Engaging local stakeholders in conflict-stricken northern Kenya

The ongoing conflict in northern Kenya and Somalia has seen the region become increasingly unstable. KIRA, an ongoing programme led by RedR and UNOCHA, ran an orientation session in the region last month to engage with local stakeholders from the affected communities.

The Kenya Inter-Agency Rapid Assessment programme (KIRA) flagged the region as one of the pilot areas that would benefit most from its work. The orientation session introduced KIRA to community stakeholders. Goodwill from the participants was evident from the turnout: 25 participants from the regions of Takaba Wajir, Mandera and Elwak attended.

The support given by the District Officer was instrumental in facilitating the meeting and confirmed their commitment to multi-sector assessments for sudden onset emergencies. The site of the meeting was Takaba, centrally located within northern Kenya, an ideal place for the meeting due to its proximity to the region affected.

The session introduced the KIRA programme, a joint assessment mechanism that aims to provide timely information on humanitarian needs and supports decision making in the early stages of sudden onset emergency.

The participants were active and engaging offering tangible solutions. Key areas of discussions and recommendation for the day included identifying gaps that currently exist when collecting data form beneficiaries. Participants also suggested that it would be useful to have periodic stakeholder meetings. They also highlighted the benefit of forming disaster preparedness committees and having quick access to contingency funds during emergencies.

Follow-up training will take place at the end of February 2014 in Mandera and explore how to fully optimise KIRA. Extensive four-day training will be offered, covering collecting and analysing information for needs assessment. It will also have a particular focus on planning for sudden onset disaster response and management within the region.

KIRA is a cooperation between RedR, Kenya Red Cross Society, National Drought Management Authority and UNOCHA.

Programme stakeholders include:

  • CARE Kenya
  • County Government
  • Consortium of Co-operative Partners (COCOP)
  • District Development Officer’s Office
  • Kenya Red Cross Society
  • Islamic Relief
  • Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Health, and Devolution and Planning
  • Northern Aid
  • National Government of Kenya
  • National Drought Management Authority
  • Rural Agency For Community Development & Assistance
  • Save the Children

For more information you can read the report of the Takaba KIRA Orientation Session.