In order to measure impact, this study is aligned with the Peace Impact Framework (PIF), which explores five elements* for healthy societies.
This project’s focus on community-led prevention of election-related conflicts relates most to Agency and Polarization. Impact in these areas is measured in relation to the OECD-DAC criteria of relevance, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability.
- Project activities were appropriately tailored to meet the needs of the target communities. 96% of survey respondents reported that the project was appropriate and relevant to the needs of the target community. This can be attributed to the organization of joint strategy sessions with community leaders and security actors to review planned project activities and their suitability in the local context before they were implemented.
- In addition, the evaluation found that the project’s outputs, outcomes and goals were properly set at the onset of the project, ensuring that each activity’s outcome reinforced each other.
- Community members interviewed reported that the project empowered them to take concrete action to identify and prevent election-related violence in their community.
- The project increased trust between community members and increased social cohesion.
- Mediation training and Community initiatives (implemented as part of the EWER system) led to a decrease in conflicts
- The project has created EWER systems, conflict prevention, mediation, resolution, and referral structures that have demonstrated potential for resilience and sustainability beyond the lifetime of the project.
- Media programmes built resilience of communities and disseminating election related material, especially for remote communities.
- The UBB project led to collaboration among different stakeholders in the identification of, and response to, election‑related violence.
- Promoting cohesion and partnership between the police and youth in the community should be prioritized to increase effectiveness in prevention of conflict and violence.
- Donor support to ensure that politicians can be engaged well in advance of elections, through early project commencement, is crucial, as they were identified as the primary hindrance to the project’s progress in reducing community polarization and enhancing cohesion.
- Search should implement, or partner with other agencies conducting voter awareness and education activities, like the IEBC, long before the election period, in order to address potential tension and conflict that may escalate to violence during the campaign period.
- In order to increase sustainability, county governments should be involved in the project from the beginning and lobbied to uptake and upscale activities within their counties, including making a commitment to allocate resources to these activities. This can assist in the facilitation of knowledge transfer, adequate planning, and budgeting for the transition of activities. It is advisable to anchor project initiatives in the relevant county departments responsible for gender, culture and sport, while ensuring transparency so that community members do not lose trust in implementing partners.
- Project activities need to adopt a variety of teaching methodologies to meet the needs of project participants, particularly those in localities with high levels of illiteracy. These may include approaches like dramatizations, pre-recorded audio files, road shows, and phone calls, as opposed to digital media or print content dissemination approaches.
- Behavior change activities take time to have an impact, and therefore longer-term funding is required for future projects seeking to change attitudes and behaviors at the community level.
→ For a project targeting behavior change, awareness creation and community sensitization activities would be more effective if carried out consistently over the duration of the project. Activity delays and prolonged gaps in between activities was noted as a key contributing factor to reduced results.
7. Continue to support a larger number of small rapid community led initiatives.
→ The methodology was well received by the community and also perceived to be effective.
8. Search needs to invest more in community sensitisation at the beginning of the project to enlighten the community about the project, its planned activities, and level of engagement. The project should also have better structures that support local monitoring of safeguarding risks and promptly address them.
→ Safeguarding concerns were raised regarding numerous aspects of the project.
9. Social media listening should use local languages to ensure instances of misinformation and hate speech are flagged and addressed earlier in the project. Similarly, the teams should have native speakers of the different local languages and dialects within the county/community to aid in easy identification and censorship of hate speech and misinformation.
→ Aside from hiring team members who understand local dialects and the local language, SML was seen as effective in public spaces like Facebook and TikTok but quite ineffective on private platforms like WhatsApp groups.
10. Search to investigate the reasons behind the low rates of project participants in Tana River County, who reported feeling safe during their participation and the factors contributing to their lack of perceived safety. This is crucial to address the concerns that led to participants not feeling safe during their involvement in the project.