Now that the infamous Kenyatta-Odinga "handshake agreement," better known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which dominated the Kenyan political context throughout 2020, has been deemed unconstitutional, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) faces a narrow timeline to effectively deliver a credible election and dispute resolution efforts (EDR). IFES is partnering with local electoral stakeholders such as the IEBC, judiciary and Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) as well as local civil society organizations (CSOs) to support the people of Kenya in holding peaceful and credible elections.
IFES has worked with Kenyan election management bodies (EMBs) since 1992 to contribute to the evolution of a stronger, more independent electoral management body and promote cohesive and nonviolent elections. To restore a credible, peaceful and inclusive 2022 general election process, IFES launched the Kenya Elections Support Programme (KESP) funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). KESP acts as a neutral facilitator and advisor to provide technical aid for key institutions and other critical stakeholders to continue to safeguard electoral system integrity.
Through KESP, IFES provides technical support to key stakeholders to build a broad consensus on electoral rules and reforms and facilitates coordination between CSOs and other stakeholders. To foster meaningful electoral reforms, KESP provides a space for engagement and open dialogue between parties, giving them the opportunity to strengthen their internal structure while additionally conducting on-going workshops to educate electoral institutions on effective dispute resolution. To create a truly inclusive election, KESP partners with CSOs to deliver targeted civic/voter education campaigns for women, youth and persons with disabilities to guarantee increased participation of marginalized communities. By supporting electoral institutions, civil society and the media, IFES helps restore credibility of these electoral institutions and enhances the oversight of the 2022 electoral cycle.