers the question: ”How can we use nudging to promote sustainable consumption and waste management by civic engagement (and enhanced capacity building)?

To evolve the lab discussion, this project aims to contextualize global best practices in nudging within the unique socio-cultural and administrative landscapes of Mombasa and Västernorrland, facilitating effective sustainable consumption and waste management strategies.

Research questions:

  1. What are the global best practices in using nudging techniques for sustainable consumption and waste management?
  2. How do experts from Mombasa and Västernorrland perceive the application and challenges of nudging within their specific contexts?
  3. How can the insights from global best practices be tailored and implemented effectively in Mombasa and Västernorrland?

Abstract: This project seeks to explore the potential of nudging as a transformative tool to enhance sustainable consumption and waste management in Mombasa and Västernorrland. Leveraging a comparative expert analysis approach, the research will commence with a comprehensive global best practice analysis to benchmark successful nudging interventions worldwide. This foundational understanding will be enriched by in-depth expert interviews from both regions, gathering insights on the nuances, challenges, and tailored solutions for nudging within their unique contexts. By synthesizing global best practices with regional expertise, the study aims to offer actionable, evidence-based strategies for local governments. The objective is not just to understand nudging in theory but to contextualize its application for real-world impact, ensuring sustainability initiatives are both effective and culturally resonant. Through this rigorous approach, the research aspires to bridge the gap between global knowledge and local implementation, fostering a sustainable future driven by informed decision-making.

Researcher:

  • Jua Cilliers, Professor of Urban Planning, Head of School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney

Projektområde
Environment/Climate change
Globala mål
13 - Bekämpa klimatförändringarna
Tema
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting

Just, plastic free transition and climate change resilience in Mombasa County

Regional focus: Eastern Africa / the Climate Action Network

Time: December 2023-January 2025

Abstract: Plastic waste is a growing environmental concern in the coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya. Open burning of plastic at dumpsites generates greenhouse gases. Floods dump tonnes of plastic waste into the ocean causing biodiversity and economic losses. Mombasa County Government has developed various policies, strategies and legislations to curb plastic pollution and reduce community vulnerability to climate change. Kenya’s Constitution requires that public policy decisions and actions, must adhere to democratic principles such transparency, public participation and justice. Using environmental democracy as an analytical framework, this project aims to critically examine how plastic governance in Mombasa County creates democratic spaces for civil society and grassroots organizations to engage in plastic pollution and climate change governance. Participatory action research will be used to examine the opportunities, gaps and challenges for the County government to deliver a citizen-centered, just, plastic-free transition.

Research questions:

  1. How does Mombasa City County Government identify and respond to the needs and aspirations of civil society and grassroots organizations affected by and working to reduce plastic waste pollution in coastal areas of Mombasa?
  2. What are the current policies and plans that are implemented by Mombasa City County Government to achieve a sustainable and inclusive plastic waste management, to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities in the context of climate change?
  3. How do policies, plans and actions by Mombasa County Government engage with local aspirations and needs?
  4. Through what mechanisms does the civil society and grassroots organizations hold Mombasa County Government accountable for its action or in action on ensuring sustainable and just plastic waste governance? How effective are those mechanisms for accountability?
  5. How can citizen engagement processes, actions, policies and plans be improved to lead towards a green and just plastic free transition?

Main researchers:

  • Dr. Richard Dimba Kiaka, CEJAD, Research Associate
  • Prof. Maria-Jose Zapata, University of Gothenburg, Professor
  • Prof. Patrik Zapata, University of Gothenburg, Professor

This research project aims to directly support ICLD’s Network for Climate Action, and specifically the municipal partnership between Mombasa County and Region Västernorrland.

Other ICLD research by the authors:

Projektområde
Environment/Climate change
Globala mål
11 - Hållbara städer och samhällen13 - Bekämpa klimatförändringarna

The Plastic Bag Ban in Kenya: A study on consumer perceptions and attitudes following the plastic bag ban in Nairobi, Kenya

In 2017, Kenya’s government banned plastic bags, to reduce plastic waste and protect the environment. Today Kenya has one of the strictest plastic bag bans in the world.

This study examines the perception of the plastic bag ban by different income classes in Nairobi, as well as what factors influence people’s support for the plastic bag ban in Nairobi.

The result indicates that the majority of respondents expressed strong support for the plastic bag ban, citing environmental concerns and the need for sustainable practices. However, a small segment of the population remained skeptical about the effectiveness and feasibility of the ban. The opinions of respondents that the ban was not strict enough is an indicator that the government still needs to do more and work towards a better environment. Factors such as age and education level emerged as influential factors in shaping individuals’ perceptions. However, the relationship was not enough to influence opinion on supporting the ban.

Consumer behaviors and awareness about environmental factors were mainly significant in influencing the opinions of residents in supporting the ban. This suggests that people that have reduced their plastic bag usage and are environmentally conscious, are more likely to support the plastic bag ban.

In conclusion, the findings from this study contribute to the public’s opinion on this strict plastic bag ban, in Kenya. The results emphasize the importance of promoting awareness and education to ensure the successful implementation and acceptance of the plastic bag ban. These findings can inform policymakers, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders in designing effective strategies to address plastic waste and promote sustainable practices.

Typ av publikation
Master Thesis
Projektområde
Environment/Climate change
Globala mål
12 - Hållbar konsumtion och produktion13 - Bekämpa klimatförändringarna
Etiketter
behavioral change, fieldwork grant, Kenya, plastic bag ban,

Increasing Transparency in Local Governments: Implementation and Evaluation of Citizen Budgets in Uganda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe

Regional focus: Eastern Africa

Time: October 2023 – June 2024

This action research project follows up on previous ICLD research by supporting local governments to implement a citizens budget and adapt the associated Toolbox to African experiences.

Abstract:

This research project investigates the implementation and impact of Citizen’s Budgets at the local level in selected countries. It aims to understand the elements that compose these budgets, the impact they have on the transparency of local government budget processes, and the degree of empowerment they confer, especially to marginalized groups. The study also assesses whether the level of budget literacy in these countries acts as a limiting factor to the effective use of Citizen’s Budgets and explores the most effective digital technology practices for implementing this tool. The methodologies include desk analysis, surveys, interviews, and capacity-building workshops with local government administrations and local communities. The outcomes of this research promise to enhance transparency, accountability, citizen engagement, and trust in local government, thereby strengthening local democracy. This project underscores the significance of Citizen’s Budgets as crucial instruments for fostering participative governance and enhancing fiscal literacy.

Researchers:

Viktor Mitevski, Executive Director, ZMAI (Association of Research and Analysis)

Dragan Tevdovski, Professor, University St Cyril and Methodious University Skopje

Elena Trpkovska, Economist, The Social Services Improvement Project in the Republic of North Macedonia (SSIP)

Related publications:

Projektområde
Inclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
17 - Genomförande och globalt partnerskap5 - Jämställdhet
Tema
Digitalisation and e-governance

Tactical Urbanism for inclusive transport

Regional focus: East Africa/Kenya

Time: July 2023 – January 2024

Abstract:

In 2010, Kenya adopted a new constitution that established 47 autonomous counties leading to an accelerated development of urban areas and an increased pressure and demand for inclusive and sustainable interventions to cater for the rising population and motorization rates. Flone Initiative conducted a safety audit in Machakos Town to assess the state of the existing transport infrastructure in terms of safety, usability and design with a focus on women, children and persons with disability. The study revealed that the existing infrastructure was in need of improvements in accessibility, safety and universal design features. A key lesson learnt is that safety audits should be followed by low cost interventions that counties can easily pilot and implement. Premised on the concept of tactical urbanism, this action research study aims at proposing and piloting low-cost interventions to enhance inclusiveness, safety and usability in urban and peri-urban centres.

Researcher:

Naomi Mwaura, Flone Initiative, Tanzania

Note: this project builds on the toolbox by the same author:

Projektområde
Urban planning
Globala mål
10 - Minskad ojämlikhet11 - Hållbara städer och samhällen
Tema
Gender Equality

Robertsfors och Machakos, Kenya

Project: Climate action

As per the Kenya National Climate Change Action Plan, Kenya’s 2010 Constitution and Vision 2030, the importance of participation of the diversity of the Kenyan people in environmental matters such as climate change is noted. This is specifically entrenched in Article 69(1) (e) the Constitution 2010, which states, that “the state shall encourage public participation in the management, protection and conservation of the environment”. The same is required of the Robertsfors Municipality in environmental management Agenda 2030.

The aim of the project is to enhance the capacity of both Machakos County Government and Robertsfors Municipality to act on climate change and lower emissions of greenhouse gases.

In Machakos, a focus will be put on actions against deforestation through formulation, implementation and evaluation of a plan of action.

In Robertsfors, the emphasis will be on lower emissions of greenhouse gases and a plan of action regarding this will be formulated, implemented, and evaluated.

For both organizations, communication will be a crucial part of the project in order to secure transparency and the possibility for citizen participation. By making clear and accessible plans of actions, it becomes possible for citizens to hold decision makers accountable.

Projektområde
Environment/Climate change
Globala mål
13 - Bekämpa klimatförändringarna
Svensk partner
Robertsfors kommun
Internationell partner
Machakos Municipality

Region Västerbotten, Umeå Municipality and Kisumu County, Kenya

Project: Partnership and Governance for Health and Resilience in relation to Climate Change and Environment in Kenyan Counties alongside Lake Victoria

The project will establish a partnership between The County of Västerbotten and Kenyan counties in the Lake Victoria Basin area. The partnership will be governed by Center for Rural Medicine/Region Västerbotten, Umeå Municipality and Kisumu County.
The main goal of the project is to produce an agreement between Kisumu County and other Kenyan counties in the Lake Victoria Basin area that include a framework on, and priorities for, what the counties need to and can do, to jointly, effectively and democratically promote health and resilience, taking the climate crisis and man-made environmental degradation into account.

Projektområde
Environment/Climate changeHealth
Globala mål
13 - Bekämpa klimatförändringarna3 - God hälsa och välbefinnande
Svensk partner
Region VästerbottenUmeå kommun
Internationell partner
Kisumu County

Region Västerbotten and Homa Bay, Kenya

Project: Governance for youth health in Homa Bay County

Homa Bay County and Region Västerbotten via Centre for rural medicine are finalizing their project on leadership and governance for the provision of equitable health care. The main objective of this project was to strengthen the structures and processes for a high-quality functional management, collaboration, and coordination function for equitable health care in Homa Bay County. In this project, the partners aim to increase the capacity of healthcare providers in the provision of sexual, reproductive, and mental health services amongst the youths in Homa Bay County. The Centre for Rural Medicine will expand its own understanding on the health of the youth in the County of Västerbotten, and in the County of Homa Bay, for this analysis to be communicated in a broad variety of fora where the Center for Rural Medicine is active.

Projektområde
Health
Globala mål
3 - God hälsa och välbefinnande
Svensk partner
Region Västerbotten
Internationell partner
Homa Bay

Research report: Whose voice matters? Inclusion in local decision-making in Kenya and Lebanon

This research report compares how local inclusion and participation is connected to citizen influence in two post-conflict societies. This report highlight the special circumstances in a society with experience of armed conflict and deep societal divides. While inclusion is crucial to local democracy, this research also shows the risk of perpetuating conflictual divides. It warns against taking inclusion and participation at face value, and encourages deep context analysis and special attention to marginalised groups at the local level.

This report describes in detail the two contexts and compares their respective political systems of inclusion and participation. See the associated policy brief for a shorter version focusing on policy recommendations.

Policy Brief: Whose voice matters? Inclusion in local decision-making in Kenya and Lebanon

Typ av publikation
Research Reports
Projektområde
Inclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
10 - Minskad ojämlikhet16 - Fredliga och inkluderande samhällen
Etiketter
inclusion, participation, Peacebuilding, post-conflict,