Minority Rights Group International (MRG) Deputy Director, Claire Thomas, writes this opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters News Foundation.+ LEARN MORE
Kenya Good Governance Programme – evaluation
This was the evaluation of a three-year project aiming to give community based organizations working with minority communities in Kenya the skills and knowledge to maximize the potential of Kenya’s new more minority-friendly constitution and devolved government.
At a time of rapid change in Kenya, the project delivered strong results – particularly in terms of media coverage and attitude shifts. The evaluation also captures some positive knock-on effects of earlier work on legal cases in Kenya.
The evaluator found that, ‘The media campaign and training events at the community level were the most effective activities. These activities brought MIPs NSAs in Kenya into contact with national processes and state actors and into the national CSOs landscape, a key objective of the project.
‘The activities prior to and during the KGGP have opened a new chapter in the lives of MICs in Kenya. MRG’s support to the Endorois community quest to reclaim lost land achieved positive results with immense impact on MICs and their pursuit of their rights. MRG supported the process through provision of legal services when the community filed a case with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). The ACHRP ruling on the Endorois Community Land Complaint, which recommended that the community be given back their land, has aroused interest among scholars who view it as a landmark and progressive judgement.
‘There is also renewed interest among many MICs to map out their land. Several MICs in Kenya including the Pokot, Boni, Turkana, etc will be supported by the Ford Foundation to map out their lands. Two other minority communities in Baringo County, the Lempus and the Ilchamus, are each exploring ways of reclaiming land that was taken from them or compensation for resources exploited on their land.’
He also said that for one community, ‘Because of KGGP, the Abasuba, hitherto a subdued and silenced minority group, whose language is under threat, are increasingly becoming vocal on issues that affect them as a community. KGGP facilitated the formation of the Abasuba Women Council and Abasuba Youth Council. Women are now also part of the Abasuba Council of Elders. These under KGGP, have generated a sense of solidarity among the Abasuba and enthusiasm among the youth who were risking assimilation by dominant surrounding groups.’
Download the full report here.
Read more information about the programme here.
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