In Kenya, we provided a mixture of strategic and technical support, critical feedback, facilitation, and mediation. We also provided substantial contributions to the current political reform process after the 2017 electoral crisis.
From December 2017 to March 2020, we accompanied key Kenyan actors in their work to sustainably tackle the causes of political violence that has repeatedly affected the country during election cycles since the mid-1990s. These actors included religious leaders, other civil society actors, women, youth groups and networks, as well as government entities and the diplomatic community.
A key driver of conflict and violence has been a deep-rooted fear among Kenya’s largest ethnic groups of exclusion from influence and power, and thus from access to resources. Exclusion is exacerbated by politicised ethnicity, corruption, and clientelism, which undermine issue-based politics and leave peace and reform processes open to elite capture. Drivers of peace involve an active civil society, including women’s groups, activist movements, a strong legal and democratic foundation, a vibrant economy, and a supportive international environment – as well as Kenyan elites’ ability to negotiate deals.
We provided a mixture of strategic and technical support, critical feedback, facilitation, and mediation, based on our comparative knowledge and peace process support experiences. We were also able to provide substantial contributions to the current political reform process after the 2017 electoral crisis in Kenya with a discrete backseat approach that respects local ownership and local leadership.
We also successfully incorporated the learning from Kenya into international agendas such as the Helsinki International National Dialogue Conference in 2019.
Our Kenya Dialogue Support Project was funded by the German and Danish Ministries of Foreign Affairs.