In efforts aimed at strengthening the institutional capacity of political parties, EISA supported two political parties namely Narc Kenya and the Amani National Congress (ANC) in convening training workshops for their party's National Executive Councils (NEC) and branch (County) leadership. The workshops were convened on 5th - 7th May 2016 at Maanzoni Lodge, Machakos and Gelian hotel, Machakos respectively. The workshops brought together party national office bearers and branch leadership to educate them on party polices and ideologies.
The participants also deliberated on strategies aimed at strengthening party grass root activities through sharing of experiences and best practises from the different party branches. The workshops thus accorded the participants an opportunity to deliberate and make resolutions on strategies aimed at informing their party's participation in the 2017 general elections.
EISA convened a two days consultative workshop for CORD Leadership and Governors on the 14th to the 15h February 2016 at Acacia Hotel Kisumu. The workshop was attended by CORD Principals PM Raila Odinga, VP Kalonzo Musyoka and Senate Leader Moses Wetangula. Most of the Governors allied to the coalition also attended.
2016 THE STANDARD CORD Leaders meet Governors to lay 2017 campaign strategies [PDF], 15 Feb.
The second area of support entailed strengthening the institutional capacity of political parties, both the ruling coalition and the opposition, particularly in the area of post- election evaluation and capacity building.
An EISA/Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) workshop on promoting internal democracy and party elections, opened by party leader, and former Prime Minister,Raila Odinga, promoting internal democracy and party elections was conducted on 5-17 June 2014. The Objective of the workshop was to explore ways in which the party could strengthen its organs at the national level and hold successful party elections. Party elections has been a challenging task for the party. The meeting was attended by top party leaders including Prime Minister Raila Odinga. During the workshop, Dr Victor Shale presented a comparative perspective on the African National Congress, party structures and organs, party elections and the ANC Dispute Resolution Mechanism.
EISA also organized a similar workshop for Wiper Democratic Movement at Safari Park Hotel.
EISA in collaboration with the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) convened a workshop for political parties in Kenya. The workshop was held on 26 June 2014 to 28 June 2014 at the Sentrim Hotel, in Elementaita. The workshop was attended by representatives from all registered political parties in Kenya, IEBC, PPDT, Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), Judiciary, Office of the Attorney General and EISA.
The objective of the workshop was to support political parties in Kenya to develop effective Dispute Resolution Mechanisms within their respective party constitutions. Accordingly, the workshop discussed and also shared experiences on various models of party dispute resolutions. This included the African National Congress (ANC) model which was presented by an expert from South Africa, Dr. Victor Shale. Participants also discussed the essential requirements of a dispute resolution structure which EISA will use to develop the model structure to be shared with the political parties. As a follow up, EISA and the PPDT will convene a validation workshop for the model structure by the political parties.
June 2014: URP women's congress workshop
EISA Kenya and United Republican Party (URP) organized a women's congress workshop for the party. The workshop was held on 20th to 22nd June 2014 at Simba Lodge, Naivasha. The workshop, which is part of the party strengthening activities brought together both elected and nominated women representatives (from the national and county levels) of the party. The URP is a member of the ruling Jubilee coalition.
The main agenda of the meeting was establishment of the URP party women's league. Accordingly, the participants were apprised on the current party status, importance of the women congress as well as the roles of women both in politics and in a political party. The workshop also provided an opportunity for the women caucus to validate the rules governing their congress. It culminated in the election of interim officials to the congress office. The office bearers were mandated to, among others, help the party to recruit more members, enhance party activities and visibility at the grass root level as well as vet members nominated to vie for various seats.
As part of the institutional strengthening support to political parties, EISA-Kenya conducted a number of workshops for the various coalitions and political parties that participated in the March general elections, including the ruling as well as opposition parties. The workshops resulted in development of respective strategy documents to not only guide the parties/ coalitions in performance of their functions but to also strengthen them internally through party restructuring and also membership recruitment.
The United Republic Party (URP) meeting enabled the party to deliberate on party organization and management, operation of political parties under the new constitution, the structure and management of coalitions, roles and responsibilities within the coalition structure, internal democracy and party dispute resolution mechanisms. Participants developed a strategy to aid the party in recruiting more members and in managing party county offices.
The AMANI (coalition of the United Democratic Forum, Kenya African National Union and New Ford Kenya Party) meeting enabled the coalition to deliberate on the structure and management of the coalition, roles and responsibilities within the coalition structure, code of conduct and dispute resolution mechanism. It was also used to induct newly elected members to practice, rules and procedure of the national assembly. Participants developed a coalition strategy for engagement with other political parties and coalitions in the post election period. Indeed, the document developed is currently being used by the coalition to negotiate with other coalitions in the governance sector.
The workshops targeting the CORD coalition analysed the coalition's performance in the 2013 general elections and also discussed ways of strengthening the coalition in its opposition role. Participants undertook a SWOT analysis where they identified the coalition's strengths and weaknesses in parliament and the devolved units. To guide their engagement at both levels of governance, a legislative agenda as well as an action plan for the coalition was developed.
The post election evaluation workshop and strategy development workshop for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) focussed on evaluating the party's performance during the March general elections mainly at the county levels. The forum succeeded in obtaining views from the branch officials on the intended restructuring and rebranding of the party.
In collaboration with the Office of the Registrar of Political parties (ORPP), EISA convened an induction workshop for the newly created independent Office of Registrar. The Office was delinked from the Independent Electoral and boundaries commission (IEBC) as per the provisions of the Political Parties Act 2011. The workshop discussed the structure of the registrar's office; introduction to the performance management; partnership with political parties and overview of the internal office manual. A draft strategic plan for the ORPP was drawn up to guide the office in transition from a department under the IEBC to an independent office.
In 2012, in partnership with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, EISA published Political parties legal compliance checklist
As part of the institutional strengthening support to political parties, EISA-Kenya conducted a number of workshops for various political parties. These parties were the United Republican Party (URP), United Democratic Forum (UDF), Democratic Party (DP), Alliance Party of Kenya, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Ford-Kenya. The workshops discussed compliance with the election sector laws, party coalitions and review of party policy documents. They succeeded in development of various action plans to guide their work in preparation for the elections.
The above workshops provided an opportunity for EISA to further its dissemination of the continental Benchmarks for Democratic Political Parties. The political parties present were encouraged to make reference to the benchmarks in development of their various documents and this was evident in the developed action plans. The other documents referred to include the constitution, manifestos and policy development. During the workshops, EISA demonstrated how the benchmarks could be used to enrich the party policy documents and make the party organs democratic and responsive.
In addition, EISA was presented with an opportunity to further disseminate the benchmarks through the East African Community (EAC) political parties' sensitisation workshop, which brought together leaders from all political parties registered in Kenya. During the workshop, which was aimed at sensitising political parties on the need to enhance internal democracy in their parties, EISA was given an opportunity to make a presentation on the EISA developed Benchmarks for Enhanced Political Party Performance for Democratic Governance in Africa. Following from the presentation, political parties were urged to use the benchmarks as a guide during this critical time as they develop their party documents, including the nomination rules and procedures.
9 October 2012
EISA Kenya under the political party strengthening program convened a meeting for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in Naivasha on the 4th to 5th October 2012. The meeting brought together the party's National Executive Council (NEC) and the Parliamentary Group (PG). The objective of the meeting was to assist the party realign its policy documents with the constitution, party strategy development and party compliance with the electoral sector laws.
EISA conducted party poll watch training for three by-elections in Kenya. The by-elections were necessitated by successful election petitions that resulted in the nullification of the election in the constituencies. The training was conducted in Kirinyaga, Ikolomani and Kamukunji constituencies. The content for the training was jointly developed by EISA and the office of the Registrar of Political Parties. The topics covered provided practical scenarios during elections and were designed to equip the party agents with skills, knowledge and expertise to enable them to be effective and professional in conducting their duties as party agents.
EISA was the main, and continues to be the sole, organisation providing support to the PPDT. Towards enhancing their efficiency, EISA convened an induction workshop as well as a retreat to develop the action plan for the Tribunal. The induction workshop contributed significantly to the capacity building of the PPDT members. Apart from reviewing their mandate, the workshop served to appraise the members on political and electoral conflicts and how they manifest themselves within the context of an election. The retreat resulted in the development of an action plan to guide the work of the Tribunal. The action plan, which addresses issues regarding, among others, resource mobilisation and strategic planning development, will provide a useful guide in achievement of the PPDT objectives. EISA is in the process of conducting a comprehensive strategic planning workshop for the Tribunal to guide its operation for the year 2012-2013.
EISA Kenya convened a meeting aimed at lobbying political parties to endorse and subsequently domesticate the EISA 2010 Symposium benchmarks. The meeting also succeeded in making recommendations for additional benchmarks on gender mainstreaming. Ten parties endorsed the benchmarks, namely Orange Democratic Party (ODM), Orange Democratic Party- Kenya (ODM-Kenya); Party of National Unity (PNU); SAFINA Party; Forum for Restoration of Democracy- Kenya (FORD Kenya); New FORD Kenya; Liberal Democratic Party of Kenya (LDP); National Rainbow Coalition- Kenya (NARC Kenya); Democratic Party of Kenya (DP); and the United Democratic party (UDM).
EISA conducted party poll watch agents training for four by-elections necessitated by the nullification of election results in their respective regions. Recognising the importance of the role that party agents play in building confidence in the electoral process, as well as in reducing mistakes and incidents of election rigging, the content was designed to build the capacity of party agents with skills, knowledge and expertise to enable them to be effective and professional in conducting their duties as party agents.
The new Constitution not only recognised political parties as being institutions of public governance, but also bestowed upon them new roles and responsibilities. In response to the need to strengthen the capacity of and institutionalise political parties, in line with the new requirements, EISA assisted parties in setting standards for effective operation. This was achieved through an in-country Benchmarking Workshop for the major political parties, which specifically aimed at enhancing capacity of political parties to be effective, accountable and responsive, transparent, as well as be internally democratic. The workshop addressed the question of how political parties ought to be institutionalised and succeeded in taking stock of the performance of political parties in Kenya, as well as developing and setting standards for democratic political parties. As a follow-up to the in-country Benchmarking Workshop, EISA representatives of Kenyan political parties participated in the 5th EISA Annual Symposium on "Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Democratic Governance".
EISA has also begun consulting with key political parties in Kenya. On 29 June 2010, EISA held a meeting with Hon Danson Mungatana, Secretary General of Narc-Kenya to discuss the political parties programme envisioned under ADS II. NARC-Kenya agreed to support and partner with EISA. In the coming weeks, EISA will hold discussions with other key Kenyan political parties to discuss the various activities being planned.