USAIDOTI Kenya Field Report by eld18221

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									USAID/OTI Kenya Field Report

July - September 2008



Program Description

This report covers the second quarter of operations of the OTI/Kenya program, which was initiated following a March
2008 assessment. The FY 2008 budget consisted of $5,810,304 in Transition Initiatives funding. As OTI’s first
quarter of activities focused mainly on program start-up, this reporting period represents the first quarter of full
program implementation.

The OTI/Kenya program was initiated in response to the two months of violence triggered by Kenya’s December
2007 elections. The program’s goal is to facilitate an enduring stability based on national unity. The program will
assist Kenyan state and non-state actors to more fully exercise their capacities and, thereby, support the following
objectives:

       Broad-based recovery from the 2007/2008 election-related violence, and
       Prompt steps to address the underlying causes of instability.

The Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) has two implementing partners for the Kenya program: Development
Alternatives Inc. (DAI), which is implementing a quick-impact small-grants program, and the State University of New
York (SUNY), which is supporting the work of the Kenyan Parliament.


Country Situation

Independent Elections Review – The Kriegler Commission (formally known as the Independent Review
Commission (IREC)), which was established to review the results of the 2007 Kenyan elections, presented its final
report to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on September 17, 2008. The commission’s major finding was that it is
impossible to establish the legitimate winners of the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections. The report states:
“The conduct of the 2007 elections was so materially defective that it is impossible – for IREC or anyone else – to
establish true or reliable results for the presidential and parliamentary elections.” South African jurist Johann
Kriegler, the principal author, was highly critical of the Electoral Commission and both major political parties.

Security in North Rift – The security situation remained fragile in most parts of the country. Security in the
northwest Rift Valley has continued to deteriorate due to cross-border killings and cattle raids. The situation in the
Mount Elgon region continues to be of high concern following the withdrawal of the government military forces that
had been deployed to restore peace in the face of a local insurgency. Recent reports of human rights violations by
the military have raised concerns over the integrity of the army; however, these claims have been refuted by the
government.

Unrest in Schools – Strikes aimed at educational institutions increased in July. The actions led to significant
destruction of school property and the death of a student during a dormitory fire. The post-election chaos and the
subsequent delay of the start of the school year have been blamed for the unrest and violence. The delay put a
strain on normal school programming, making it difficult to complete curricula in time for final examinations. Students
also expressed dissatisfaction with the current grading and examination system.

IDP Resettlement – Issues associated with the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue to put a
strain on community relations. Following the post-election violence, IDP camps were set up in affected areas. The
camps were in place for eight months, until the government decided to close them to quicken the resettlement
process. The government’s decision to close the camps without a viable IDP resettlement plan has increased
tension and fear in the conflict-affected regions and led to the creation of a number of poorly organized and poorly
serviced transit camps. In the Nairobi area, all IDP camps have closed, and displaced people are being urged to go
back to their homes, despite residual fears of hostility from their neighbors. The transit camps in Eldoret have also
been closed, and no plans for the resettlement of returnees have been made.

Compensation for IDPs in Rift Valley – Officials in some parts of Uasin Gishu district, Rift Valley province, chose
the first week of September to begin distributing the compensation (10,000 Kenyan shillings or about $140) promised
to people displaced by the violence. The action may have been initiated in response to U.S. Ambassador Michael
Ranneberger’s visit to the area on September 4 and 5. It is unclear how the distribution will affect OTI’s activities: it
could facilitate IDP return and support OTI’s work, or it could lead to greater tension between those that receive
compensation and those that do not.


OTI Highlights

A. Narrative Summary

With major start-up operations completed in the previous quarter, OTI was able to focus on grant development and
implementation during the July-September period. The Eldoret field office is now fully operational, and all grants
focusing on the Rift Valley, Western, and Nyanza provinces will be run from Eldoret. The Nairobi office will develop
and oversee all activities in the capital and surrounding areas such as Nakuru. The Rift Valley activities have gained
increasing attention, both within the local communities and from U.S. Government counterparts. Initial dialogue
grants have demonstrated early impact, with local groups identifying and developing their own plans for
reconciliation and reconstruction with OTI assistance and support.

B. Grant Activity Summary

During the quarter, 11 new grants with a total value of $632,071 were cleared and started. The table below lists grant
activity by sector.


                  Sector                           Number of Grants                          Total Amount

           Peace and Security                                7                                  $354,071

             Civic Education                                 1                                   $8,262

                  Media                                      1                                   $34,773

         Institution Strengthening                           2                                  $234,965

                   Total                                    11                                  $632,071


In addition to these small grants, the subcontract under the SUNY cooperative agreement for engineering and
design services was awarded. Through the SUNY activity, OTI seeks to enhance the legitimacy and transparency of
the Kenyan Parliament by providing live television and radio broadcast capabilities for its proceedings. The
subcontract covers the technical design of the project; procurement activities will begin in the coming quarter.

C. Grant Activity Highlights

Results of Grassroots Peace Building – A visit to Eldoret, Rift Valley province, by the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya
provided OTI with an opportunity to roll out its newest and arguably most ambitious project in the country to date: the
rehabilitation of the common market in Burnt Forest town.

OTI’s activities in and around Eldoret, one of the
areas hardest hit by the violence, have focused on
reconciliation and peace building between displaced
populations (primarily Kikuyu) and host communities
(mostly Kalenjin). One of the program’s first efforts in
the area involved supporting interethnic dialogues for
women and youth, which were organized and
facilitated by the local community-based organization
Rural Women’s Peace Link.

Participants from the dialogues jointly designed a
project to rehabilitate the town’s common
marketplace, which had been damaged and deserted
during the post-election violence. The two tribal
groups had been conducting business in separate
areas on opposite ends of town. The dialogue
participants proposed to rehabilitate the market and
encourage its use by the entire town in the interests
of reconciliation and economic advancement. The
Ambassador broke ground for the project at a
ceremony on September 4.

Parliamentary Support – Phase I designs for
improvements to enable the Kenyan Parliament to
manage live broadcasts from the floor of the
legislature have been completed. Preparations for a
grant to procure and install Phase I equipment began
on September 18.

D. Indicators of Success

From Reconciliation to Reconstruction – One of
the greatest indicators of success seen in OTI’s initial
activities is the willingness of participants in multi-
ethnic reconciliation dialogues to design and
implement joint reconstruction projects with formerly
estranged groups. In Uasin Gishu district, the             Community members clear ground for the Burnt Forest
epicenter of the post-election violence, OTI-                                Common Market.
supported groups are now building upon initial
programming to identify concrete activities to heal the physical and psychological damage of the crisis.

Reconciliation through Joint Business Ventures – OTI has also noted an increasing cross-fertilization between
the activities it supports. For example, participants in peace dialogues are also taking part in OTI’s business skills
trainings. Some of these participants intend to pursue business endeavors with contacts made during the dialogues.

Policy Leveraging – During Ambassador Ranneberger’s visit to the Burnt Forest market project, he pledged to bring
the Kenyan President and Prime Minister to see the transformation. The Ambassador’s speech generated high-level
media coverage and considerable attention from both U.S. Agencies and local governments.


Program Appraisal

OTI achieved full operational status in this quarter, opening an office in Eldoret and hiring and fully training
implementing-partner staff, including most of the key personnel for grant development and management. Kenyan
program development officers are increasingly taking the lead in identifying, vetting, and developing new grants. In
addition, a clear geographic focus has been established. Activities will concentrate on an area stretching from
Nairobi to Eldoret, with potential key points for programming in Kisumu and Nakuru.

Focusing primarily on reconciliation activities in the Rift Valley, the first phase of the OTI program has proven
successful in developing community-driven recovery projects by bringing different ethnic groups together and,
through facilitated dialogue, allowing them to identify barriers to reconciliation and design joint projects to address
their differences. However, interethnic distrust remains high, and OTI’s progress achieved at the grassroots level is
vulnerable to discord sown by national-level political competition. For the program to be successful, activities will
need to be replicated on a broader scale and receive a degree of support from the Government of Kenya.


Next Steps/Immediate Priorities

In the coming quarter, OTI will focus on accommodating a number of major emerging issues into its program
objectives and evaluating the ramifications of a swiftly changing political context. Chief among these emergent
issues are the following:

       The Commission of Inquiry on Post Election Violence (a.k.a. the Waki Commission, after commission chair
       Justice Philip Waki) will issue its report on the post-election violence. Its conclusions and recommendations
       could divide the Grand Coalition Government. How to respond to the report will be a major question. The
       program will need to determine what role, if any, it will take in supporting or bolstering any calls for justice,
       accountability, and reform coming from the commission.
       The eviction of families from the Mau Forest could provoke major demonstrations. It could also lead to a
       weakening or fracturing of the Orange Democratic Movement, a partner in the coalition government.
       The Parliament will go on a three month recess in mid-December, which leaves it little time to deal with a
       number of extremely important issues, most notably the need for a new constitution.
In the next quarter, OTI will –

        Conduct an orientation for all implementing partner staff on OTI values, methods, and procedures, and
        Further develop its country strategy in response to high-level political developments, including the Kriegler
        and Waki reports, the Truth and Reconciliation Bill, and progress on the constitution.

								
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