To achieve the project’s goal, project in anchored on three key objectives that are intertwined;
1. Building Organizational and Technical capacity of 12 CSOs in Kilifi, Mombasa, Tana River and Kwale counties by 2017.
2. Strengthening conflict management mechanisms in Kilifi, Mombasa, Tana River and Kwale Counties by 2017.
3. Improving citizens’ knowledge and skills on devolved governance in Kilifi, Mombasa, Tana River and Kwale counties by 2017.
The project shall be executed through different approaches including Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Community Strategy, ‘Uzalendo’ Youth Camps and the already established county conflict avert and management mechanisms to ensure achievement of the desired results.
Measures to ensure sustainability include strengthening CSO internal systems to leverage resources, building coalitions, generating strong reporting/feedback systems and facilitating vibrant public‐public‐private sector partnerships.
The promulgation of a new constitutional dispensation in Kenya has ushered in a devolved system of government with 47 counties created nationally. While devolution has brought government closer to the people, there is potential of increasing conflict, devolving corruption and further marginalizing minority populations. 6 counties were created in the coast region: Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu, Kilifi, Tana River and TaitaTaveta. The new county governments are immediately faced with decades‐long citizen’s discontent and simmering conflicts climaxing into active secessionist calls by groups such as the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC). High youth unemployment, illegal renditions, land issues and deep rooted feeling of marginalization threatens the smooth take off of devolved governance. Suffice is to say, 4 of these coast counties are among the 15 poorest counties nationally. Taking into consideration levels of poverty, cultural homogeneity, ethnic diversity and presence of conflict triggers, this project identified 4 specific counties to work with Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Tana River counties.
It is hypothesized that improved citizen participation in devolved governance structures as well as establishment of conflict sensitive governance system will improve quality of lives of coastal residents. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have over the years evolved to be an avenue through which constructive citizen engagement is harnessed both horizontally (with other CSOs) and vertically (with governments). Weak CSO internal structures and systems, poor networking skills, lack of effective advocacy skills, poor resource mobilization as well as inefficient monitoring and evaluation systems are some of the constraining factors to vibrant CSOs capable of engaging the coast county governments in furtherance of good governance and development agenda.