Reducing Insecurity and Violent Extremism in
While Kenya has been making strong economic and governance progress, it remains vulnerable to challenges including political instability, security provision, and the impacts of climate change. Its stability is important for the wider region, and is a precondition for both growth and development, underpinning international interests and investments in the country.
Insecurity and instability in Kenya – especially in the Northern and Coastal region – manifests in election related violence, criminal violence, violent extremism, violence against women and girls (VAWG), and inter and intra-communal violence. Inequitable or insufficient security service provision compound these issues, along with low investment and limited growth and development.
The purpose of the Reducing Insecurity and Violent Extremism in Northern and Coastal Regions of Kenya programme (REINVENT) is to enhance Kenya’s capacity and capability to address weak community-police relations, VAWG, election-related violence, inter-communal conflict, and violent extremism.
The four aims of the programme are:
- Accountable and effective police (and other security agencies), which address community security, violent extremism and election security.
- Strengthened agency of women and girls in peace, safety and security.
- Intra- and inter-institutional commitment to address the root causes and drivers of conflict.
- Generation of knowledge and evidence surrounding the programming, which can be used to enhance community and institutional learning and adaptation.
We began work on REINVENT in 2019, leading a consortium which included the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the Danish Demining Group (DDG). Funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the programme is due to run for an initial five years. Our work on REINVENT is allowing us to build on the success of REINVENT’s predecessor programme, Jamii Thabiti – the Kenya Improving Community Security Programme, which we delivered between 2014 and 2019.
REINVENT’s approach combines national and regional work. We work in North-Eastern, Coastal, Upper-Eastern and Rift-Western regions and up to 18 focus counties each year, where we apply context-specific strategies taking into consideration the diversity, uniqueness and cross-cutting nature of security issues. Our work is delivered through our expert team of policing experts, gender and social inclusion advisors, peacebuilders, community engagement specialists, CVE practitioners, researchers and political advisors. They combine local knowledge and networks, working alongside a network of up to 40 downstream partners, state and non-state actors, technical working groups and in collaboration with independent initiatives to ensure effective programme delivery.
REINVENT is also delivered through partnerships with the Government of Kenya, non-government organisations, civil society organisations and faith-based organisations. Respective Government ministries and autonomous state agencies engage with our Technical Leads and Regional Teams to deliver projects that contribute to the programme outputs.
Since 2019, and building upon the accomplishments and progress made by Jamii Thabiti, REINVENT has been delivering important and quantifiable impact at local, county and national level.
- Communal violence has fallen by 24% across REINVENT target counties, and criminal violence has fallen by 11%.
- Our support to election security and monitoring electoral gender-related violence – including to multi-agency election security management plans across multiple counties and training of more than 40 gender justice champions – helped bring about a peaceful election period and transition, when compared to previous elections.
- Security agencies are working in collaboration with households to deliver effective security provision; 31% of households interviewed in our mid-term evaluation had been consulted by state and non-state security actors compared to 19% at baseline.
- Nine gender sector working groups across nine counties have been restructured, to improve the coordination of SGBV services.
- The REINVENT-devised Komesha Corona radio and artwork campaign reached 7 million people, sensitising them to the impact of COVID-19.
- 30 knowledge and research projects on peace and security in Kenya have been carried out.
- Women are better represented in security provision and decision making; 78% of community members reported that women were adequately involved in safety and security, compared to 49% at baseline.
- Our consortium supported the development and launch of the Komesha Dhuluma mobile app, which improves how SGBV cases are reported and followed up.
- Ongoing REINVENT work is improving overall service delivery at priority police stations. This has included supporting the adoption and implementation of reform priorities, which are embedding transparent data management practices. These priorities include the collection and analysis of crime data at the national level to inform policing decisions and the automation of functions at the police station level such as occurrence books and arms registers.
- Our consortium has delivered training on result-based planning in policing to 12 county commanders, 10 sub-county commanders and 21 station commanders in 12 counties and 21 sub-counties.
REINVENT's climate work
REINVENT receives a tranche of ICF funding, helping to mitigate the risks of climate-related conflict across Kenya’s arid and semi-arid regions. Our work in this space has included research into the complex mutual connections between climate, conflict and gender:
• Supporting inter- and intra-community peace dialogue forums with small-scale farmers, ranch owners and pastoralists in Lakipia, Baringo and Samburu.
• Supporting inter-conservancy lessons learning and climate change stakeholder meetings in Lakipia, and
• Strengthening local administration and community structures on conflict early warning and early response in Samburu.