Between July 2011 and December 2012 the Kenyan Human Rights Commission (KHRC), with support from the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) is implementing a programme designed to increase citizen participation ahead of the scheduled August 2012 general elections using information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Kenya's democracy is new and according to KHRC citizens often do not understand their rights nor have the skills to claim them. There is a need for citizen participation to demand for accountable governance based on constituitionalism from the grassroots level to the highest level of government across all social classes. The main objectives of the project are for local community-based organisations and particularly their youth membership to have an improved understanding and commitment to building a human rights state and society.
For this project KHRC plans to tap into the potential of ICTs to:
- increase citizen participation;
- monitor human rights violations;
- monitor the electoral processes;
- monitor government fulfilment of promises;
- carry out campaigns; and
- inform and educate its constituents and the public on various human rights and governance issues.
According to the KHRC, it is important to update stakeholders on election activities, including the pre-campaign and campaign period, to ensure the country does not slip into the post-poll clashes that it experienced in 2007/2008. This will include monitoring and raising red flags over possible trouble hotspots; dealing with issues of citizen registration which ultimately lead to election registration; and educating the public on standards of leadership, ethics, and integrity expected of electoral candidates as enshrined in the Constitution.
The expected results of the project include the following:
- through social organising and mobilisation of communities ensure that policy decisions are compliant with the rule of law;
- reduced cases and impact of human rights violations as a result of quick responses to reported cases of violations; and
- an empowered citizenry with the ability to hold the government and other duty bearers accountable on the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
Political Empowerment, Democracy, Transparency
Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), The Swedish Program for ICT in eveloping Regions (SPIDER)