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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.’

A programme of skills development was put in place those short-term sentences (six months and below), including detergent-making, baking and basic finance management to support personal income and running small businesses. Whilst employability and income generation were the focus of these sessions, they also provided an opportunity for counselling, emotional support and encouraging positive thinking about the future. In addition, prison officers sought to engage family members of women in prison to maintain their support network in readiness for their release, and to provide emotional support and a home. In gentle ways, such as playing traditional music, having a ‘dancing hour’ once a week, the prison officers would tackle prejudice and perceptions of difference between tribes, promoting unity and a sense of community for the women.
Especially those in welfare section and education. I’ve been able to share [the learning] with them…in fact I have even trained them about what I’ve been doing about these prisoners, some even I send them out. I tell them I have a certain problem and this prisoner has told me you come from their [tribe] or home place, can you please go and look for the family for me and they have been doing it.’
‘We have songs from different languages. As I have told you we are over 44 tribes so we have all these songs. We’ll play them.’

‘Once they are released back to the society, I take that initiative to go and tell the society, “Please welcome this person. Please support this person, she’s not a bad person. She has reformed. She has been trained in this and that so she can earn life only what she need it is love, acceptance.” I have seen it working
P-BLD played an important role in the development of this work in a prison, through giving the prison officer participant and her colleagues the knowledge and skills to do things differently and to extend her mandate beyondthe core requirements of the prison officer job. Through engaging with the concept of ‘place’, recognising that everybody plays a part in every sector, a clarity of ambition and goal emerged to make a difference to women’s lives.
‘I didn’t know that I have something until somebody came and ignited whatever was in me so that I can be able to use it. Before that I never used to do such things. Before that I was there for work, for payment not for impact. I was there for payment and… I’m supposed to be at work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. When my time is over, I go back to the house without touching anyone’s life. But from that time [P-BLD module] I make sure every day even though I’m not reconciling them to the family [for example] I’ll counsel someone for the better.’

For the women in this prison, they developed skills and confidence that enabled some of them to become financially more stable upon release from prison. Stories included women who were reconciled with their families, who were able to avoid returning to commercial sex work and who felt empowered to rebuild their lives. Beyond specific outcomes for women, the enthusiasm and motivation to help women and to contribute to making Nakuru a better place through supporting inmates beyond their release caught the attention and engagement of other prison officers internally, other prisons in the wider county and partner agencies. Creating awareness of these activities across other agencies has improved perceptions of the potential for prisons to impact society and better engagement across sectors.

They started their own small-scale businesses that can generate money. So, you find when the inmates come, they know that there’s a madam somewhere who can help.’

‘I had very low self-esteem but nowadays no. I’m courageous [laughs.] In Africa we have those things that are done by men not ladies, but afterwards [after P-BLD] I don’t go with gender… Even though they are just men I’ll face them and tell them whatever you’re doing is not good. [My approach] has not changed only to prisoners alone, even to the senior middle level management. I can correct them so long as they’re doing something that is not good. I’ll tell them whatever you’re doing is not good you have to change… Whatever I’ve been doing I’ve not only been doing for prisoners alone, even for the staff, my juniors.’

‘To change the structure of the organisation it is very hard but what I’ve learned, changes come from within and then the others will adapt to your changes. What I’m doing here we’re supposed to take it to Naivasha and we’re organizing for that. We’ll take it to Naivasha, to the welfare officers and we’ll teach them what to do the programs that I’ve been having here… And once we change Naivasha we’ll move to another prison and we’ll have a society that is changed.

Case 4 :Collective inquiry aids in problem solving for public transport businesses

The relationship between the public transport vehicle owners and the driver crew members was strained. Members of a militia group were extorting money from public transport drivers in urban areas of Nakuru County, particularly in more violent areas in the bus stages. Some of the militia were former driver crew members, and were involved in violence, robbery and theft. Violent incidents linked to drivers of public transport were described as common, alongside on-going conflicts and poor relationships with crew members. There was limited police involvement in the issue, which was likely due to poor reporting of these types of incidents and more broadly mistrustful relationships between police and communities.

‘We would use violence to drive them away, they would go come with more violence…and most of them are former workers who left the job. So they go within the route take money without anybody like the police stopping them.’

One of the managers of this public transport business, after the first few modules of P-BLD, began to explore the factors that might cause or exacerbate the violence and robbery affecting his drivers. Identifying poverty, lack of secure income, poor relationships between communities and lack of consequences of actions as plausible contributors to the issue. He set up meetings every two months to bring together the business stakeholders and the crew members to develop ideas for resolving these issues. He was able to work with the stakeholders of the business to encourage their financial investment in both improving the salary conditions and welfare of their drivers, and engaging the militia groups in business deals that provided them with greater financial security and some independence from the operating structure of the company. Whilst this process was described as ‘very, very difficult’, by putting this new model in place, they were able to positively improve the working conditions and security of income of both the crew drivers and the private small businesses, reducing violence and conflict between the two groups significantly. 52 militia group members were given $400 in capital to start small businesses.

‘I told them, we’re not going to give them cash. We’re going to ask what business do you want to do, how much you need and then we provide capital… So, we called them and we agreed that we settle with them so that they start small businesses.’

This participant identified the first few modules as particularly important for his development and ability to tackle the violence affecting public transport drivers. Understanding the root causes of issues, changing the narrative about what can be achieved and building relationships between people were key to this success.

‘There was a very big gap between the lowest people and the way the management perceived them because they are dispensable they come dime a dozen but, from a change in narrative they became now the most important because without them the company does not make any money.’

‘Because the moment you’re able to solve an issue without violence, successfully it adds to your confidence. So, the next challenge you are willing to take it on with increased capacity to be able to solve problems, also confidence levels come up, and increased capacity to be able to impact the people who are around you or in different leadership capacity. It increases the likelihood of a problem being sorted out at in very many areas.’

A significant reduction in violence was identified as a result of this two-fold approach to improving working conditions and income security for public and private transport drivers in Nakuru County. In addition to the impact of this on the drivers and their families, the business made further profits and became known to the national government and County Security Intelligence Committee through its success. There is closer collaboration between the reformed militia members, the public transport vehicle owners, the police and driver crew members.
‘We have to negotiate with the stakeholders, it was costing them, but ultimately they have seen a change in that, the moment you treat somebody well they also treat you [well] … now because you want to work, because the number of days is calculated and then you are paid at the end of the month – now they maintain the vehicles so it was a win-win situation.’ ‘For both the crew and the stakeholders, there was perception change, norms, values things that matter to our business that are not quantifiable in cash, but ultimately again the cash increased because the working environment improved for almost everybody.’ ‘We were called by the County Security Intelligence Committee because even they could not understand how all of a sudden there was a lot of peace on the south side yeah, which was a very violent area.’