This infrastructure will expand upon existing institutions and platforms. It will provide forums for electoral stakeholders to conduct exchanges, engage in peer learning and ERV prevention activities and respond to threats or outbreaks of ERV when they arise. The project will map existing early warning mechanisms and connect these to regional conflict mediation panels. This will involve forming links and exchange forums and tapping into established early warning mechanisms. Information will flow from the grassroots to the regional and national levels through peace infrastructures facilitated by this project. It will feed into monitoring and reporting on the escalation of violent conflict in flashpoint areas. Early warning mechanisms will be coordinated through a situation room at NCICs headquarters in Nairobi where news and information will be monitored, analysed and shared for rapid response. The situation room will be in 24-hour operation for a 90-day period before, during and immediately after the elections. It will be accessed mainly through a publicly-advertised SMS shortcode for quick reporting of incidences, as well as a contingency backup hotline in case of a telecom failure. It will monitor mainstream and social media, collect and triangulate information across Kenya and determine the need for interventions. It will pass on the information and suggest responses to local authorities and other relevant agencies for their appropriate intervention and response.


Activity 2.1    Training and mentoring of an inclusive conflict prevention and resolution and electoral related violence and conflict prevention and response mechanism

Pre-identified stakeholders will participate in a national workshop to be held in Nairobi, followed by workshops in each of the remaining 7 regions – taking into consideration hotspot areas identified in Activity 1.2. The workshops will be aimed at capacitating participants in Conflict and Electoral Violence Prevention. Participants will complement each other in terms of organisational skills, resources, experiences and spheres of influence.

Participants will be selected based on the comprehensive research conducted as part of the EPEA and ESTA, where relevant players who can influence decision-making processes will be identified, including: 

  • At the National Level: NCIC commissioners; representatives of parliamentary committees; judicial officials; Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP), Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC), CSOs; and leading media figures.
  • At the Regional Level: NCIC field staff; religious, traditional, youth and women leaders; early warning mechanism members; code of conduct and media monitors.


Activity 2.2    Establishment, training and mentoring of independent alternative conflict resolution mechanisms and facilitation of their involvement in conflict mediation

The project will appoint 8 regional coordinators, one per region, that will supply the project with compiled reports from community hotspots which will, in turn, be plugged into the early warning network. The regional coordinators will be selected based on their previous coordination and mediation experience, influence and access within their community as well as political neutrality. Appointments will be based on local consultations and recommendations by NCIC and/or NSAs active in each region/locality.  The coordinators will be continuously coached and supervised by the two regional coordinator supervisors of the Project Coordination Unit (PCU). The regional coordinator supervisors will review the regional coordinators’ work, receive their reports, and provide on-the-job assistance.

The regional coordinators will work closely with key local stakeholders, including senior mediators, lawyers, CSO members, traditional elders, youth, and women leaders to facilitate conflict mediation.


Activity 2.3    Leadership and Conflict Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) training contextualised to the Kenyan context

The project will implement a LEAD training programme for members of the inclusive electoral violence and conflict prevention and response coalition at the central and regional levels. The objective of this training methodology is to strengthen the management and leadership abilities of electoral stakeholders and improve their conflict management skills while giving them the necessary resources and skills to replicate the key training contents in their own formal and informal networks, thereby enhancing sustainability. The LEAD program is built around the core values of inclusiveness and the value of exchanging specific experiences and knowledge between electoral stakeholders. LEAD also incorporates relevant audio-visual materials, including the Sundance Film Festival nominee “An African Election” directed by Jarreth Mertz. It’s a fascinating depiction of the Ghanaian elections in 2008, with rising electoral tension and powerful displays of how leadership skills can be applied to electoral conflict management and prevention, which is one of the foundations upon which LEAD training are built. Experience has shown that these training sessions, when delivered in the pre-electoral period to representatives from different electoral stakeholders in common workshops, enhance the potential for improved understanding, communication and collaboration between different actors. The positive effects of these interactions are often visible during subsequent electoral processes. Training topics will include conflict management, dialogue, leadership and mediation contextualised at the community level. ECES will organize a LEAD Training of Trainers (ToT) for electoral stakeholders, representing a wider spectrum of Kenyan society including representatives’ peace infrastructures, civil society, faith-based organisations, women and youth groups, unions, media and the security sector staff. This ToT is aimed at establishing a core group of “master trainers” with participants drawn from the IEBC, NCIC, ORPP, PPLC, media, civil societies and domestic observer platforms, and women groups. Key stakeholders with a mixed institutional background at the mid-top level will be trained. Eventually, they will take the forefront in replicating the LEAD to a wider audience. The LEAD ToT will be followed by 5 modular cascade training in the key regions identified as conflict-sensitive. Working on preventing every aspect of the pre-electoral, electoral and post-electoral conflict between electoral stakeholders, the training will focus on root causes of intra-personal and inter-institutional conflict and hands-on mediation skills that delve deeper into electoral conflict prevention and electoral dispute resolution. Participants will be connected to the established ERV prevention infrastructure.


Activity 2.4: Facilitation of intra- and inter-communal dialogues in conflict hot-spot areas.

Existing hostility at the local level over access to and control of resources is exacerbated by heightened competition for political power among communities and ethnic groups during election campaigns– a potentially toxic combination that increases the likelihood of violence. This project aims to establish and strengthen dialogue spaces to manage election-related inter-communal conflicts. Once the project has identified hotspot areas from activities 1.1 and 1.2, including counties and locations within counties, the project will engage each area’s key actors (including political candidates) in regular dialogue meetings.

The results of these dialogues will include peace charters signed by all candidates, elected officials, elders and civic leaders. Signees will receive certificates stating that they have committed themselves to holding peaceful campaigns, and NCIC will post their names on its website.


Activity 2.5:  Strengthen conflict early warning response systems and enhance linkages with the National EARLY WARNING AND EARLY RESPONSE (EWER) system.

The project will liaise and consult with existing early warning mechanisms, notably the National Conflict Early Warning and Early Response System (NCEWERS), which was created with UNDP support and endorsed by the Kenyan Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and housed at National Steering Committee on Peacebuilding and Conflict Management (NSCPCM). Participants trained under activity 2.1 and regional coordinators will tap into decentralised geographic entities in Kenyan counties and existing early warning and peacebuilding groups, including local peace committees, Nyumbakumi committees, cohesion monitors and cultural and religious leaders. These existing groups will coordinate with the regional-level EVPRC and mediation committees to report conflict risk, promote peace messages and intervene in cases of violence to prevent escalation. Information will flow from the local level up to the regional level and onward to a national coordinating hub or “situation room.” This infrastructure will be used as an early warning network that feeds into monitoring and reporting on the escalation of violent conflict in flashpoint areas.


Activity 2.6: Capacity building and dialogue sessions with traditional leaders and holders on peacebuilding initiatives and mechanisms for dialogue and reconciliation.

Community Elders have traditionally played a positive role in promoting peaceful co-existence, cohesion and integration of diverse Kenya communities. The project will strive to strengthen traditional structures such as the council of elders for peacebuilding and conflict transformation in different communities. Through the organisation meetings, the project will connect and engage actors from existing local peace structures such as peace committees, nyumba kumi, civil society and religious organizations. The meetings will also focus on a further definition of the roles of these actors as peacemakers during the different phases of the electoral cycle.


Activity 2.7    Dialogue sessions with religious leaders promoting peaceful campaigns messages, mediation and conflict management skills.

Dialogues sessions with religious leaders, the council of elders and peace committees will be conducted at the local, county and national levels. These will engage NCIC and partners such as the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK), the Office of the registrar of political parties (ORPP) and traditional leaders among others. Due to the centralised structure of the IRCK, dialogue sessions with religious leaders will be held at the national level. The activity will begin with an inception meeting to establish a common roadmap on how to tackle both national and community-level election-related violence and plan community meetings. A series of thematic meetings will follow. The purpose of the following meetings with religious leaders is to spread awareness and promote peaceful elections. They will aim at improving the inclusion of and show that peaceful electoral processes are multi-stakeholder endeavours.