Case 5 : P-BLD Lessons spurs investment into Safe House for Vulnerable Children and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence
The African culture itself it carries so many things, wife battering, is just normal… Let’s say if a girl is above 14 years she walks into a boy’s house they will just say it is normal but she’s underage you see… You’ll find like let’s say like drinking alcohol if your wife drinks and you drink you go home and molest your children is just ‘hawa ni walevi’ (those are just drunkards) that is the Kenyan way of saying things.
The prevalence, and often normalization, of the exploitation and abuse of children and young people, was raised by the majority of participants in the P-BLD programme during this evaluation. Changes to the constitution and the new policy regarding violence seek to address this, emphasizing the rights of children to live in a safe environment.
The police in Naivasha used the learning from P-BLD to seek new ways of encouraging people to report domestic violence and child abuse and ways to keep the children safe while the police help to resolve issues. They used P-BLD to develop a proposal for a local business owner to invest in the child protection services, using the focus on ‘place’ and the importance of businesses engaging positively with local communities as a motivator. They were successful in achieving investment from a local flower farm, which renovated an incomplete child protection unit. Following this renovation, the police were able to dedicate eight police officers to the unit and to support two community policing members to facilitate engagement with villages and slums about these issues. Achieving these outcomes created an even stronger mandate for the work and the police were able to get support from the National Government Children’s Department.
We create two people who the villagers will be reporting to… In case of a conflict. If the parents are molesting their children let them report to them and then let them come to us now, so that was the alternative way of solving those conflicts in the slum areas… if you find that kind of a case and they’re trying to cover it up, just unearth it, bring it over, let’s solve it.
We talked to a [Chief Executive Officer] CEO of a [local flower farm] and he agreed to renovate the child protection unit in Naivasha Police Station. He pulled down the roof, he put a better roof in, painted the rooms, plastered them and brought in some beds and mattresses and some blankets… Now we have gone to the children’s department so that they could give us somebody who would be living there with the kids…’
The activity and outcome-focused nature of the P-BLD modules, and the expectations from the various participants and sectors involved for updates at each module, supported the police in Naivasha to be brave and try something new. They engaged, held meetings with the community in the villages and the slums, sought to understand their issues and problems, and used this information and evidence to develop their proposal. This process of dialogue and fact-gathering built their confidence to approach a board of stakeholders and request resources for the completion of the child protection unit building.
‘Even the neighbours will not even report that kind of child abuse. Child labour is so prevalent in these slum areas. You know what happens in a slum. We have been trying to look for alternative methods of solving that conflict, not necessarily taking them to court… Because actually if you take them to court maybe the child, the same child you wanted to protect will now become something else.’
The Naivasha Police have developed positive working relationships with local partners and businesses, they have increased resources in the area for tackling violence and keeping women and children safe at times of crisis, and the police officers feel empowered and supported by the local community.
‘Initially you know there was that conflict of police are our enemies, every time you see a policeman you run away even without having committed any crime… And we’re trying to tell the community we are also mothers, fathers, we are brothers, cousins, sisters you can also tell me your problem. You can also give me your secrets and I’ll keep them and I will advise where possible, where I can’t I will refer you somebody else who has better knowledge than me.’
Case 6: Community Policing ‘Clusters’ a security initiative innovation after PBLD
‘All tribes in this county, that is the 44 tribes in Kenya, they live here (Nakuru Town West to Njoro)…Because it is the area that people can live cheaply. It is a slum area. When it comes to time of the election the politicians incite those people, and you know when they’re given hand-outs they can do anything.’
‘The government brought the police without even harmonizing them with the society… They brought an act of community policing. It is in the constitution. The police will work with the community. How are they going to work with the community?’
The move towards improving the relationship between the community and the police is recognized to be a challenging one, particularly in contexts of low living standards, poor government investment, and cultural and territorial boundaries created by tribal identities.
P-BLD triggered the Community Policing Committee to explore options for the expansion of their reach into communities. They formed seven ‘clusters’ of community policing members; six ward level clusters and one cluster that specifically deals with children and gender matters. These members are all volunteers in local villages, who report issues, challenges, and actions back to the main committee.
The Community Policing Committee now has 84 members in the area, and about 20 are trained and focuses on gender-based violence. The clusters meet once a month in their respective wards, then converge as all clusters in a monthly meeting to generate reports for the CPC monthly meeting with local police officers.
‘Because we’re told in the place-based development program that when there’s a problem somewhere you don’t run away from the problem but you have to face that problem and understand and know what the genesis of this. That’s why you see we changed the narrative of instead of doing boardroom meetings, we do it at that area that has been in fact affected. That has made us curb all the problems that have arisen there economic and land problems that were very much. Because you know, we are different tribes. ..We are of different tribes so he’s one who understands what those people want.’
Recognizing the need to create a dialogue about policing, safety, and security issues deep within communities, helped CPC to undertake their expansion work and engage members of various communities to lead it. Several participants talked about the focus of P-BLD in working with others in the ‘place’, creating partnerships, and shared responsibility for collective outcomes.
The Community Policing Committee clusters feed into and report to community policing committees. They create links and space for communities to engage with the police in informal ways, to engage in discussion about their perceptions and experiences of policing, and to hold them to account for police actions and feedback. This gives the community a sense of influential power and ownership of over-policing resources and attention. These cluster groups of volunteers have been trained by CPC from the lessons learned from PBLD modules, and now share that learning with other community members, engage further volunteers, and coordinate their own meetings and areas of focus.
Participants described an increase in arrests linked to gender-based violence since the clusters were implemented, through increased reporting of cases, information sharing, and improved collection of robust evidence.
‘We went there and understand their problem and we started these groups, now they’re doing it. They’re doing it at the same time reporting cases to the police station…women in security matters and we gave them very good training and now they can sustain themselves. They have their own programmes of self-sustainability. Now they don’t have time to go and fight over water.’
Case 7: Build-Up of Relationships and Collaborative for Collective Impact between Community Leaders, Civil Society Actors and the Police
Stakeholders individually put in place mechanisms for violence prevention but hardly collaborate and coordinate their efforts with other sectors. The animosity between communities and the police (previously termed as Kenya Police Force and now termed as National Police Service) because of years of police brutality, fear, suspicion, impunity, leakage of intelligence information shared; and corruption in the service strained their relationships. This is similarly so among other stakeholders including the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), health institutions, county government, the private sector, and faith-based organisations. Hence, collective action in violence prevention among stakeholders was weak.
Midrift sought to address this challenge through IUVP by separately holding an initial two-day capacity-building forum for the police on Inter-Sectoral Urban Violence Prevention (IUVP). Similarly, a two-day capacity building for the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on IUVP was done then the Police and the CSOs were brought together for a one-day forum to dialogue on the issues that hinder effective collaboration and coordination in violence prevention workshops. The areas for capacity building were: Policing reforms – linking national and local processes; Public health approaches to urban violence prevention; Violence observatory; leadership and conflict resolution; and introduction to violence prevention approaches and strategies. Issues mentioned above were cited as some of the leading concerns of the CSOs against the Police. The police also noted that the CSOs and communities behave as though the police have no rights and that many citizens are ignorant of the law and the rights and obligations thus necessitating the need to have more police-community interactions towards minimizing fear and suspicion to build confidence. During the joint Police-CSO sessions, one participant remarked, ‘I couldn‘t imagine that one day the police and CSOs could sit down and joke, eat and work together’.
The main role of P-BLD was to inculcate the importance of the CSOs communities and the police leadership roles as important in cultivating and encouraging the security sector public service innovation. Most importantly, it brought out the overlaps in the roles of the different actors. The areas of overlap were described as innovation zones; areas providing many opportunities for inventive behaviour. These zones are especially fertile for innovation because they enabled different perspectives to be brought together and this can prompt active questioning of established norms and attitudes.
The CPCs through the CPFs have brought in actors not normally involved in addressing security sector challenges, such as the CSOs and local businesses. The CPFs now enable informal communication on security issues to be undertaken as well as relationship-building to take place between stakeholders from the different realms of place-based leadership. Unlike before, CSO activists and the police are actively involved in security issues; preparing and planning developments as well as committing to delivering the developments through their own strategies, practices, and actions.
Case 8:Improved service delivery in local health facilities reduces strain on sub-county referral hospitals
Heath issues management is partly devolved to counties through the Ministry of Health (MOH) at the National level. Counties manage Health departments (department of medical services and public health department). The medical service department primary deals with curative interventions centered on a Doctor-Patient relation and drug administration while the public health department deals with disease prevention strategies at individual, family, household, and community levels in the bid to reduce the overload of patients to the medical service department. Therefore, the department has initiatives such as community outreach programmes on health trends -gender based violence, criminality, children delinquency and neglect, street children menace, myths and misconceptions of living health, female genital mutilation, drug and substance abuse and disease control. In every Sub-County, there is an established Sub-County health management team of about 13 to 15 members led by a team tasked with overseeing implementation of health management strategies (pharmacy control, Laboratories, HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, Health Promotion, Health Data etc.). Every Sub-County has a Sub-County Referral hospital served by several dispensaries and health centres. The Sub-County health management team realized that people are not utilizing local health facilities instead preferring to trek long distances to the Sub-County Referral hospital, with even cases of pregnant women who would lose their babies on the way to hospital. Many would allude to poor health facility employee-patient relationships and poor service delivery. For the Sub-County health management team to manage such situations, they needed place-based leadership skills for collective action and impact.
During one of the senior management meeting with the Sub-County health management team, two PBLD participants after understanding “The Place” and environment they work in from the lessons on mindset shift, stakeholder analysis and the Zone of Uncomfortable Debate (ZOUD), then suggested an introduction of a complaint desk in all health facilities where patients could register their complains by themselves in a secluded area which is managed by the team leader. They made sure that the complaint could not be altered or erased from the book once it is written. Every member of the team supervises each dispensary/health centre. The management team then during their monthly meetings go through all the complains one by one addressing those issues at the management level. They also deployed stakeholder analysis skills learned in the modules to bring onboard all stakeholders; police, children officers, chiefs, community members in a dialogue day within the jurisdiction of the affected health facility to address those issues. The team together with the communities affected deliberately on the issues and come up with their own solutions.
PBLD helped the participants to trust the process by engaging the community to get needed information on services offered by health facilities so that they could improve on delivery. It also improved participants’ leadership skills, built their resilience not to overreact making use of non-verbal communication to make wise decisions that has a collective impact.
When you engage the community on these issues, you need to do an analysis of stakeholders to work with to realize the big impact. PBLD built my personal being and opened my eyes to see things around me that I previously did not see.’ ‘I remember an exercise where we were asked what we had seen on our way to the workshop, I realized that a lot happens around us and yet we can’t notice, now you see…the complaint desk is 3 months old and we have seen results’.
Even though they health department used to hold dialogue days, they did not bear desired outcomes. The skills acquired from PBLD helped to enhanced how they dialogue especially after deploying a complaint desk that would generate issues to dialogue on. The services at the local health facilities were improved and people started utilizing them rather than walking long distances to the referral hospitals. Congestion has been eased and trust gradually built between service providers at the facilities and patients seeking those services. From statistics, the numbers now are showing increased usage of local village level services while reducing the numbers served at the referral facility.
To document the intervention, you get to the statistics and compare them with the previous ones. Today, there is a substantial increase in the number seen by those local and periphery health facilities compared to previous statistics.’ ‘there is a reduction in conflicts that we used to handle at these facilities evidenced by a number of issues in the dialogue days