Social Accountability and National Healing program grant 130744 implemented by Hatua Trust was a one-year program that sought to enhance understanding of religious leaders, women, youth and persons with disability (PWDs) on social accountability to promote effective public participation, healing and cohesion.
This report provides reflections on the process and outcomes of the Social Accountability and National Healing program implemented in three counties in Kenya, although there were two meetings held at regional level and national level. The program was implemented with the Youth, Women and Clergy of Kakamega, Kisumu and Vihiga counties, on the premise that building social accountability is a condition for realizing equitable distribution and accountability for public resources and delivery of social contracts.
The program started in August 2018 to assist youth, women and religious leaders to orient themselves towards effective public participation.
The report includes the experiences of the various constituencies so far, how far they have moved towards social accountability, their expectations and recommendations.
The findings in this report show that there have been significant transformative shifts regarding social accountability, best illustrated by the indicators of success. All the groups including women, youth and religious leaders reported significant improvements in their understanding of key concepts regarding public participation and social accountability.
The participants stated that the budgeting, planning and organizing for resource mobilization were the most useful aspects of the program. Some groups have already had the opportunity to interact with county government officials including 100 clergy from Kisumu County who engaged with the Deputy Governor HE Dr. Matthews Owili and 40 religious leaders from Vihiga County who held a social audit forum with their Governor HE Wilbur Ottichilo. The process saw massive learning for the religious fraternity, Hatua Trust and the facilitation team. A key recommendation as the program moves forward is making the program available to more religious leaders, women and youth leaders in different geographical and thematic areas.
One lesson learned was that bringing in local leaders (Governors and MCAs) into the meeting increased engagement necessary for effective participation of citizens in budget making and monitoring of resources within the counties. The presence of these leaders helped crystallize the idea of citizens holding their leaders accountable, which is something that is not ingrained in the culture.
The Governor of Vihiga in particular recommended a regular meeting with religious leaders to keep them posted on the developments at county government level for ease of dissemination to the citizens.
Challenges and Constraints and how did you overcome them?
One of the challenges we experienced is that engagement by youth and women leaders in public spaces is extremely limited. Both of these groups tend to perceive themselves as relatively powerless. This means that there is considerable distance to be covered in getting women and young people particularly in the rural areas to be engaged in public affairs beginning with their own parish and then onward into the affairs of their ward, sub county and county. The Challenge is being overcome by challenging young people on these issues and encouraging them
This interim review report is submitted by Hatua Trust to Ford Foundation and forms the final narrative report of grant number 130744.