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Re: [holistichelping] Kenya Citizens Assembly Launch: Memorandum of Collaboration (signatures needed by APRIL 1st)

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  • Peter Burgess
    Dear Colleagues I may be too late ... but for the record ... I want to be supportive of this. Peter Burgess //////////////////////////////////
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 6, 2008
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      Dear Colleagues

      I may be too late ... but for the record ... I want to be supportive of this.

      Peter Burgess
      On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 9:12 PM, Janet Feldman <kaippg@...> wrote:
      > Dear Colleague: The date for the launch of the Citizens Assembly in Kenya
      > has been set. The Memorandum of Collaboration among participating
      > individuals and partnering organizations (both inside and outside Kenya) has
      > been drafted. Please read the outline below, and let us know if you want to
      > be included among the signatories of the initial announcement of Memorandum
      > of Collaboration, which will go out to press April 2, 2008. If you want to
      > include your organization or your own individual name, please reply before
      > end of Business day April 1, 2008.
      > ============
      > Working Together for Genuine Democratic Reforms in Kenya: A Framework for
      > Collaboration Among Community Partnerships and Support Organizations
      > Main Section
      > Contributed by Tegi Obanda (for CCR-kenya)
      > A focus on people-driven constitutional reforms
      > What makes it work-the process determines the content: Ten-Point Roadmap
      > Towards Enactment and Implementation of a New Democratic Constitution in
      > Kenya, January-December 2008
      > http://ccr-kenya.blogspot.com/2008/03/ten-point-roadmap-towards-enactment-and.html
      > Who is involved?
      > A proposed "Memorandum of Collaboration"
      > To bring forth a people-driven constitution -- to make Kenya a country
      > where people are healthy, safe, and cared for, there has to be a governance
      > structure in place that is transparent, accountable, participatory and
      > devolved to the grassroots.. To achieve genuine democratic governance in
      > Kenya, the preset constitution needs to be overhauled through a process that
      > involves the entire populace, representing all sections and regions of the
      > country.
      > As democratic reformers, we know all too well that we can't do it alone.
      > The ability to partner effectively with other individuals and organizations
      > -- both inside and outside the Kenya-- is absolutely essential to
      > effectively empower Kenyan citizens to become effective and equal
      > participants in the process of reconstituting their country.
      > However, these partnerships don't materialize out of thin air. And once
      > they do occur, the players involved aren't always sure of their roles, or
      > how those roles can come together in a manner that meets everyone's needs
      > and interests. In short, there's often a knowledge gap, even when everyone
      > wants to work together for the same outcomes.
      > In this section, we'll try to address that gap. We outline a modest
      > proposal for how three key groups -- community partnerships, support and
      > intermediary organizations -- might work together to make the most of
      > everyone's involvement in the democratic reform process.
      > We'll start with a brief look at why we focus on process and what we
      > believe are ten key elements in a people-driven process of constitutional
      > reforms. We hypothesize that Kenya's democratic transition ground to a halt
      > because there was no well-laid down process that delineated the step-by-step
      > actions that would lead the people from point A, when they start the reform
      > process to point B, when they had the new constitution enacted and
      > implemented. Nearly all the focus of the now defunct Constitutional of Kenya
      > Review Commission was on the content. They captured the people's views,
      > deliberated on them and made a very fine draft, popularly known as the Bomas
      > draft.
      > Then they handed the draft to parliament.
      > For reasons only known to themselves, the commission told parliament that
      > they had to either "accept the constitutional draft in Toto or reject it in
      > Toto". They never explained what was to happen in case they rejected it.
      > Yet, any casual observer of the Kenyan political scene could have known that
      > parliamentarians were not keen on constitutional reforms. As members of the
      > elite class that benefits from lack of accountability, transparency and
      > participatory governance, they would fight with all their might to block any
      > attempt to whittle down their powers.
      > To hand over the constitutional draft to parliamentarians to pass would be
      > like asking a thief to return all the goods he has stolen and the telling
      > him to then walk into a police station that is unguarded lock himself up,
      > take himself to court, try himself and sentence himself to seven years in
      > prison, drive himself to prison and lock the gates.
      > There were numerous warnings to the commission to never give parliament
      > the power to decide the fate of the constitution. It Is All About Power: An
      > Open Letter to the delegates of the National Constitutional Conference
      > (NCC), June 2003, Kenya http://www.ccr-kenya.com/Resources/10.html.
      > But more importantly, the people of Kenya had as early as 1992 resolved
      > that they did not want parliament to reform the constitution for them.
      > Confirming Kenya's prescient fears, the parliamentarians did not
      > disappoint. They did all they could to disrupt and derail the National
      > Constitutional Conference of 2003-4, as each group saw the constitutional
      > reform process a chance to create power traps for themselves.
      > They boycotted, derided, delayed, filibuster, insulted and disrupted the
      > conference, turning the most important and historic event in Kenya into a
      > cynically well-planned comedic fiasco.
      > This understanding, although laid out in detail in background documents,
      > forms the basis for ideas in this section. Then, we will explain who the key
      > players in constitutional reforms are, and follow up with an understanding
      > of how they can best work together to make the most of everyone's efforts.
      > Our hope is that, when adapted in local dialogue, this "memorandum of
      > collaboration" will help guide the next major actions towards constitutional
      > reforms in Kenya..
      > A focus on people-driven constitutional reforms
      > When we talk about people-driven constitutional reform we mean the process
      > of people working together to address what matters to them -they meet in
      > local caucuses and discuss the constitutional draft. Whatever people bring
      > forward as contentious issues are recorded, tallied and weighted for
      > consideration for inclusion in the referendum questions.. whether that is
      > reducing violence, revitalizing an urban neighborhood, or promoting child
      > health. Civic engagement is promoted among all of the members of the
      > community.
      > By community, we mean people who share a common place, such as a rural
      > community or urban neighborhood, or experience, including being an
      > adolescent, female or a member of an ethnic minority group.
      > To address what matters to community members, we need to change the
      > conditions in which we live. To change the conditions in which people live,
      > there is a need to change the power structures that centralizes
      > decision-making power in the hands of the president, the executive, and
      > legislature. Local governments need to be empowered with full powers to
      > collect and disburse resources as they see fit.
      > We believe that collaborative partnerships should focus on environmental
      > changes -- bringing about those community and systems changes that modify
      > local conditions. That's because we believe these changes are an
      > intermediate outcome in the long process of community socio-economic
      > improvement. Community and systems changes fall in to one of three
      > categories, all of which should relate back to community-determined goals:
      > New or modified programs -- for example, better schooling,
      > community-based policing, disease-prevention services.
      > New or modified policies -- for example, people taking control of their
      > natural resource management or family-friendly policies in businesses
      > New or modified practices -- for example, healthcare for all or increased
      > opportunities for economic advancement.
      > What makes it work: Seven key factors in citizen involvement
      > There are seven essential ingredients that contribute to successful
      > community involvement.
      > Clear vision and mission -- those initiatives with a clear and specific
      > focus, such as increasing rates of childhood immunization or lowering the
      > rate of unemployment, bring about much higher rates of change than broad
      > efforts which lack a targeted mission and objectives. The vision and mission
      > may reflect a continuum of outcomes, including: a) categorical issues, b)
      > broader interrelated concerns (e.g., youth development), and/or c ) more
      > fundamental social determinants of health and development (e.g., children
      > living in poverty).
      > Action planning -- Identifying specific community changes (that is, new
      > or modified programs, policies, and practices) to be sought may be the
      > single, most important practice that can be implemented. The action plan
      > should be quite precise, specifying with whom, by whom, how and by when each
      > action step should be carried out.
      > Leadership -- A change in leadership can dramatically affect the rate of
      > change brought about by a community group. The loss of visionary competent
      > leadership can be particularly difficult for an organization. There has to
      > be a holistic view of grooming and maintaining visionary leadership for your
      > group.
      > Resources for community mobilizers -- Hiring community mobilizers or
      > organizers can aid in following up on action plans. It can be very difficult
      > to maintain an organization without some paid staff. Paid organizers can
      > help fan the flames and keep the level of excitement about the organization
      > and its goals at a consistently high level.
      > Documentation and feedback on the changes brought about by the
      > organization -- It's also very important that people keep a record of what
      > they have done and how they have done it. Having this history can be an
      > invaluable guide for the organization's work. Looking regularly (at least
      > quarterly) at what the group has done, how quickly it has occurred, and
      > outside events that affect the group's work has been shown to spur groups
      > onto even greater heights.
      > Technical assistance -- Outside help with specific actions, such as
      > action planning or securing resources, is also a way to support a group's
      > efforts to transform its community.
      > Making outcome matter -- Finally, grantmakers also have the ability to
      > increase rates of community and systems change through offering incentives
      > or disincentives to their grantees. For example, the annual renewal of
      > multi-year awards or the offering of bonus grants could be based on evidence
      > of progress or accomplishment by the community group.
      > Who is involved?
      > Transforming the conditions that affect the community civic engagement
      > requires a broad collaborative partnership among several key players. Three
      > distinct groups emerge as playing vital, interdependent roles:
      > National and community partnerships
      > Support and intermediary organizations
      > Let's look at each of these groups one by one.
      > National and community partnerships -- those doing the work of community
      > and systems change -- link together people and organizations that have the
      > same goals. For example, a citizen assembly partnership might bring together
      > representatives from regions and sectors. Together, they might work to make
      > changes throughout the community that would affect community's civic
      > engagement capability. Specific changes might be made in local
      > community-based organizations, health organizations, businesses, schools,
      > the government, financial institutions, and the faith community -- all with
      > the overall goal of access to health care for all.
      > Support and intermediary organizations -- such as university-based
      > research centers, professional bodies and community-based organizations,
      > help community partners develop the skills they need to be effective. Often,
      > these groups concentrate on improving community members' understanding of
      > the core competencies necessary to do this work. Examples of these
      > competencies include community assessment, strategic planning, community
      > action and advocacy, community evaluation, and securing resources to sustain
      > the effort.
      > A proposed "Memorandum of Collaboration"
      > Our question in this section is, how can these three groups work together
      > most effectively? What are the roles and responsibilities of each that,
      > taken together, will help make our communities healthier places to live?
      > On the next few sections, we'll look again at each of the seven key
      > elements for effective community work that we discussed above. For each
      > point, we will offer a timeline for how long the action should take to
      > complete, and the specific role that each of the three partners can have in
      > completing that step. These roles and responsibilities are summarized in a
      > table in APPENDIX A Tool #1. A model "Memorandum of Collaboration" is
      > outlined in APPENDIX BTool #2.
      > The total time-frame for constitutional reforms is one year:
      > Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation AGREEMENTS by Kofi Annan.
      > Background
      > Recalling the 1 February 2008 agreement by the Parties to deal with longterm
      > issues and solutions that may have constituted the underlying causes of
      > the prevailing social tensions, instability and cycle of violence, and
      > recalling
      > the substantial discussions that have been held concerning constitutional
      > reform over recent years, the Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
      > Reconciliation agree to the following general parameters and principles for
      > the
      > establishment of a constitutional review processes.
      > General principles and stages of the process
      > The parties accept that the constitution belongs to the people of Kenya who
      > must be consulted appropriately at all key stages of the process, including
      > the
      > formation of the process itself, the draft, the parliamentary process and
      > any
      > final enactment.
      > There will be five stages in the review of the Constitution and there will
      > be
      > consultation with stakeholders in each stage:
      > 1 An inclusive process will be initiated and completed within 8 weeks to
      > establish a statutory Constitutional Review including a timetable. It is
      > envisaged that the review process will be completed within 12 months from
      > the initiation in Parliament.
      > 2 Parliament will enact a special 'constitutional referendum law' which will
      > establish the powers and enactment processes for approval by the people in a
      > referendum.
      > 3 The statutory process will provide for the preparation of a comprehensive
      > draft by stakeholders and with the assistance of expert advisers.
      > 4 Parliament will consider and approve the resulting proposals for a new
      > constitution.
      > 5. The new constitution will be put to the people for their consideration
      > and
      > enactment in a referendum.
      > Ten-Point Roadmap Towards Enactment and Implementation of a New Democratic
      > Constitution in Kenya, January-December 2008 Drafted by Tegi Obanda for the
      > Coalition for Constitutional Reforms, Kenya (CCR-K) in December 2007
      > 1. Establishment of a representative Citizens Assembly: Amendment of
      > Section 47 (ties parliament's and the president's hands - they cannot reject
      > the draft after referendum); national discussion of contentious issues and
      > reform process by March 31, 2008; and preliminary discussion goes up to June
      > 30, 2008
      > 2. Civic Education Workshops - To discuss the Bomas draft and bring up
      > contentious issues (July 1-September 30, 2008)
      > 3. Contentious issues drawn from Civic Education Workshops (July 1 -
      > September 30, 2008)
      > 4. Referendum Questions drawn from contentious issues (Oct 1-31, 2008)
      > 5. Referendum on contentious issues only (November 18, 2008)
      > 6. Final Constitution redraft based on referendum results (November 19-30,
      > 2008)
      > 7. Final copy presented to parliament (December 1, 2008)
      > 8. Parliament automatically passes (enacts) the new constitution into law
      > - has no power to discuss or reject (see stage 1 above), by December 1, 2008
      > 9. President automatically assents to the new constitution - has no power
      > to refuse to assent (see stage 1 above), by December 5, 2008
      > 10. The new constitution replaces the old constitution, and is
      > implemented immediately (as of December 12, 2008)
      > 1. Refining and targeting the partnership's vision, mission, and
      > objectives
      > How long? This step should take approximately three to six months..
      > Community partnership: The community partnership is responsible for
      > selecting a workable (i.e., fairly modest) number of broad goals, in this
      > case, to go through the draft constitution and pinpoint areas which need
      > improvement, and offer those improvements.
      > Support organizations: Support organizations can assist the community
      > partnerships in developing a broad-based vision, and then in framing their
      > objectives in a manner that is both specific and workable.
      > Support organizations will also work with the community partnership to
      > identify community-level indicators that are most likely to give an accurate
      > and sensitive picture of how effective the partnership's efforts have been.
      > Community-level indicators are discussed in APPENDIX 3 Gathering and Using
      > Community-Level Indicators.
      > Roadmap Details:
      > 1. Establishment of a representative Citizens Assembly: Amendment of
      > Section 47 (ties parliament's and the president's hands - they cannot reject
      > the draft after referendum); national discussion of contentious issues and
      > reform process by March 31, 2008; and preliminary discussion goes up to June
      > 30, 2008
      > 2. Developing an action plan for bringing about community civic engagement
      > in citizen caucuses with the goal of developing grassroots participation in
      > constitutional reform process.
      > How long? This step takes approximately six to eight months for the
      > original development, and will then be ongoing through the life of the
      > initiative.
      > Community partnership: Building on earlier efforts, collaborating
      > partners should identify specific changes to be brought about. These changes
      > in programs, policies, and practices will be sought throughout the. Specific
      > action plans that complement one another should be developed for each
      > objective the community partnership has chosen.
      > It's very important that the planning process is inclusive, involving
      > people who have significant influence in the community (for example, elected
      > officials), as well as the people who are most affected by the concern (such
      > as residents of low-income neighborhoods).APPENDIX 4 Identifying Targets
      > and Agents of Change: Who Can Benefit and Who Can Help, offers additional
      > insight on this topic. Finally, it is often helpful to organize members in
      > working committees for each specific objective, such as creating a Task
      > Force on Student Assembly, Workers, Assembly or Women Assembly. This
      > coordinates and focuses efforts so they will have the greatest possible
      > impact.
      > Support organizations: Support organizations can assist with action
      > planning by suggesting possible actions, and making members of community
      > partnerships aware of "best practices" (successful actions taken by other
      > community groups) for each objective. They can also be very helpful in
      > supporting the early stages of action planning. For example, they might
      > organize and run planning retreats for the community group.
      > Roadmap Details:
      > 2. Civic Education Workshops - To discuss the Bomas draft and bring up
      > contentious issues (July 1-September 30, 2008)
      > 3. Contentious issues drawn from Civic Education Workshops (July 1 -
      > September 30, 2008)
      > 3. Developing and supporting leadership within communities
      > How long? This is an ongoing task.
      > Community partnership: Members of the partnership can enhance and support
      > existing leadership through mechanisms such as meetings and retreats. They
      > will also seek to develop new generations of leadership by creating
      > opportunities for new leadership to develop, through mentoring newer
      > leaders, and by supporting local youth in leadership roles.
      > Support organizations: Support organizations can use direct personal
      > assistance, support groups, and print and web-based resources to support
      > local leadership in their efforts. They can also help to develop formal
      > (e.g. courses) and informal learning communities (e.g., support networks).
      > 4. Documenting the process of community change and improvement, and using
      > feedback to improve and celebrate efforts
      > How long? This is an ongoing task that should occur on a monthly basis.
      > Community partnership: Using a documentation and evaluation system,
      > members of the partnership will gather information on changes facilitated by
      > the partnership. This task is described in APPENDIX 5 Gathering
      > Information: Monitoring Your Progress. They will also assist in obtaining
      > other information to help understand and be accountable for their work,
      > including success stories and community-level indicators related to their
      > objectives.
      > Finally, they will review data on intermediate outcomes (community and
      > systems change) at least quarterly, and data on more distant outcomes
      > (community-level indicators) at least annually. This will help guide
      > improvements and promote the celebration of accomplishments.
      > Support organizations: Support organizations can facilitate a
      > conversation about what are important markers of success. They will
      > establish and maintain a system for documenting community and systems
      > changes. Finally, they will help local documenters in clarifying and
      > interpreting information, and in communicating important news to funders and
      > the broader community.
      > 5. Securing and providing technical assistance for local groups' efforts
      > How long? This is an ongoing task.
      > Community partnership: Members of the partnership should look for help
      > from organizations with specialized knowledge, such as those which
      > specialize in an issue that the partnership is interested in (i.e. youth
      > organizations or women group). In addition, the partnerships should develop
      > their own capacity to provide technical assistance, such as in action
      > planning or documentation, for other communities working on similar issues.
      > Support organizations: Support organizations can provide technical
      > assistance to community partnerships, in implementing and documenting their
      > work. This might include providing training materials and/or workshops in
      > skills such as community assessment, action planning, leadership
      > development, and evaluation.
      > 6. Securing and providing financial resources for work in local
      > communities
      > How long? We recommend an initial three-year commitment that is
      > potentially renewable; further, we suggest multi-year grants with their
      > renewal based on evidence of progress.
      > Community partnership: As appropriate, partners will hire and support
      > community organizers responsible for helping bring about the community and
      > systems changes identified in the group's action plan. In applications for
      > grant funding, the partners should provide evidence of the need for (and
      > value of) community investment. This includes using quantitative information
      > on community and systems change and improvement through community-level
      > indicators, and qualitative information such as success stories.
      > Support organizations: Support organizations can assist local documenters
      > in analyzing, interpreting, and communicating data for use in grant status
      > reports and "progress to date" sections of grant applications. This and
      > related qualitative information such as success stories can be used to help
      > leverage resources as the community's accomplishments are marketed to
      > prospective funders.
      > 7. Making outcome matter in working with local communities
      > How long? This is an ongoing task.
      > Community partnership: The partnership should agree to submit annual
      > status reports that include information on evidence of community and systems
      > change as well as progress towards affecting the bottom line. To be fully
      > accountable, they should agree to share evidence of accomplishments (and
      > needed changes) with funders and the broader community.
      > Support organizations: Support organizations should assist the community
      > partnership in documenting, analyzing, and communicating data on the process
      > of community change and improvement for grant status reports.
      > First, annual renewal of multi-year awards can be based on the evidence of
      > progress. Initially, progress should be judged largely on community
      > involvement and on the rate and kind of community and systems change
      > facilitated by the community partnership. In later years, improvement on
      > community-level indicators will serve as additional evidence of success.
      > Second, bonus grants (up to one-third of the grant award) may be earned
      > for outstanding accomplishments, such as high rates of changes on issues
      > that are important to community members. For example, the community might
      > show a markedly decreased rate of teen pregnancy that can be traced back to
      > the partnership's efforts.
      > Third, outcome dividends could be made available to enhance accountability
      > for longer-term community-level outcomes, such as a lowered rate of
      > substance abuse or improved school performance. The "outcome dividend" is a
      > cash bonus that is calculated based on cost-benefit estimates associated
      > with improvements. The outcome dividend will be deposited in a local
      > "Community Trust Account" and reinvested by the community partnership for
      > work on community-determined goals.
      > To sum it up
      > Community civic engagement- the ability of the community to interrogate
      > the way it is governed and suggests methods that they find suits the best of
      > their dreams and struggles, and to entrench that in the constitution during
      > the constitution-making period-- requires changes in both the behaviors of
      > large numbers of individuals and in the conditions that affect their
      > thinking.
      > Although community members are best positioned to determine their concerns
      > and strategies, other partners are needed to help with technical support,
      > and in obtaining financial and other needed resources. In this section, we
      > recommend adjusting the related roles and responsibilities of community
      > partnerships, support organizations, and grantmakers. The aim is to build
      > the capacity of community members to address what matters to them. The hope
      > is that these ideas for a new "social contract" will stimulate dialogue and
      > enhance collaboration among those committed to building democratic
      > communities.

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