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This article is taken from the April 2000 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Programme Definition Mission for Danida, Kenya

David Everatt has been appointed Team Leader for a Programme Definition Mission in Kenya, working for the Royal Danish Embassy. The project - like our work for DFID in Kenya last year - is being managed by South Consulting.

The Danish Embassy fielded a Formulation Mission last year, in order to identify strategic priorities for their next funding phase (stretching to 2002). David has been brought in – with three powerful Kenyan colleagues – to provide the Embassy with immediately implementable results.

Tasks

David will take responsibility for defining the scale and functions of a Programme Advisory Support Unity for the Embassy, which is one of the largest donors in the country and a heavy supported of the relatively young Kenyan NGO community but severely understaffed. David is also defining key spending areas in the civic education and/or constitutional review process. In 1999, David helped define a ‘basket fund’ to which all major donors could contribute and from which the five large NGO/CBO consortia could receive funds. Since then, the constitutional review has been taken over by parliament, civil society excluded, and civic education is a more appropriate description of activities than constitutional education.

The team

Wachira Maina, a leading Kenyan consultant, has joined the team, to look at areas of governance and institutional strengthening. Wambui Kiai will be looking at the prospects for rural media. Karuti Kanyinga, a leading academic commentator on civil society in Kenya, will be tackling the area of NGO and CBO funding.

The whole team is trying to nudge the Embassy towards the clustering approach commonly used in South Africa – where multiple assets are provided to key development nodes – but taking the model further to include a local vernacular newsletter, that can carry project news as well as HIV/AIDS messages, gender messages, and so on. We will also be trying to find ways of linking the heavily Nairobi-centric NGO community with the rural development projects that Danida supports, as well as their surrounding communities.

Mainstreaming

If we can manage this, then Danida will be mainstreaming human rights and good governance issues in a very concrete way. Currently, ‘mainstreaming’ is widely spoken about but rarely extends beyond some training seminars for extension officers and advisors. We hope to make it real: via local newsletters, which in turn require para-journalists, production staff and so on; via capacity building for the community committees that run projects; and by capacity building for local government officials.

After an initial, frantic week in Nairobi, getting the project in shape, David will go back in early May to undertake fieldwork as well as work closely with the local consultants to finalise their reports.

 

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