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This article is taken from the December 2000 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Undertaking a baseline survey in Kenya

S&T has been working in Kenya for the last 18 months, but we have now been commissioned to undertake the most exciting project yet: a development baseline survey for the group of Northern donors supporting civic education in Kenya. S&T Senior Partner Ross Jennings describes the project.

Introduction

Since the early 1990s, Kenya has undergone profound structural changes. Economic and political liberalisation have impacted on Kenyan society in several ways, while the society remains centrally controlled and deeply divided by poverty, ethnicity and other serious lines of fracture. Crucially, however, no representative studies have been carried out to systematically explore the impact of these sociological changes on different segments of the population or the population as a whole. S&T has been commissioned to fill that gap.

Civic education

Citizenís attitudes to the changes (and to areas where change is absent), their aspirations and expectations about change, should be a key factor in designing the format and content of civic education activities. In the absence of representative data, civic education has been based on local inputs and lacked a broader framework, something this study hopes to provide as the forthcoming national civic education campaign in Kenya gets under way.

Readers may recall that S&Tís David Everatt, with Fran Biggs of South Consulting, helped design a management model which allowed a group of northern donors to support five large consortia of Kenyan civic education providers during 1999.

Against this backdrop, and the various civic education initiatives that are planned for the country, Strategy and Tactics has been commissioned by a group of donors to undertake a baseline survey in Kenya. This is the first survey of its kind in Kenya.

The baseline

The baseline survey will provide a comprehensive view of Kenyan society and will be useful in the design, implementation and evaluation of civic education programmes. It will also be useful more broadly to Government agencies, NGOs, donors and other institutions looking to design effective development programmes in the human rights and good governance (HRGG) sector. Through its detailed demographic data, the survey will also provide a valuable resource to development agencies.

S&T has already held a questionnaire design workshop in Kenya for the various stakeholders. An important part of this workshop was the establishment of a Reference Group, which will provide legitimacy and representivity to the study, while helping maintain quality and focus. In addition, it will provide an important channel for disseminating findings to target audiences, government and others.

It is envisaged that the fieldwork for the baseline survey will be conducted by the end of this year and that a final report - with GIS capability - will be disseminated by the end of March 2001. A book is planned for later in 2001.

 

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