iuvp case studies

Case 1: Facilitating construction of a New Police Station

The adoption of the new constitution and the alignment of the National Police Service Act to the new dispensation warranted a shift in policing from a ‘police force’ to a ‘police service’ seeking to minimise issues of corruption, poor professionalism, poor police-community relationships, public mistrust of policing and low levels of reporting of crime by establishment of Community Policing. The Community Policing Committees (CPCs) created by changes in laws have a significant role in achieving this ambition including identifying and enacting new ways to support the improvement of policing. Recognising that in one area the police ‘station’ was a fenceless small wooden shelter which provided no privacy or facilities, it also posed a security threat to the officers and police station users. The likelihood of police officers feeling valued in their work, being treated as professionals and feeling pride in their work was low. The CPC therefore considered ways to create a positive and professional working environment for local police officers. The CPC wrote a proposal to the National Government Constituency Development Fund to construct a perimeter wall and a modern police station to replace the wooden dilapidated structure that the police were using as a station. This involved reclaiming the title deed to the land, engaging with the Inspector General of the Police and seeking a ‘bill of quantity’ to put together a likely budget for a modern building structure. The security of the land and ownership were important to achieve investment through the National Government. In addition, children and gender matters were being handled under a tree. This placed the privacy of the survivors, the gender and children officers at risk. There was a need for a gender and children office since the construction of the modern police station was taking long. The CPC mobilised stakeholders to buy a shipping container as a make shift office and a safe space for survivors. The main roles of P-BLD in this action was firstly to stimulate the CPC to realise that they have the mandate, the authority and the motivation to tackle the issue on behalf of the police, and to use their network and influence to mobilise resources to enable it to happen.
‘[Rob] trained us so much on that, we dwelt on it in module two, three and four which was very much about how we can mobilise the resources within our areas, and that’s what we did.’
Secondly, the P-BLD facilitator and Midrift Hurinet colleagues supported the development of the proposal to the government, including formulating budget and writing it in a way it can be supported and understood by area member of parliament and other state and non-state officials.

The new police station was referenced by several participants and collaborators as an important investment in local policing, generating awareness of the government, of the new ways in which policing was seeking to work and attracting posting of more police officers there. The collaborative approaches of the CPC and its achievements made the National police service at National Level to benchmark on good community policing practices.
‘The community now feels a sense of belonging to the government.’
‘It has changed drastically. It’s a big change…We have our police station now, it is divisional headquarters… initially we had 30 officers, 35 [maybe] now we have 164 police officers because there are offices for them to operate. Back then it was no office, it was just a structure, a wooden structure for a police station.’
‘By building the new police station, it has reduced the likelihood of officers engaging in collusion with criminals or petty crime. It also reduces their risk of suicide.’
‘I’ve seen our ways of doing things have changed and the members of the public they come there, they appreciate, they say, okay, now this is improved. And we like the way we are doing things as much as there are some more to be done, so far so good. So that when things happen, the public members appreciate [us] to be in closer organisation with them. And that’s a good thing.’

Case 2 :P-BLD Inspires Nakuru’s First Gender Policy

County Government was described by some participants as reactive rather than proactive in relation to issues affecting women’s rights, children’s rights and the security and safety of women and children. There is high competition for resources in some places in Nakuru County, which means accessing funds can be difficult without the right network of interest and support. Tackling issues of human rights that have a history in cultures such as polygamy and patriarchy are particularly challenging to generate support and influence. The P-BLD members and those in County Assembly and local politics recognised the need to give voice for women to address a wide range of issues from access to water, health care, transport to hospitals and care of elderly women, to tackling rape and incest.The P-BLD participants working in this area brought various people and agencies together to discuss the needs of Nakuru County at policy level and to coordinate efforts in this area across sectors. This led to the development of community engagement workshops, forums for women and young people to have a voice, ‘safe spaces’ for community members to use and workshops internally for government officials to improve their understanding of the issues. Stakeholders were mobilised to take part in public participation during the budget process to advocate for funding for the gender policy. Through creating this space for increasing awareness and dialogue, information and ideas have been brought together to enable the development of a Gender Policy. Role of PBLD
‘She has been able to influence the issue of budget. She has also been able to influence the issue of policy. We did not have a gender policy since the inception of the county government of Nakuru. And she came, she mobilised the resources, she mobilised stakeholders, and now we are currently formulating a gender policy that will give you direction.’
Participating in the P-BLD programme facilitated the development of a network of contacts across agencies, built upon interpersonal, negotiation and influencing skills and generated momentum behind the issue.
Closer working across agencies and between the Chiefs and the ward administrators on issues related to gender have improved relationships between Civil Society, Police, County and National government. Roles and responsibilities between national and county levels have become clearer, improving communication and trust

‘Before she came or when she came immediately the perception was, you know, violence is not for the county government to do to deal with. That is a security matter. We should leave it to the national government. Okay? And so, they usually want to go the blame game. And then the national government will say, for example, the street children who are mugging people, who are involved in violence in towns, and in urban areas, these are people or these are the issues that are to be handled by the county government. So that was the perception before. But after attending the workshop and training, she changed our perception on that and the approach and realize now we need to work together as agencies. And it has been very positive.’
‘There’s a lot of suspicion and mistrust, especially between the county government and the national government. But for now, both the county government and the national government are working together. And when they work together, we are able now to attract other sectors and other agencies to join us in addressing this issue of urban violence.
‘People are violated without knowing that they’re being violated. And so this program serves as an awareness process for the youth, for the women, for men to know. Even sometimes when the men are violating the women, they think it’s just normal, it’s normal tradition. But when they come to these forums, then they know, “I didn’t know I was violating my wife’s rights or another woman’s rights or my son’s rights and so on.” And so for me, it’s I think it has had an impact though progressively because it’s not a short term one.’

Case 3: Skills Development and Economic Empowerment for Women in Prison

Many women involved with the criminal justice system receive short-term sentences and some move through this cycle several times. Lack of employment or income security and low levels of education and skills were identified by participants as factors in this cycle of custodial sentences. For younger women and girls, there is poor reintegration back to the society for example into schools or education programmes after a custodial sentence. Many women are involved in petty crimes and financial insecurity is often worsened after being in custody for any length of time, which pulls women back into re-offending upon release. There is limited development of support networks and friendships in prison due to varied perceptions over incarceration and tribal backgrounds, and some tribes and families have a culture of shunning women after release from prison, which can lead to homelessness, absence from children’s lives and further issues of crime and violence victimisation.
P-BLD participants identified that whilst women are in custody, it is an opportunity to help them to change their mindsets about their lives and their opportunities, and to challenge their perceptions about tribal boundaries and violence.

‘Because what I have found in Nakuru because it is a town with different tribes you find that the level of violence is very high. In most cases you find that once there are tribal clashes it starts in Nakuru. They fight one another. Sometimes you find that they even have boundaries but once we can make it to change different people from different tribes we’ll break these boundaries.’

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