“If you always do what you have always done…”


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The exchange on best practices and lessons learnt should be part of every program. It offers the opportunity to improve implementation and to share successful methods and tools with partners and stakeholders. Therefore, KAS and the Partnership for Transformational Devolution (PTD) invited stakeholders to Nakuru.

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Opening remarks by Project Director Thomas Tödtling

Henry Ford, the founder and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, once said:” If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." This is not only true for business but also for the work of civil society organisations. The on-going efforts to learn, to develop and to improve are key to successful project implementation. For this purpose nearly 100 stakeholders from different areas and regions gathered in Nakuru for the second PTD Annual Best Practice Conference. Among them were representatives from national and county governments, media, civil society organisations, religious groups, partner organisations as well as the Citizen Oversight Forums (COF). “This diversity of different sectors and regions is a good foundation for a fruitful, productive and constructive exchange of experiences and best practices since each of you has committed in his or her individual role to the success of devolution”, emphasized Thomas Tödtling, Director of the KAS Devolution Program. He also used the opportunity to thank the EU as well as the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development for the continued support of the program.

Investigative journalism & theatre

During the first session of the one-day conference speakers shared on the media’s oversight role on devolution and the application of new tools for integrating communities into county decision making processes. In his talk a renowned journalist, Wellingtone Nyongesa gave an insight into the daily work of an investigative journalist at county level. He also stressed the important role of the media for a democratic society and the success of the devolution process in Kenya. After his remarks two theatre groups from Nakuru and Machakos counties which have been trained by KAS and its partners on devolution, the political system and certain aspects of public participation of citizens, demonstrated how complex issues can be communicated in a simple and creative way.

Achievements, challenges & lessons learnt

Afterwards, the implementing partners of the PTD project shared achievements, challenges as well as lessons learnt from their daily work, e.g. the community scorecard, the Citizen Oversight Forum and the preparation of citizen manifesto ahead of the elections in Mombasa county. Partners pointed out that after two years after the start of the program the initial skepticism of some county governments had vanished. However, they called for improved working relations and cooperation with the officials and presented recommendations for instance the need for better legislations and policies for public participation, more civic education and the intensified use of tools such as community scorecard to hold county governments accountable. With regard to their own work, the PTD partners as well as the participants saw the need for close cooperation between CSOs and the media, the creation of synergies and better coordination when approaching county governments, the use of creative approaches to communicate complex topics and the contextualization of civic education based on cross cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS. At the end, all participants had the feeling that they had something positive to contribute. 

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Event Reports


Kenya, August 1, 2017