Kenya-Strengthening Electoral Accountability and Inclusivity Program (SEAIP)
SEAIP consortium will emphasize assistance through key governance and electoral institutions in Kenya, such as Parliament, Judiciary, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission-IEBC, Office of the Registrar of Political Parties-ORPP, Political Parties Dispute Tribunal-PPDT, Political Parties Liaison Committee-PPLC, and other entities responsible for facilitating democratic processes, fostering citizen participation and inclusion as well as managing electoral disputes in Kenya. The approach will focus on capacity building, fostering collaboration, advocacy, peer learning and lessons transfer, technical assistance and advisory among other context relevant solutions. The aim is to support these stakeholders to collectively improve their technical capacity to discharge their constitutional and statutory mandates in the organization of accountable, inclusive, fair and transparent elections in 2022; by enhancing inclusivity and participation, accountability, efficiency and transparency into their operations, communication and oversight, including ability to deter elite and political manipulation and interference at all levels. The project will also support advocacy platforms which advance policies which redress gender imbalance and promote reforms which safeguard and empower women in leadership, including enhanced compliance with election laws; timely and responsive law reforms; reduced corruption, violence and vote buying during the 2022 electioneering period; and increased adherence to the rule of law and obedience to decisions of courts on electoral disputes. SEAIP considers that, through this proposed civil society-led advocacy project; accountability, efficiency, integrity, accessibility, and inclusivity in Kenya’s electoral process will be enhanced, this will in turn improve the levels of trust and participation by the public, in the country’s political and democratic processes. Citizen trust and participation in the political system are necessary for the stability of democratic regimes, as dissatisfaction (especially among losers of an election) often lead to violent forms of protest, and subsequently, if unresolved, apathy also sets in, which leads to low voter turnout and widespread civic disengagement in democratic and electoral activities. When certain parts of society become disengaged, their political representation is also reduced, they become increasingly disillusioned over time, eroding society's trust in democracy and systematically trigger challenges in governance.
SEAIP technical assistance and advocacy to electoral institutions will focus on systems strengthening, internal governance and accountability of key electoral institutions. SEAIP will support will include facilitated peer learning, staff secondment and training, and participatory policy development. Emphasis will be on the complementary areas of election management and administration (including transparency and accountability).
The consortium will leverage international expertise and facilitate identification of the most efficient, culturally appropriate and cost-effective systems and structures to address the problem of waste, fraud and corruption (pilferage and wastage of public resources), this will also include leadership skills development to enhance capacity to deter elite and political interference and manipulation.
Finally the consortium will advise the key electoral institutions on developing tailored strategic communication and voter education tools and programs to improve civic engagement and acknowledgement of reforms.
Summary of Year 1 activities to strengthen the accountability capacity of key electoral and democratic institutions.
· Provide technical, training and operational support to improve management of the various elements of elections operations. These include; voter registration and data governance protocols, deployment of technology, vote tallying, results verification and transmission systems, candidates’ vetting, nomination and registration, regulation of campaigns. Proposed activities to strengthen election operations include the following;
1. Conduct a comprehensive assessment to highlight opportunities on how IEBC can improve its’; ICT personnel capacity, ICT security protocols, ICT deployment strategies, EVID-voter identification system, CRS-candidates registration system, RTS-results transmission system, results verification protocols, voter registration BVR-biometric registration system, and data governance protocols.
2. Support operationalization of robust policies and structures to; improve voter registration and data governance protocols; develop and strengthen systems that will synchronize the voter register with the civil register (the register of births and deaths) to guarantee the veracity of the updated voters' register.
3. Support implementation of effective policies and structures that will; improve ICT personnel capacity, improve how IEBC plans for, acquires and deploys election technology; and reinforce technology security protocols that prevent data manipulation and unauthorized access.
4. Recommendation on early prioritization and identification of opportunities for improving; legislation-Elections Act, Elections (Technology) Regulations and other operational procedures that effect; the use of election technology and results verification and transmission systems. To allow for sufficient time for implementation and adoption.
5. Support effective adoption of improved policies and structures that will; assist IEBC to train and improve polling officials-returning officer technical capacity; and improve the commissions’ vote tallying, results verification, and transmission systems.
6. Support the IEBC to develop and deploy effective task management tools and system improvement models to reduce the physical demands put on polling officials and results verification systems; to help the commission to contain the problem of human errors during vote tallying, results verification, and transmission.
7. Develop and improve the CRMS-Candidates Results Management System modules to integrate registration of candidates’ online particularly independent candidates to avoid the current situation were the candidates have to physically visit IEBC headquarters for registration.
8. Assist IEBC, ORPP, PPLC, and Parliament to develop, draft and enact substantive proposals to amend the Political Parties Act and establish appropriate timelines and improved regulations for Political parties and candidates to harmonize the agents' registration guidelines and facilitate improved coordination and deployment of IEBCs’ agents' training program thereby enhancing the transparency of the commissions results verification and transmission systems.
9. Support IEBC to carry out political advocacy with; Political Parties, Parliament, and the Executive; to build consensus and support for early efforts to review, improve and enact; election law amendments, regulations, and operational policies early enough to improve overall election framework and planning before the 2022 elections.
10. Capacity support to align improvement of election infrastructure such as; voter registration data, candidates and political parties’ data, polling station and election areas, communication protocols, regional and constituency offices to match global and best practice standards for elections operations.
· Conduct capacity building trainings, provide TA and facilitate peer learning exchange, focusing on; electoral system, management and operational policy framework, including internal structure of IEBC (accountability framework, departmental functions and internal procedures, codes of conduct and protocols).
· Undertake joint trainings for IEBC, ORPP, Parliament-JLAC/CIOC and Political Parties to strengthen the Integrity of Key election processes (voter register, data governance, ICT security and Results management, and Party agents capacity development). Including Technical analysis, on existing electoral laws, to help inform priority reform problem analysis and enrich timely solution proposals for the 2022 elections.
· Leadership trainings to strengthen organizational capacity of IEBC and Judiciary to develop technically feasible solutions that will identify and prevent elite and political interference and manipulation.
· Undertake capacity building trainings, TA and advisory for communication and leadership staff at IEBC, ORPP, PPDT and Judiciary, on effective public outreach and communication strategies during the 2022 electioneering period.
Output 1: SEAIP develops the technical capacity of IEBC and other electoral institutions to enable them to systematically enhance accountability, efficiency and transparency into the Kenyan elector system and in their respective operations, communication and oversight processes, including ability to deter elite and political manipulation and interference at various levels.
Year 1 activities to support broad-based and responsive electoral and democratic reforms.
· Facilitate coordination meetings and trainings to improve dialogue and synergies among election law reform stakeholders and enhance consensus among key Electoral Institutions (IEBC, ORPP, JLAC and JCE), CSOs, media, elected officials, public and private sector, faith based and special interest groups.
· Provide TA, advisory and training for election law reform stakeholders; key Electoral Institutions (IEBC, ORPP, JLAC and JCE), on how to identify gaps or flaws in election management policies, laws or regulations prior to the 2022 elections.
· Conduct technical analysis on critical electoral reform issues, and provide advice on proposed solutions, polices and operational procedures including legal drafting assistance.
Output 2: SEAIP provides coordination and technical support for electoral reform stakeholders to enable them to expand ownership of reform conversations, diversify participation in their platforms and leverage technical and expert resources to develop robust reform solutions for timely implementation of key election law reforms.
Year 1 activities to reinforce and advocate for integrity and enforcement and compliance with election laws.
· Coordinate interagency partnerships to harmonize vetting, including training and advocacy forums to promote Election Campaign Finance-ECF compliance and enhance effective monitoring and reporting on misuse of public resources in political campaigns.
· Facilitate joint advocacy and training meetings for ORPP, PPLC and Political Parties to adopt regulations, mechanisms and strategies that will deter voter bribery, violence, manipulation and interference in primaries and promote diverse participation in the 2022 electioneering period.
· Coordinate joint forums with security agencies to advocate for strategies to improve local level access to security services and resources during the 2022 electioneering period.
· Facilitate advocacy and training meetings between security and electoral agencies and political parties to advance adoption of citizen friendly security strategies, deter violence and commit to non-violence during campaigns, and enhance compliance with election code of conduct.
Output 3: SEAIP facilitates the scaling of capacity among electoral, vetting and security agencies including parties, to adjust and adopt enhanced mechanisms to check finance in campaigns and regulate political activities in a manner that deters bribery, violence and intimidation and interference during the electioneering period.
Year 1 activities to strengthen the accountability capacity of key electoral and democratic institutions.
· Undertake women leadership trainings and facilitate forums to advocate for removal of barriers to voting and standing for election for women and promote women friendly media engagement platforms during the 2022 electioneering period.
· Targeted advocacy with electoral institutions ;Parliament, IEBC, ORPP, Political Parties, PPDT and the Judiciary to ensure that electoral laws, policies and procedures are fair, inclusive and promote women to participate both as candidates and voters.
· Provide training and develop mechanisms to safeguard women from intimidation and SGBV during the electioneering period, and advocate for improved access to security and other support services for women who experience violence during campaigns and voting.
Output 4: SEAIP establishes platforms and mechanism to expand leadership opportunities for women, and redress barriers which perpetuate their exclusion and advance policies and structures to safeguard women during the 2022 electioneering period.
Year 1 activities to support EDR Institutions in Kenya to become more accessible and effective.
· Undertake leadership training and advocacy to advance strategies and practices which promote independence of EDR institutions in the 2022 electioneering period.
· Provide TA, advisory and training to support strategies aimed at digitizing EDR processes and platforms and enhancing service delivery at the local level during the 2022 electioneering period.
· Coordinate EDR education, advocacy and training forums to promote familiarization and access to EDR and improve overall uptake of EDR services and increase diverse participation in the EDR process.
· Facilitate peer learning forums to enhance jurisprudence, procedures and regulations to guide petition hearings in the 2022 electioneering period.
· Develop learning tools and coordinate joint training and learning platforms for EDR officers, to develop their skills, familiarize with new laws, align jurisdictions, harmonize the EDR framework and improve synergies.
Output 5: SEAIP assists EDR institutions to become more accessible and enhance their capacity to deliver transparent-responsive-expeditious justice, including facilitating lessons transfer, learning and development, to increase the functionality of the EDR system in 2022.