NIMD's Kenya programme focuses on building political consensus for democratic reforms.
The Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Kenya) is the independent political parties membership organisation that was set up in partnership with NIMD in 2004. The Centre has 10 founding members, and currently comprises of 27 parties meeting the membership criteria of having either 1 member of parliament or at least 5 councillors elected, and paying the membership contribution. The parties are supported by a technical staff headed by an Executive Director that implements and organises the activities. The Centre functions as interparty platform with the stated mision to facilitate the growth of and perpetuation of multiparty democracy through capacity building of political member parties in Kenya.
The two approaches of the NIMD programme are: to facilitate an interparty dialogue on issues of national concern, like the new constitution or proposed new laws, and combine this with activities to strengthen party organisations institutionally. As the current Political Parties Act prohibits 'external actors' to directly support parties, the latter approach comprises joint capacity building activities for the member parties focued for instance on developing meaningful manifestos and improving intraparty elections and procedures. Two key areas targeted by the programme in 2011 are: compliance of parties to the regulations prescribed by the new constitution, and assisting parties in the run-up to the elections and campaign period.
The new constitution prescibes several new requirements for political parties that will be managed and supervised by the Registrar of Politcal Parties. The programme will provide technical assistance for parties to adapt their constitution and internal procedures, for instance guaranteeing that in the National Executive Committee there is no more than two third of one of the sexes represented.
The first elections under the new constitution and after the violence after the last vote in 2007 will be a lithmus test for the state of democracy in Kenya. The NIMD programme will focus on working with the parties during the election run-up and campaign period by facilitating mediation and dialogue on contentious issues arising out of the contest, preventing escalation, and already in the early stages by assisting parties in developing meaningful manifestos. An important element in this is also the cooperation with the media, and the programme will reinvigorate the parties code of conduct for the election period to avoid incitement and provocation by politician through news outlets.
The wider objective of the programme is aimed to create a less issue and conflict driven dynamic in politics and stimulate policy and argument based interaction between parties. This also relates to the core objective of strengthening party organisations as independent structures with specific principles and outlook on society that inform their policy alternatves. These parties are then also able to outlive political leaders and are not just the vehicles for individuals to get elected into office.
A third focus of the programme relates to ensuring parties and their elected representatives in parliament forge stronger relations and interactions. The foundation for this link will be the specific policies a party develops and proposes, for instance on the basis of the election manifesto. This means individual MPs can rely on a party structure that provides them with policy alternatives, which also strengthens a more national outlook on how to allocate public goods.
• Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)
• Party of National Unity (PNU)
• Orange Democratic Movement – Kenya (ODM-K)
• Kenya African National Union (KANU)
• SAFINA (a part of the Party of National Unity)
• National Rainbow Coalition – Kenya (NARC-Kenya)
• National Rainbow Coalition (NARC)
• Forum for Restoration of Democracy – People (Ford-P)
• Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU)
• Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya (PICK)
• New Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya (New Ford-K)
• Democratic Party of Kenya (DP)
• Sisi Kwa Sisi Party
• Patriotic Party of Kenya (PPK)
• Mazingira Greens party
• Kenya National Democratic Alliance (KENDA)
• United Democratic Movement (UDM)
• Kenya African Democratic Development Union (KADDU)
• Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Kenya (Ford-K)
• Progressive Development Party (PDP)
• National Labour Party (NLP)
• Kenya African Democratic Union Asili (KADU-A)
• Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Asili (Ford-A)
• In 2009 NIMD’s Kenyan partner, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy Kenya (CMD-K) played a visible and constructive role in fostering a multi-actor dialogue, bringing together political and civil society around the national reform agenda, and building consensus for the necessary constitutional reform. CMD-K and the political parties also worked on the implementation of the Political Parties Act 2008 which resulted in the political parties receiving their first instalment of public funds. The year ended with a first draft constitution for Kenya, promising much hope for an improved balance of power in the future.
• Broadly shared reform
Despite the violent and chaotic situation that characterized the early start of 2008, CMD-Kenya has been able to secure its position as a bastion of democracy and persistently pushed for a broadly shared reform agenda. In this sense CMD-Kenya has proven to be a key risk mitigating mechanism in the country.
• Civil society engagement
CMD-Kenya earned a respected place in the Kenyan political spectrum by placing itself as a strategic nexus between political and civil society. Vis a vis the Annan negotiation team the organization successfully brought to the fore the concerns of a broad spectrum of political and civil society actors in Kenya. This involvement of CMD-Kenya has strengthened the support base for the Annan brokered agreement between PNU and ODM, and the ensuing reform agenda. Furthermore it provided CMD-Kenya with a unique starting position to promote implementation of the Annan agenda in the remainder of the year and to play its part in national debates on democratic reform.
• Ethnic reconciliation
Although triggered by the disputed electoral results, the 2007/2008 post election violence in Kenya manifested itself along ethnic lines. In order to address the (real and perceived) social and economic disparities between Kenya’s ethnic groups, CMD-Kenya developed the ‘Building Bridges of Understanding’ programme, designed to break ethnic isolation and foster communication and understanding across ethnic groups in Kenya.
• Party funding
In previous years NIMD provided direct funding to political parties in Kenya, with the aim of reinforcing their institutional capacity. However, due to the volatile situation in the country and the shattered political landscape after the December 2007 elections this ‘bilateral’ programme was temporarily put on hold in 2008. The parties continued to receive trainings, for instance on the implications of the new Political Parties Act, within a cross party setting.
• Centre for Multiparty Democracy – Kenya (CMD-Kenya)
• Electoral Commission for Kenya (ECK)
• Law Reform Commission
• CAPF consortium of NGOs, including Transparency International and the Centre for Governance and Democracy (CGD)
• Media Focus on Africa
• Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
• Citizen TV
• Rotary Club
• Former Parliamentarians Association of Kenya (FPAK)
• Royal Netherlands Embassy
• Ford Foundation, United States of America
• United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
• United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
• Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom
• U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
• Heinrich Böhl Foundation, Germany
• National Democratic Institute (NDI), United States of America
• International Republican Institute (IRI), United States of America
• European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA)