Muungano wa Wanavijiji has partnered with Swedish based organization, Forum Syd in two distinct Governance Projects namely; Jua Jimbo-DFID and Jua Jimbo-EU. Forum Syd is a Swedish democracy and rights organization with 200 Swedish member organizations and thousands of partner organizations and networks worldwide. Together we develop democracy and reduce global poverty. The main objectives of these Governance projects at the grass roots is to authoritatively challenge the abuse of power, oppression and discrimination as a means of reducing poverty in the world, and do so in association with our Swedish member organizations and thousands of volunteer worldwide.
Forum Syd’s major objectives is to build strong civil societies, where the power is shared by many and the resources are distributed fairly; where people have power to determine their own lives, influence their country’s development and, together, eradicate poverty.
Even after the promulgation of new constitution in 2010, millions of low income communities in Kenya continue to face myriads of challenges in regards to public participation and good governance.
Despite the new constitution being entrenched with provisions ensuring bill of rights, gender balance and avenues for public participation, communities especially those living in low income areas are ignorant and do not have enough information about the new constitutional provisions on the county governments and how they can actively participate and benefit from the new dispensation.
Women are worst affected when it comes to active participation and leadership opportunities and this affects power relations at the community level and in the long run also at higher levels in society. Youth-based civil society organizations based at the community level do not have sufficient capacities to engage communities and leaders in ensuring popular participation, democratic leadership and good governance.
What is the project about?
Funded by DFID, DANIDA and CIDA under the Drivers of Accountability Programme Jua Jimbo aims at bringing about accountable county governments that are influenced by voice poor and the marginalized communities in their decision making processes with a specific focus on marginalized groups like women and youth.
Forum Syd is currently rolling out Jua Jimbo project in Kenya in collaboration with Youth Alive! Kenya and Muungano Wa Wanavijiji (Federation of Slum Dwellers). Jua Jimbo which translates to “Know your County” in Kiswahili is part of Forum Syd’s social accountability Program in Kenya.
The project comes at a critical point in Kenya when the country is shifting towards devolved county government system. The projects are therefore expected to play a key role in creating continued awareness on the new constitutional framework on devolution.
Who is targeted?
The project targets 20,000 community members directly and another 100,000 indirectly in 11 constituencies in Nakuru, Kisumu, Kakamega and Machakos counties. Furthermore, the project will also target 36 community-based youth organizations to strengthen their capacities to lobby and advocate for community participation and good governance at the county level. Jua Jimbo will also enhance the capacities of 120 county leaders in a bid to promote accountable democratic leadership.
How will Jua Jimbo be implemented?
Jua Jimbo project design is guided by Forum Syd strategies under three main areas; gender, democracy and human rights, and environment and climate change. Thus besides contributing to the empowerment of marginalized groups, strengthening of a democratic society and reduction of discriminatory formal and non-formal structures, the project contributes to gender equality by transforming the balance of power between women and men.
At the organizational level, the project will endeavor to strengthen the capacities of local organizations to contribute to better access to rights and democratic influence for poor and marginalized people. At the structural level the project will seek to ensure that marginalized people have strengthened their access to rights and democratic influence in society.
The activities described in each of the result areas will be implemented using a rights-based approach with varied community project delivery methodologies namely; Capacity building at partner and community level, creation of opportunities for dialogue; Participatory community based education and awareness creation among others.
Jua Jimbo will also work with the supply side to enhance leadership capacities and improve dialogue while at the same time promote lobbying and advocacy for good governance and citizen participation.
The project expects that 20,000 targeted community members will have increased knowledge and skills on good governance, structure and initiatives in their counties. The knowledge and skills gained is expected to lead to collective voices influencing development processes at the community levels. By the end of the project, it is expected that individuals targeted will have reinforced democratic influence, increased ability to claim rights and to hold relevant stakeholders and government accountable.
The new Kenyan constitution provides space for greater women participation through affirmative action for women, youth and persons with disabilities. Jua Jimbo projects thus have a mentorship programme targeting young women to enhance their leadership skills towards quality participation. Through linkages with mentors in countries like Sweden and Rwanda, it is expected that the two counties will have a cadre of young women leaders with enhanced skills to participate in and influence the governance processes at the community level.
It is anticipated that the targeted groups will improve communication and understanding between them leading to improved relations. These improved relationships will be brought about as a result of improved flow of information, knowledge and skills gained and improved collaboration between the supply and demand sides. The project expects county structures/institutions, will be more responsive, effective and efficient in service delivery as a result of collaboration with the demand side and due to increased citizen participation.
Jua Jimbo Project-EU
Young men and women living in low income areas and slum communities are often marginalized in governance issues. These voice poor communities have low awareness levels and as a result rarely do they participate in decision-making processes. Women are the most affected and have lower chances of leadership engagement at all levels. These negatively affects their participation in the proposed county governance processes.
What is the project about?
Funded by European Union, Jua Jimbo project is part of Forum Syd’s Social Accountability Program in Kenya. The project seeks to increase the participation of low income young men and women in county government processes; enhance the capacity of targeted young women leaders, county leaders and institutions in democratic leadership and good county governance in order to improve dialogue and linkages between the supply and demand sides at the county level.
Who is targeted?
The project targets 10,000 community members directly and another 50,000 indirectly in Nakuru and Kisumu Counties. Forum Syd will implement the project in collaboration with 2 partners: Muungano Wa Wanavijiji and Youth Alive! Kenya in six constituencies; Nakuru Town, Rongai, Naivasha, Nyando, Kisumu Town East and Kisumu Town West. The project will also target 20 community based youth organizations to strengthen their capacity to lobby and advocate for community participation and democratic leadership at the county level.
How will Jua Jimbo be implemented?
The project will use a rights-based approach to incorporate varied strategies such as capacity building of partner organizations and communities, participatory community based education, sports and arts targeting young men and women, awareness creation and lobbying and advocacy for good governance.
Jua Jimbo project will have a mentorship programme targeting young women to enhance their leadership skills. These young women will be linked to mentors in Kenya, Rwanda and Sweden to improve their capacities and prepare them for county government positions.
The project will also incorporate use of Information Communication and Technology (ICT). The Resource Centres will be ICT enhanced and there will be use of web-based bulk SMS (Short Message Service) to disseminate information and create awareness on devolved governments.
Forum Syd and its partners will strengthen the Jua Jimbo networking efforts of to function efficiently, to advocate and campaign and engage with governing institutions at the constituency levels.
The project activities will be structured in a manner that will stimulate dialogue on governance issues, encourage youth to demand accountability and action from their government and encourage youth participation in local and national development issues, which are keys to reducing poverty and promoting good governance.
It is expected that community based youth organizations, targeted leaders and communities will be actively engaged in advocacy for good governance. Creation of awareness in the community on specific issues affecting the county will result in targeted groups taking appropriate action. Information flow will lead to better informed communities resulting in an increase in the number of community members who are aware of developmental and governance affairs of their counties. As a result, there will be an increase in community participation in the management, decision making and involvement in county governments leading to improved governance subsequently marginalized people will be playing a lead role in holding local county governments’ accountable
Through the young women leaders mentorship programme, it is expected that the two counties will have a cadre of young women leaders with enhanced skills to participate in and influence the governance processes at the community level.