Community Together Initiative - II (CTI - II) - End of Program Report
July 31, 2019
The Community Together Initiative (CTI) model, developed by Scofield Associates, has offered a valuable avenue for demonstrating effective strategies within Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) programs. This project placed a strong emphasis on fostering robust community relationships, promoting accountability, enhancing reporting mechanisms, and facilitating swift responses. These elements were seamlessly integrated into the existing conflict management structures at the community level. The CTI-II project’s overarching theory of change was centered around the idea that by establishing constructive relationships with local policing units and addressing trauma and unintended actions within both police and communities, the susceptibility to radicalization could be mitigated. Furthermore, this approach aimed to bolster the capacity to address instances of injustice through conflict management and P/CVE efforts, all while fostering an environment of tolerance.
Among the noteworthy outcomes of the program were:
- Significant Training Impact:The training sessions played a pivotal role in enhancing participants’ capacity and informed decision-making skills. These sessions facilitated comprehensive discussions on various community issues and challenges. Notably, they paved the way for deliberations on the establishment of early warning systems, which ultimately led to the creation of an accountability platform that evolved into the community organization known as KACPEN.
- Elevated Community Engagement: Community-centered activities took center stage in the CTI-II project. Notably, events like the police cafés and community engagement sessions aimed to debunk stereotypes and create a platform for direct interaction between the community and representatives from the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). These engagements extended to training sessions aligned with the National Counter Terrorism Strategy and candid discussions with law enforcement leaders to address local challenges.
- Diverse Community Initiatives:The project encompassed a range of community-oriented initiatives, including online messaging campaigns during International Peace Day, community gatherings (barazas), sporting events, and visits to police stations. These activities collectively contributed to the strengthening of community-police relations.
The CTI-II initiative, with a focus on Kamukunji, made a resolute commitment to nurturing a critical mass of individuals adept at employing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. This approach aimed to fortify both community-police relations and the community’s ability to hold the police accountable for instances of human and civil rights abuses. Encouragingly, instances of human rights abuses have shown a decline within Kamukunji, partly attributed to the heightened engagement of trainees and the “Hezi wa Majengo” initiative, which marked a promising starting point for fostering accountability on community concerns.
Several recommendations emerged from the CTI-II project’s experiences:
- Continued Capacity Building:Sustained training, coupled with the establishment of robust accountability platforms and the cultivation of community-police relationships, would bolster the community’s resilience in effectively addressing pressures, conflicts, and the looming threats of violent extremism and terrorism.
- Private Sector Partnerships: Collaborations with the private sector emerge as a pivotal avenue for expanding the reach and impact of initiatives, fostering sustainable progress that extends beyond capacity building efforts.
- Community Organization Empowerment: The CTI-II project led to the formation of the community organization “KAKPEN,” which has played a significant role in enhancing community engagement. This organization has benefited from donor support, exemplified by the NIWETU initiative. More support is required to such organisations.
Amidst the successes, the growing challenge of returnees has emerged as a complex issue that poses significant difficulties for national strategy, law enforcement, and the community at large. The secretive nature surrounding returnees makes effective responses challenging and places the community at increased risk. Apprehensions of widespread arrests linger, causing uncertainty around reporting such concerns as they arise. While strides have been made in improving police-community relations in Kamukunji, the returnee issue has the potential to undermine these gains, potentially leading to a regression in progress achieved thus far.