Democracy & Human Rights

Vital to most positive change in society is the ability of and enabling environment for citizens to participate in the decisions and actions that most affect them.

At the heart of our interventions under the Democracy, Human Rights and Governance portfolio is the realisation that exclusion of individuals and communities from public processes is not only a denial of basic rights but contributes to marginalization, disempowerment and ultimately is a driver of poverty. It is against this background that Act! will implement interventions that will give voice to the poor and marginalised men and women and seek to increase their participation in public decision making processes.

Alongside participation, programs and projects implemented under this portfolio take a human rights-based approach and seek to hold duty bearers, specifically National and County Governments, accountable for delivery of services while at the same time enhancing transparency in public affairs.

Our programming approach includes building the capacity of communities and non-state actors to hold public officials and agencies accountable for delivery of services. We undertake research and analysis – including assessing performance of public institutions – to inform public policy proposals. We also conduct advocacy campaigns for the enactment and implementation of legislation, policies and administrative action that advances human rights and good governance. Act! also aims for a facilitative and conducive environment for civil society to grow and thrive.

Current Projects:

Electoral Conflict and Violence Mitigation Program: Electoral violence is one of the greatest impediments to free and fair elections. As Kenya prepares for the August 2017 general elections, several actions need to be taken to promote peaceful co-existence of communities during and after the elections. Act! which is also a member of UWIANO platform is working in partnership with the National Steering Committee (NSC) on Peace Building and Conflict Management to promote peaceful co-existence of communities in Kenya.

Through the Electoral Conflict and Violence Mitigation Program, Act! is supporting efforts by national and sub-national bodies in mediating electoral conflicts, disseminating peace messages and promoting community dialogue. These efforts are geared towards ensuring that the electorate benefit from credible and safe elections.

Amongst the activities to be implemented under this program include: County conflict mapping to identify credible actors who can be engaged in the electoral conflict mitigation activities; while also identifying potential conflict areas for appropriate interventions. Drawing from its past experience and successes, Act! will work to strengthen the NSC’s conflict early warning and response mechanism.

In partnership with various key stakeholders Act! will hold forums to discuss emerging conflict issues and possible solutions in the respective Counties as well as hold peace caravans to encourage the public to engage in peaceful elections. We will also work with local radio stations to air programs on peaceful elections. Act! will particularly target at risk groups and other marginalized communities in the dissemination of peace messages.

Through this program, Act! is complementing the Government of Kenya’s efforts towards peaceful and credible elections.

 Activity areas: Garissa, Lamu, Tana River, Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa, Nairobi, Marsabit and Isiolo Counties.