Kenya Electoral Conflicts Mitigation & Civic/Voter Education Support
Walter Mwania the Program Coordinator facilitating a session bringing together political aspirants
Kenya Electoral Conflicts Mitigation & Civic/Voter Education Support (ECCES) Program (2021-2024 is a USAID funded program implemented by Midrift under a project name Kura Ya Amani, Sote Tuhusike. The main outcome of this program is resilience of vulnerable populations and environments improved.
USAID has provided support to Act! to implement a project engagement, which seeks to ensure civil society, women and youth successfully participate in democratic processes, lead voter/civic education and implement local strategies to mitigate and respond to electoral violence.
The cardinal lesson from USAID and other donors support to Kenyan elections in the 2013-2017 electoral cycle was that failure to address pre-election challenges, institutional challenges facing political parties, campaign challenges and failure to resolve the question of how votes are counted and results transmitted undermines the credibility of the entire electoral process.
ECCES and other Kenya-IGAPP elections support programs will contribute to a Kenyan-owned, Kenyan-led and Kenya managed processes that builds on the country’s incremental improvements in electoral quality by providing support to key institutions in the election management chain. It will do so through effective management of electoral processes in ways that potent the greatest influence on public confidence (e.g. securing the safety and security of all citizens, safeguarding their human rights, and deepening the inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups (e.g. women, youth, and people with disabilities).
Against this backdrop, the USAID Kenya ECCES program will build upon electoral reforms previously supported by USAID/KEA to contribute to a credible, peaceful, and inclusive 2022 general election in Kenya. This will indirectly benefit all Kenyans and contribute to peace, stability, and economic development.
The engagement’s theory of change is that if necessary structures for effective civil society and youth led voter/civic education are set in place early in the electoral cycle; and if youth and women are actively engaged as voters and candidates; and if youth and women effectively engage with other democratic processes pre and post-election; and if structures for stemming endemic electoral violence (GBV/human rights violation) are strengthened at community, county and national levels; Then, more women and youth will participate in the Kenya democratic and electoral processes as voters and candidates; their specific issues are better addressed; and the perennial conflicts/violence will have been mitigated/responded to; and the overall capacity and vigilance of citizens and CSOs shifts the agenda setting power from political players to the people.