Civic Engagement and Flames of Democracy Programme


The Civic Engagement and Flames of Democracy Programme aims to empower citizens to effectively participate in democratic governance and electoral processes. This is achieved by generating awareness through an innovative suite of techniques and by improving the capacity of citizens to effectively engage in good governance and democracy through direct and indirect means.

  • To promote citizen centered democracy learning and dialogue platforms
  • To support Civil Society and media independence to provide oversight and informed critique of government and processes
  • To enhance citizen engagement in democratic governance


1. Title Jukumu Letu: Youth Learning and Living Democracy

Supported by: 

The “Jukumu letu” programme  was initiated by Hivos under their Engagement and Expression  programme and locally developed through a consultative process by a group of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in Kenya that are committed to work with citizens to educate, inform and enhance capacities to participate in the process of implementing the constitution. The Programme recognizes the need for the Kenyan citizens to understand, embrace and respect the constitution and use it as a tool to realize their rights, freedoms and aspirations. 

Building a culture of constitutionalism is a process that takes time, energy and resources. It requires partnerships and collaboration between different groups of people who will be actors in the programme. This is the basis of Hivos’ collaboration with IED in implementing Jukumu Letu. In the partnership, IED will contribute to the programme goal by involving youth change as Democracy Ambassadors in the programme.

Through our broader programme dubbed “Youth Learning and Living Democracy”, IED will shape the behavior of the youth toward desirable social outcomes and continuous democratic transformation. Hivos and IED will work towards shifting mindset that have condemned the youth to incessantly sit on the fringes of democratic society and be susceptible to manipulation for political gain.

The efforts of this collaboration will lead to the realization of the following results;

  1. Increased capacity of youth to promote civic engagement in their communities in 47 counties (47 youth leaders will spearhead the processes. Each county will be represented)
  2. Enhanced knowledge of values and importance of democracy among trained youth
  3. 47 Youth Democracy Ambassadors successfully qualified to spearhead civic engagement on the implementation of the constitution.
  4. Youth led Dialogue platforms to promote democratic governance initiated in 7 counties.



2. Promoting Internal Political Party Democracy in Kenya

Supported by: 

This intervention will build upon previous work already undertaken by IED and continue to strengthen relationships between institutions of governance. A three phased approach will be undertaken with the immediate objectives being to:

1.        Enhance the capacity of political parties to engage with their constituents

2.       Increase political party knowledge and technical capacity on electoral processes

3.       Improve regulatory framework of electoral processes and free and fair elections

To increase political party knowledge and technical capacity on electoral processes, IED will build upon its expertise in democracy education, in particular the School of Democracy initiative facilitated by the Civic Engagement and Flames of Democracy Programme. This intervention will see IED design three specialised training academies. The first academy titled Pre-election Activities, will be an in depth module on how to conduct nominations processes against Kenya’s legal framework and international best practices. The second academy titled Election Operations is a practical module that will enable the participants to understand how to conduct and manage a ballot process. The third academy, titled Public Outreach, is a specialised module that will enable political parties to understand effective strategies for engaging their constituencies on voter, civic and political education. IED will invite representatives from the seven political parties to participate in these specialised  two-day academies. The academy modules will be developed and facilitated by IED technical specialists and will include participatory learning methodology.

In doing this, we will also build a case for future work to ensure that there are capable and competent specialists within the party who can confidently execute civic/political/voter education interventions to a wide audience.




Title: Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability in Kenya


Supported by:

The programme is currently implementing a project that will establish a citizen driven Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) to track the progress of development projects in Kakamega and Bomet counties. The County Budget Implementation Review Report 2014 by the Controller of Budget (CoB) identified these two counties amongst the top counties in development expenditure during the last review period. It is important to pilot this version of the CBMS in counties that are more likely to have ongoing development projects throughout the monitoring period as an effective strategy for project implementation and likelihood of achieving results.

Establishing a citizen driven CBMS will entail the development of an e-portal, which will serve as an interactive platform to showcase analyzed data received from the Ward Monitors (WMs) and receive feedback from the sampled community members on development priorities through mobile telephony. The CBMS process itself is designed to promote active participation by trained citizens in monitoring development projects, reporting to a data centre, and availing analyzed data to stakeholders. This information will be used to advocate for bottom up social accountability to increasingly reinforce accountability mechanisms and public service delivery.

The rationale behind this form of CBMS is to provide an opportunity for an effective and interactive platform of citizens and duty bearers for improved service delivery This initiative will use similar processes to other participatory budgeting initiatives such as information gathering, consultation, consensus meetings and the formation of monitoring groups. However, it has the added advantage of learning from previous initiatives to expand beyond the social auditing processes, which usually reports on the expenditure after the monies have been spent. The County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) and the county budgets will benchmark the monitoring process. The CBMS will utilize short-code messaging system as a data collection tool which feeds into the e-portal. This allows the data to be analyzed frequently and availed in real time to duty bearers and citizens for timely interventions. This project has been funded by Drivers of Accountability Programme (DAP).



Title: Promoting Civil and Voter Registration, and the Secrecy of the Ballot among Marginalized Communities in Kenya.


This project aimed to strengthen good governance and democratic processes in North Eastern and Upper Eastern Kenya using a two phased approach. The first phase involved an intensive voter education strategy which trained civic/voter educators from five counties; Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera, Garissa and Isiolo to conduct community education sessions on how to protect the secrecy of the ballot, especially for assisted voters. The second phase focused on promoting civil registration and the acquisition of national ID cards and facilitated dialogue platforms to negotiate strategies to improve these processes in these areas.

Title: Enhancing Citizen’s Engagement and Participation in Democratic Governance and Electoral Processes in Kenya


This project was undertaken through the Uchaguzi Bora Initiative with the support of Uraia Trust. IED successfully implemented this project in twenty four counties namely; Marsabit, Nairobi, Machakos, Kakamega, Samburu, ElgeyoMarakwet, Meru, Nakuru, Kilifi, Kisumu, Migori, Nyandarua, Kisii, Busia, Kwale, Garissa, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Kajiado, Nyeri, Baringo, Kiambu, Taita Taveta and Bomet. Under the first phase of the project which was carried out before the general election held on 4th March 2013, IED focused on disseminating key voter information and voter education messages. The second phase of the project (post election), empowered citizens to understand devolution and engage in devolved governance. The activities undertaken in both phases were: developing and disseminating IEC materials, training and deploying community based voter educators, conducting voter education forums and focus group discussions and field visits (monitoring). IED recruited a total of thirty four community based civic educators identified from the respective communities. After undergoing training, the community based educators were deployed to undertake the community awareness and sensitization forums in their counties.

Title: Strengthening Governance and Democratization Processes in Kenya and the East and Central Africa Region


The aim of this project was to increase participation of citizens to enable them to participate in democratic governance and electoral processes. To achieve this goal, IED produced a documentary titled “Your Voice, Your Vote”. This documentary was aimed at creating awareness and educating citizens on their rights, roles and responsibilities as voters. The documentary was re-produced to ensure its relevance and accuracy of information once the electoral management body transitioned from the IIEC to the IEBC. In partnership with the IEBC, IED disseminated the documentary in nationwide in collaboration with the Film Corporation of Kenya through mobile film caravans. Title: Healthy Action- Empowering East African Non State Actors to advocate effectively on health issues Donor: European Union / Deutsche StiftungWeltbevoelkerung (DSW) Description: With financial support from the European Union and in partnership with the German Foundation for World Population, IED implemented a two year project on Healthy Action. Its objective was to empower non-state actors (NSA’s) to become meaningful and inclusive participants in civic processes concerning pro-poor health policies. This was achieved by increasing advocacy capacity to formulate policy priorities, monitor its implementation and hold decision makers to account.