The East African Hub is a quarterly meeting for federation members in 3 countries of Kenya Uganda and Tanzania where members meet to share experiences, challenges and lessons learnt on different federation issues, progress made then come up with mechanisms and way forward how to cope with different emerging issues.
The recent hub held in Kenya between the 26th of January and 1st of February .2015 in Nakuru town was the 13th East African hub. It took place at Golden Palace hotel under the theme ‘Unpack aging the Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation (LME)’.
In attendance were the 3 federations i.e. Muungano wa Wanavijiji(Kenya ), Tanzania Federation of the urban Poor(Tanzania) and National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (Uganda), supporting NGOs in the three countries , SDI representative Mara Forbes and government officials from Kenya and Tanzania.
The meeting was officially opened by the area Member of County Assembly (MCA), Nakuru Hon. Gitau Kamau who appreciated Muungano federation for the work they are doing in empowering the communities through different projects. He challenged the youths to be innovative in creating wealth rather than complaining on the lack of employment. He also encouraged them to join federation activities so that they can get exposed to different ways in which they can acquire skills and support their livelihood.
After the official opening, the minutes of previous hub held in Kampala were read by Wandoba Richard a federation member from Uganda and members confirmed that they had captured all that had taken place .
INTRODUCTION TO LEARNING MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The Kenya federation led the forum in reviewing the basics of Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation, carried forward from the 12th East African Hub meeting. The session was facilitated by Ericson Sunday and Joseph Muturi of Muungano wa Wanavijiji.
The members defined Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation as;
- Learning– The need for federations to understand its scope by involving members to learn basic principles of the federation, objectives and functions. Mostly the federations learn by doing, through exchanges, meetings and through the project experiences.
- Monitoring –Involves the federation self-assessment of set objectives and goals which often influences decision making within the federation. The tools involve; reporting, audits, accountability, budget and work plans and proper documentation.
- Evaluation- This is a process that the federations undertake to determine the successes and best practices that are emerging within their federations.
The Hub also identified with the set baselines and targets by federations during the 12th East African Hub in Uganda. The 13th East African hub meeting sought to monitor and share emerging LME issues in the three East African federations and also further interrogate some of the challenges and successes so far as well as the way forward in the context of the three federations.
Uganda and Kenya shared the data collection tools which Tanzania applauded and promised to adopt. The Hub proposed the standardization of an LME tracking tool in the three federations. Mara informed members that these data tools will be shared by all members to develop one common tool. Muturi reiterated and said that already we have standard forms such as the profile form, country indicators and LME forms and it is only important to have standardized form. A proposal was made on the development of a unified LME tracking tool that would enhance an efficient way of collecting data from settlement to national levels. The following proposals were proposed to be added to the tracking tools;
o Daily Savings
o UPFI Savings
o Group Projects
o Bank with membership savings
o Brief Group history
Deepening the LME Process
Mara informed the participants that SDI secretariat is now categorized into four main categories; Projects, LME, Global Advocacy and Finance. She also clarified on issues raised by members during the LME discussions.
Learning basically involves exchanges, sharing and reflecting on past successes and challenges. Monitoring greatly involves; exchanges, reporting, auditing, country indicators, budgeting, work plans, tracking through communication and documentation.
The Board and Council meeting held in June 2014 in India agreed there is the urgent need to strengthen LME process among federations so as to get more serious data. The Core team also resolved that Hubs present their reports as a hub and not as countries. The last hub also looked at the LME worksheet, which supported the tracking process to the grassroots. The sheet is a way of verifying federation data in all the cities and regions. This greatly supported feeding federation data into the country indicators.
Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda shared how the call for support template was filled on the basis of consensus and the respective targets shared with other members of the federations.
The photos above show Mara Forbes from SDI explaining the LME concept and Wandoba Richard sharing how the call for proposal is filled in Uganda
Lessons/Successes from LME concept
- LME has made federations take on accountability in all its processes, activities and projects
- LME has created an opportunity for equal participation of all members empowering them to be able to authentically develop their reports
- LME has supported in redefining best practices in collecting accurate federation data
- Streamlined the leadership roles of the federations
- Federations can now set their own agenda as a result of LME
- LME has re-introduced key components as a way of securing continuity and sustainability of the federations; The Youth, Mentorship of 2nd Tier leaderships and Advocacy
- LME has impacted transparency and accountability among federations
- LME has supported in building credibility and authenticity with government and partners
REPORTING ON LME
COUNTRY INDICATORS AND LME REPORTS
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania hub members had the opportunity to give their respective country reports and LME reports, based on the initial contracts they signed with the SDI secretariat during the previous hub in Uganda. This enabled them take stock of the LME country frameworks, lessons and challenges that would help refine Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation practices.
The following are some of the challenges noted during the presentations of the first phase of the reporting period as listed by the federation.
- In the quest of implementing the LME framework on group mobilization, poor leadership has been identified.
- Vast distances among cities especially Dar-es-Salam affected data collection.
- Lack of adequate and appropriate equipment to support profiling e.g. Computers for data entry, GPS.
- The Youth have high expectations for the federation to deliver on their personal and group objectives.
- New groups are yet to be registered with government hence lack certificate which reduces their chances of being formally enjoined to the federation.
- Most groups have remained rigid to change where the federation is required to move from loose systems of learning, monitoring and evaluation to strict but strong LME systems.
- Weak management of data systems has negatively impacted the launch of City Profiles by; profile information that is not current and was not verified by communities.
- Lack of strong institutional frameworks and strategies to take partnerships to a whole new level.
- Political resistance on pro-poor policy formulation guidelines on key sector areas such as Eviction and resettlement guidelines, community land bills and slum upgrading policy.
- High expectations on the part of the federation to mentor the youth and redefine the youth perspectives in the federation.
- Difficulties in accessing government leadership to address deplorable conditions communities face in the slums.
- Evictions of slum dwellers have been rampant and have affected LME figures.
- Exaggeration of savings and mobilized numbers by group leaders. Most members provided data not on the ground.
- High expectations from group members. This has been cross cutting in every aspect of the federation processes.
- Mobility has affected membership within the youth groups
- Distance has affected the verification of savings data and membership in the different regions.
Khadija, the chairperson of Tanzania federation facilitating the sessions and Husna from Tanzania discussing their challenges
EMERGING ISSUES AND DISCUSSIONS FROM THE COUNTRY INDICATORS AND LME REPORTS
On this day, discussions were held on some of the emerging crosscutting issues and challenges that cut across among the members of the East African Hub.
- Leadership Framework
- Youth Mentorship , mobilization and sustainability
- High Federation expectations by members and partners
- Supporting documentation on group mobilization
- Politics and relations with government and other partners
- Forced Evictions
- Quality of data-Profiles, enumerations and Mapping
Rashid, the chairperson of Kenyan federation and Sarah Nambozo discussing the cross cutting challenges
YOUTH MENTORSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY
The 12th East African Hub held in Uganda passed the resolution to blend youth activities within the respective mainstream federation processes and activities. Federations and the Youth need to be built through capacity building and identification of projects that would keep them engaged. In doing this, Uganda demonstrated that it has engaged the Youth by bringing them on board in different activities like regional youth documenters, savings, Profiling, enumerations and Mapping, entrepreneurship models. Youth from Kenyans, requested that the federation largely involve the youth in the federation processes, impact a culture of savings and creating accountability systems.
Lack of pro-youth activities and projects are to blame for the youth inactive participation in the federations. There are also special needs and considerations for transitional strategies to incorporate the youth. The Kenya Youth consortium shared the Youth Mentorship Programme under the young women mentorship programme and Youth Model assembly and how it positively impacted on the lives of young persons.
Strategies/Way forward to sustain the Youths in the federation
o Initiate Youth Friendly projects and activities
o Incorporate the youth in Leaderships of the federation with special responsibilities
o Educate the youth on the importance of savings as a tool for a secure future
o Initiate mentorship programmes for the future
o Youth friendly loaning products that can address their economic needs
o Sensitization of the youth component in the federations
o Identify federation programmes that involves youth for significant impact
o Develop data on the youth and programmes, by disintegrating data on the youth who must be under 24 form those under 35
DOCUMENTATION OF FEDERATION DATA
Is the data gathered by federations authentic, reliable and does it present the true picture of our federations?
Tanzania raised the following issue that some cities face;
o Vast geographical areas and cities and some boundaries are with water mass areas.
o Lack of adequate equipment and facilities to support the collection of quality data both qualitative and quantitative.
o The Uganda team shared on how the documentation process takes place in Uganda. Sensitization meetings are the first point of this where regional leaders are tasked with selecting documenters.
o The identified data teams are then trained on the basic data collection methods and tools used to gather data. In building group data the federation has developed data collection tools especially on savings.
o These templates are sent to the different regions and data is collected at the grassroots, which are verified by the groups before submission to the National Federation and passed at NEC sittings.
Strategies/ Way Forward
o Sensitization of target communities on data intended to be collected
o Involvement of community leaders, opinion leaders and making communication to the local authorities on the data collection process
o Data teams should be identified from the target communities.
EAST AFRICAN HUB REPORT IN FIGURES
- FORCED EVICTIONS
The hub sought ideas and shared experiences on how they are coping with these challenges in their countries.
Milestones made by Kenya on Evictions
A diverse range of actors, including communities living in slums and informal settlements, civil society groups, international experts and monitoring bodies such as the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing and the UN Human Rights Committee have been calling on Kenya to enact legislation on evictions for almost ten years. While the Kenya government has consistently accepted the need for legislation, not much has happened.
The federation has formed an advocacy team to support communities living in informal settlements to halt all forceful evictions
o The federation has engaged the government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban development that evictions on all public lands be halted
o The federation has initiated a campaign that forms a basis to engage government to release public land to the poor
o A taskforce established in 2006 to formulate a framework for evictions, and which presented a bill on evictions and resettlement in 2011 did not successfully go through the legislative process. Although it was tabled in Parliament in June 2012 as a private member’s bill, the term of Parliament lapsed before it could be considered. Following renewed pressure, a second taskforce was established in 2012 to develop an evictions and resettlement bill.
o In March 2014, the Cabinet Secretary publicly expressed her commitment to ensure a law on evictions and resettlement is enacted. However, more than six months later, the bill has not yet been tabled in the National Assembly for debate.
o The delay in enacting legislation to regulate evictions and provide for appropriate resettlement in line with human rights standards when evictions do occur, means that communities residing on land for which they do not enjoy security of tenure live in constant fear of forced evictions. In the absence of such a framework, these communities have to rely either on self-help measures such as resistance or on the judiciary to stop demolitions.
o Both measures have usually proved inadequate to stop the forced evictions. Communities challenging the forced eviction in court have often already suffered significant harm and losses due to inadequate notice that the eviction will occur, combined. As a result of forced evictions, people have been rendered homeless, their livelihoods devastated and driven deeper into poverty.
o The right to housing remains a mirage if slum residents continue to face the threat of forced evictions. At a practical level and beyond, the World Habitat Day must mean more for the woman, man or child living in Mukuru.
Milestones made by Uganda on Forced Evictions
o Federation has signed an MOU with KCCA on best practice to address all issues of informal settlements and evictions. Forced evictions have considerably reduced as a result. Part of the agreement is that KCCA would give sufficient notice to settlements facing an impending eviction. This was widely informed by the federation data.
o The federation has created working teams with government agencies on of evictions. KCCA allowed the federation to identify land 100m away from the rail tracks for resettlement. Dialogues are ongoing on eviction and resettlement policy
o Land sharing is a practice embraced by the federation to engage community members who have large tracts of land but lack funds to develop in an effort to resettle slum dwellers as opposed to their evictions .The Alliance is a member of a network; Shelter and Settlement UHSNET in which we are members of the eviction thematic group where they have been discussing the Eviction and Resettlements Guidelines. Using this space, the network plans to present the draft guidelines to relevant government institutions.
o The alliance is a member of the National Urban Policy revision team in which issues of evictions have prominently featured with the alliance taking centre stage leading discussions in this area. The policy that is now at its final stages has incorporated ideas from the alliance, a big success on this front.
Milestones made by Tanzania on Forced Evictions
o Federation has initiated discussions with the local municipal councils and the government on evictions and resettlement especially in the city of Dar es Salam.
o Compensation made to evicted households is not sufficient and some communities would be relocated to other government spaces such as public forests which lack access to public amenities and social services.
o The federation on several occasions has engaged private land owners on which informal settlements are located not to evict the communities but look at alternatives such as land buying to pave way for Greenfield projects.
o The federation has initiated discussions with government on the development of acceptable policies that would positively address issues of forced evictions without violating basic human rights.
o The federation also has initiated technical working teams where the federation is soliciting the views of the public with regards to evictions and resettlements. These views will then be submitted to the Ministry of Lands as proposals to be included in the policy review on development of an eviction and resettlement policy.
o The federation is also working on the formation of advocacy teams at settlement, ward and National levels to address issues of evictions.
Joint Strategy/Way forward
o Participate in all policy formulation processes on land tenure and evictions as initiated by governments
o Engage and enhance constant negotiations with government and stakeholders on matters of land tenure for the urban poor.
o Target the implementation of similar policy influence within the county/city by laws at local levels, which is likely to influence the national outcomes on halting forced evictions
o Sharing of strategy on anti-evictions among member countries as a means to influence policy.
o The threat of forced evictions must be dealt with from a legislative perspective and the moment to enact the legislation is now.
DAY 3; 13TH EAST AFRICAN HUB RESOLUTIONS
o The three member countries agreed to develop frameworks to engage the youth and increase participation through mentorship in urban and rural areas especially on the aspects that youth relate to; Culture and theatre, entrepreneurship, education.
o The Hub should be committed to focus in building the capacities of 2nd tier leadership
o Deepening of LME to all levels of the federations and letting communities relate with the recommended tools. Advocacy teams of the East Hub to forge closer working relations with their Governments based on prioritized needs. In achieving this there is need to allocate more funds to the component of Advocacy and federation citizen popular initiatives
o Capacity building of leaders from settlement to regional and national levels
o Regional sustainability of partnerships. Proposal to begin addressing and articulating our issues with the East African Community consortium
o Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania should regularly invite government officials and leaders to some of the Hub exchanges to demonstrate how they work with communities on issues of land tenure and housing. Focus on developing and finding new ways of strengthening savings at the grassroots level
o Exchanges on sanitation and solid waste management of Uganda to Tanzania; Youth exchange from Tanzania to Kenya; Profiling enumerations and mapping exchange to Tanzania
o Increase settlement forums meetings to ward and county levels
o Increase working forums(technical working groups) with government and partners on key urban agenda
o Establish projects with the Learning centre to influence learning, knowledge building and sharing. This may lead to the development of community led curriculum, which will be influenced through a hub knowledge mapping.
o Research on other sources of funding, more so leverage government funds to tap into scaling up some of the community led projects
o Countries have strength variations, to tap into these strengths the Hub should use these strengths to increase or identify countries who have strong policies on issues of forced evictions and learn from them.
The launch of Kiandutu sanitation unit
On the fourth day of the hub, delegates travelled to Thika, Kiambu County to launch the Kiandutu sanitation unit This sanitation unit is located in Kiandutu slum, Thika town in The project was constructed by Muungano women group with support from Slum dwellers International (SDI).the sanitation unit was launched by the Minister of Water and Environment of Kenya Hon. Esther W. Njuguna. In her speech ,the Minister said that the National government is aware of the existence of slums and the challenges therein .She said the government approved the toilet plan for the area with this in mind adding that more sanitation units will be constructed in future to continue addressing the issue of poor sanitation in the slums.
The minister told the meeting that she would bring the Governor of Kiambu County to visit this slum so that he can see how innovative and hardworking slum dwellers are with regard to affairs that affect their lives.
The photos above show the guest of honour commissioning the new sanitation block and below federation members jubilating in front of their toilet after the commissioning.