Our work supporting the Kenyan elections

March 2013

ERIS has been working to support democracy in Kenya for more than 15 years. In 1997, we supported a civil society domestic observation programme in 1997 that deployed some 28,000 observers, while in 2007 we shortlisted short-term UK election observers for the EU's observation mission (report here).

Most recently, we organised an extensive training programme for the staff of Kenya’s election management body – the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission - to prevent  violence before or after the elections. At least 1,100 people died in the bloodshed which followed Kenya’s 2007 presidential and parliamentary Elections. The purpose was to enable the Commission’s staff to defuse election-related tension and to improve their relationships with the political parties and communities at local level.

From September 2011 to March 2012 ERIS:

  • developed a training manual
  • trained 17 Regional Election Coordinators and 210 Constituency Election Co-ordinators (CEC) at twelve workshops
  • established a network with other stakeholders to develop an effective plan to mitigate election-related violence

As a result, the IEBC now has its own in-house experts to deal with tensions – not just after the election but at various stages in the electoral cycle as a whole, from the nominations process through to the declaration of the results. This project was funded by the UK Government’s Human Rights and Democracy Programme.