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Key Focus Areas

Entrenching Constitutionalism

This Key Focus Area seeks to enhance citizens’ knowledge and adherence to the national values embodied in the Constitution. It seeks to enable citizens to exercise their sovereign power and oversight at both the national and county level over the legislative, executive and judicial arms of government. By entrenching constitutionalism Uraia seeks to address the challenges of weak public institutions, low public participation and citizen apathy. Uraia seeks to build a new constitutional order amongst citizens, institutions and leaders.

Promoting Free and Fair Elections

This Key Focus Area seeks to ensure that citizens are free to exercise their political rights by participating in elections that are by universal suffrage based on the aspiration for fair representation and equality of the vote. In order for elections to be free and fair they should be through secret ballot, free from violence, intimidation, improper influence or corruption, transparent and administered in an impartial, neutral, efficient, accurate and accountable manner. This Key Focus Area therefore aims at ensuring that an independent body conducts elections, there is fair representation of persons with disabilities, and leaders elected abide by the guiding principles of leadership and integrity as espoused in Article 73(2) of the CoK.

Addressing the historical political marginalisation of women, youth, persons with disabilities, marginalized and minority groups

This Key Focus Area seeks to support corrective measures aimed at addressing past direct and indirect discrimination of groups with regards to their right to representation and participation. Through work in this area Uraia hopes to contribute towards the promotion of representation of women, persons with disabilities, youth, minority and marginalised groups within the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government at both the county and national levels.

Internal Excellence

This Key Focus Area seeks to enable Uraia to be a leading national organisation that is responsive to the civic needs of Kenyans. This Key Focus Area will enable Uraia to address the challenges around civic education uptake by undertaking projects that enable strategic thinking around Uraia’s Key Focus Areas. This will include the development of a training and documentation centre on constitutionalism, undertaking a civic competence index for Kenya and scenario planning.


Civic Education

Uraia views civic education as a critical tool for promoting nationhood, constitutionalism, human rights, good governance and public participation. It also believes that civic education plays a critical role in informing citizens about their rights and responsibilities, and how these rights are accessed and are to be exercised. The civic education department is mandated with ensuring that Kenyans access quality civic education that will enable them to participate and engage effectively in promoting good governance in the country.

Civic education is aimed at increasing the citizens’ understanding of the constitution as well create the citizens’ awareness of the reform process brought by the new constitution. The civic education work undertaken by Uraia seeks to empower Kenyans to fully enjoy the rights provided for in the constitution, as well as enhance the citizens’ political efficacy as part of promoting active citizen participation in political processes. Additionally, Uraia’s civic education initiatives are targeted at promoting civic skills; whereby the citizen can put into use the acquired civic education knowledge to enable them to participate more effectively in both local and national governance matters. The civic education department envisions civic education initiatives that will result into Kenyans who are patriotic, who support democratic values, who are tolerant to divergent political opinions, and who actively participate in holding duty bearers and the general leadership to account.

 The aim of these civic education initiatives is to nature a democratic citizen. A citizen who adheres to the principles inherent in a democracy, which includes upholding and defending the constitution, promoting and participating in competitive elections, promoting political equality, inclusive political participation, promoting and protecting civil liberties and protection of the rights of the marginalised and minority communities.


Civic Education Partnerships



Uraia has entered into a partnership with Diakonia Sweden to undertake a three-year Democracy, Governance  and Human Rights programme (DGHR). Uraia activities under this initiative aims at contributing to the following two major outcomes:

Outcome 1: Strengthened accountability and independence of governance structures and institutions at local and national level;

Outcome 2: Inclusive, cohesive, and accountable society through increased citizen engagement in governance processes.

The activities that Uraia will be implementing will be addressing the following six intermediate outcomes of the programme:

  1. Intermediate outcome 1.1 Improved transparency, accountability and inclusivity in service delivery at the national and county level.
  2. Intermediate outcome 1.2 Strengthened capacity and operational processes for governance institutions at national and county levels in respect of their mandate and responsiveness to gender and youth issues.
  3. Intermediate Outcome 1.4 Improved consensus and legitimacy in electoral processes and outcomes.
  4. Intermediate outcome 2.1 Empowered citizenry meaningfully engaging and demanding for transparency, accountability & integrity in service delivery.
  5. Intermediate outcome 2.2 More inclusive & functional citizen platforms at local, county and national levels.
  6. Intermediate outcome 2.3 Enhanced engagement of men, women and youth in initiatives that promote National cohesion and integration.

Uraia employs a two-pronged approach in the implementation of this project. Some activities are implemented at the County level while others are implemented at the National level.

At the county level Uraia is implementing the activities with one of its implementing partner  Tana River Peace, Reconciliation and Development  Organization(TRPRDO), while activities that seek to influence national discourse are implemented at the National level by the secretariat.


Uraia has partnered with KICD to undertake the development of the  Citizenship Education and the Global Citizenship Education Curriculum . These subjects aim to equip young people with knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviors to constructively and creatively address present and future global challenges.

Overall objective: Uraia to provide Financial and Technical support to KICD to integrate Citizenship Education (target 4.7 of the Agenda 2030 ) through formal, non-formal and informal education structures in order to ensure quality and inclusive education and lifelong learning for sustainable development and societies.

Specific objectives:

  1. Contribute to supporting the KICD guiding curriculum  framework on Citizenship  Education.
  2. Raise awareness of GCED and CE and how they intersect with other related fields such as peace and human rights education, education for a culture of peace, fight against discrimination, social justice and inclusion and build a common understanding and vision of both concepts for our country.
  3. Identify national issues, capacity needs including monitoring, gaps, challenges and relevant entry points/opportunities to integrate or mainstream GCED and CE.
  4. Develop materials to support teachers in integrating citizenship core competency in teaching.
  5. Provide a platform to identify and share best practices and strategies for adopting Citizenship Education approach.
  6. Inform policy and practice in curriculum on best practices in Citizenship Education

The major activities that will be supported under this partnership include the following:

  • Support of Data analysis and Report Writing for the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) Situational Analysis .
  • Support the Review of the Citizenship Mainstreaming Matrix to incorporate insights from the Situational Analysis
  • Development of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) Guidelines
  • Development of Primary & Secondary Development of  Global Citizenship Education ( GCED) Teachers’ Handbooks.


Uraia has entered into a partnership with Hivos to undertake a one-year project on Open contracting in Makueni County. The title of the project is “Promoting Public Participation in Open Up Contracting for Accountable Service Delivery” The project aims to create awareness on the Open Contracting initiative and enhancing the capacity of local communities to effectively engage in the Open Procurement and Contracting process and promote transparency and accountability in the County. The expected results of the project are:

Increased awareness of local communities on Open Up Contracting and public procurement processes in six sub-counties of Makueni County by the end of the project period.

Increased participation and engagement in Open Up contracting initiative by local communities in six sub counties of Makueni County.

This is a pilot project which will be implemented in 12 months, from November 2019 to October 2020.


Civic Engagement

Uraia’s civic engagement work aims at providing Kenyans with practical mechanisms to engage in public affairs at the local and national levels. It is premised on the notion that for citizens to participate meaningfully, they need to be organised and capable, having the right information, skills and knowledge. The civic engagement work, therefore builds on Uraia’s civic education work, to support those who benefit from the civic education to participate in the governance of their communities. Those educated will be assisted to identify ways to address issues of concern and how they can engage with duty bearers in addressing these issues. The approach will entail support citizens to understand the platforms and tools available for public participation, through the various levels and arms of government, and how to make use of them.

Uraia’s civic engagement work is anchored on the Constitutional mandate of sovereignty of the people and the national values and principles of governance, among them being public participation. It is on this foundation that the programme will work to ensure that men and women understand the promise and implications of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and what it guarantees for them in terms good governance, service delivery and realisation of human rights. Conversely, the programme will also work to demonstrate the role of citizens in realising the promise of the Constitution.

Citizens’ capacity and that of citizens’ groups will be built through training programmes and provision of relevant materials so that they can lobby and advocate on critical issues, engage in legislative processes both at national and county levels, vet and monitor those who seek elective offices, engaging in planning and budgeting processes of the government, tracking government expenditure and monitor government service delivery. Uraia’s civic engagement work will also focus on strengthening citizens’ group formation and networking so as to build a critical mass of individuals working for the realisation of the promise of the Constitution and increase the chances of achieving common goals.

The civic engagement work will be carried out in partnership and collaboration with stakeholders; both at the national level and in the 47 counties.

Partnerships – Civic Engagement



Uraia has been implementing a joint initiative with the International Budget Partnership Kenya on the training of facilitators for county budget work since June 2016.

The initiative aims at building a set of high-quality facilitators through a programme of learning and applying skills in facilitating budget training and has in the 4 years of implementation so far engaged 76 budget facilitators in 35 counties who have undergone capacity building through content training and the mock sessions of the initiative. The mock sessions provide the budget facilitators to practice their facilitation skills by training and receiving feedback from their peers on their facilitation skills.

The county budget facilitators programme has enabled trained individuals begin to support engagement in the county budget process in their respective locales. The engagements include training of community groups and local county-based organisations in the budget process and supporting community groups analyse county budgets and undertake advocacy initiatives informed by the analysis.



Uraia is implementing a four-year project in collaboration with PLAN – KENYA with support from DANIDA, through PLAN-DENMARK. The project titled Safe and Inclusive Cities whose objective is to have a diverse and strong civil society that influence urban governance and development processes and contribute to making cities safe and inclusive for young women and men, aims at contributing to reducing urban violence, enhancing the capacity of youth to influence governance decisions, and enhancing opportunities for safe, decent and sustainable income opportunities in urban informal settlements of Nairobi and Kisumu counties towards creating safe and inclusive cities.

Uraia, is playing a technical role of enhancing the capacity of youth groups in informal settlements on participatory governance, in order to promote their participation in governance processes that affect them.



Through support from DANIDA, Uraia is implementing a Social Accountability for Improved Health Service Delivery in 11[1] counties that primarily supports county based CSOs engage with health service delivery in counties. Through the project, Uraia is supporting 11 county-based partners undertake public education on health entitlements and accountability; undertake scorecards, social audits and health budget analysis; hold social accountability forums with county health service duty bearers and training of Health Facility Management Committees on social accountability and policy advocacy on health.

[1] 1) Baringo, 2) Bungoma, 3) Busia, 4) Elgeyo Marakwet, 5) Garissa, 6)  Mombasa, 7) Isiolo, 8) Nakuru, 9) Kisumu 10) Machakos and 11) Nyeri

Institutional Transformation

Uraia’s Institutional Transformation work is geared towards improving institutions; both State and Non-State, for the benefit of Kenyans. Initiatives under this pillar include the use of public interest litigation to effect change, work around legislative and policy reform, advocacy, research and networking. This Pillar focuses on external stakeholders and their role in entrenching constitutionalism, promoting free and fair elections, addressing historical political marginalisation of women, youth, persons with disabilities, and minority communities in Kenya and enhancing internal excellence of Uraia.

Partnerships – Institutional Transformation



Uraia Trust has collaborated with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to undertake a study whose purpose is to assess the level of compliance of County Governments to public finance management policies and procedures and the progress made by Counties in improving quality and timely service delivery to Kenyans.  The study targets 24 counties which are a representation of the 47 counties in Kenya. These are Nairobi, Kisumu, Meru, Kakamega, Kwale Elgeyo- Marakwet, Kitui, Garissa, Kiambu, Isiolo, Trans- Nzoia, West Pokot, Mombasa, Murang’a Nakuru, Kilifi, Bungoma, Turkana, Narok, Bomet, Wajir, Makueni, Kisii and Taita Taveta.

The objectives of the study are:

  • To review policy and structural functioning of county governments in public finance management by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the established Public Finance Management (PFM) structures at the County level.
  • To assess the progress made in the implementation of core county government functions which are: Agriculture, Health, County Infrastructure, Trade Development and Education.
  • To evaluate County Governments’ own-source revenue with a goal of making recommendations for self-sustaining County Governments.
  • To document the challenges and lessons learned in the implementation of the devolution process in the last six years.
  • To make recommendations to improve policy, legislation and structural aspects of County governments for effective service delivery.


Uraia partnered with Katiba Institute to undertake a study on the participation of ethnic minorities and marginalized communities in political and governance processes in Kenyan. The study seeks to address the problem of exclusion of various ethnic minorities and marginalized communities from political and other governance processes; to identify ethnic and marginalized communities in Kenya and their claims for exclusion, and to document available platforms for their participation.

The objectives of the study are:

  • To promote the understanding of the ethnic minorities and the marginalized communities in Kenya.
  • To identify minorities and marginalized communities in Kenya and document their claims of exclusion.
  • To identify and document available platforms for their participation
  • To enhance awareness by the relevant non-state actors and representatives of community groups on the ethnic minorities and marginalized communities in Kenya to inform their programming and advocacy frameworks.


Uraia has partnered with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) to support the work of a task force on the review of party nomination framework and development of political parties’ nomination policy and law. The taskforce is a government multi-agency comprising of all political parties, governance and electoral stakeholders in Kenya. The objective of the task force is to assess the political party nomination process in Kenya and identify critical areas for review and to make recommendations for adoption as legislation or through amendment of the already existing legal frameworks for nominations in Kenya.

The partnership has also been to support the review and finalization of the Political Parties Act (Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) Regulations to guide its operations.


Institutional Transformation

In Uraia’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, a new Key Focus Area  (KFA) has been introduced; namely internal excellence. This Key Focus Area is about Uraia positioning itself to address foreseeable future challenges to the areas in which Uraia works. It entails Uraia undertaking strategic thinking and actions to address civic competency in Kenya, scenario planning, sustainability of resources and programming of Uraia. This KFA seeks to enable Uraia to be a leading national organisation that is responsive to the civic needs of Kenyans. This KFA will enable Uraia to address the challenges around civic education uptake by undertaking projects that enable strategic thinking around Uraia’s KFAs. This will include the development of a training and documentation centre on constitutionalism, undertaking a civic competence index for Kenya and scenario planning. 



This is a two-year project that seeks to contribute to addressing the historical marginalization of women, youth, persons with disabilities and minority communities in Kenya, which is one of the key focus areas of Uraia Trust Strategic Plan (2016-2020). This project builds and draws on the successes and lessons from Uraia’s Beyond Quotas Leadership project. The project will be undertaken by improving policies and legislative frameworks that affects women’s participation in governance, enhancing capacities of women and addressing structural and cultural barriers to women’s participation. Advocacy and awareness work which will complement legislative work around the implementation of the gender quota at national and sub-national levels.

Recognizing that in spite of the progressive constitutional provisions and gains made since the promulgation of the Constitution (2010), political representation of women remains low. Following the results of Kenya’s 2013 General Elections, for instance, all the County Assemblies and the Senate could not be constituted without the nomination of women to address the constitutional crisis of the not more than two thirds gender principle at those levels. Key strategies for the project include review of the Political Parties Act 2011 and the Elections Act 2011 to incorporate mechanisms of ensuring promotion of women’s participation and to achieve the 2/3rd gender principle by 2017. Through the involvement of four implementing partners, the project aims at increasing women’s representation in elective and appointive positions in the political arena. Uraia will provide assistance to the partners through strengthening their capacities which will enable them to work with local communities to address cultural and traditional barriers, building the capacity of women in areas such as leadership, communication, networking, negotiation and lobbying skills to enable them to navigate these barriers.

At the national level, Uraia has partnered with the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya) to focus on two key issues: the realization of the 2/3rds gender principle and pursue mainstreaming of gender in the political parties nomination process. This is through advocacy with other stakeholders to provide opportunities for women’s participation within the registered Political Parties, targeting the Electoral Code of Conduct to address the unethical practices that impede women’s full participation in the electoral process. The organization also creates public awareness and advocacy to communities on the two -thirds gender principle in counties where the project is implemented.  Through community platforms, the citizenry will hold their legislators to account for the failures to enact a viable formula for realization of the 2/3 gender principle. This approach is important as it touches on the electorate and grassroots communities whose vote the legislators count on.

At the county level, Uraia Trust jointly with the implementing partners, will reach directly and enhance the capacities of 400 women in 9 counties through addressing structural, social and cultural barriers to women’s political participation so as to effectively participate in politics and to seek for elective and appointive positions in 2017 General Elections. The implementing partners are Citizen Focus for Development (CIFODE) in Baringo, West Pokot and Turkana Counties; Sauti Ya Wanawake – Pwani (SYWP) in Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu counties; and Transform Empowerment for Action Initiative (TEAM) in Kisii, Migori and Nyamira counties. An additional 500 women will be reached directly through other Uraia implementing partners, while 30000 Kenyans will be reached indirectly by the project.

The project trained Uraia programme staff and the implementing partners as trainers/ mentors of the women seeking elective and appointive political leadership.  Uraia has partnered with Women in the Red, the Kenya Chapter of Women and Girls Lead Global (WGLD) to enhance the political capacities of the women using film. This project is being implemented in collaboration with government institutions such as Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Registrar of Political Parties (RPP), the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) and Parliament.

Rapid Response

The Rapid Response Initiative (RRI) is a facility that Uraia puts in place from time to time to allow for early response to matters of national importance. It is worth noting that the facility was established to allow Uraia to scale up and enhance its efforts to respond to matters of national importance.

As part of Uraia’s Rapid Response Initiative, Uraia has developed an online CSO platform on COVID 19. It’s a space for strategy, planning, action formulation and a place to find resources on COVID 19.

The model we are using is our Rapid Response Initiative (RRI) which was last used on a wide scale after the 2008 PEV. This platform will serve organisations and individuals working at both national and county levels by facilitating actions on three areas related to the COVID 19 situation in Kenya. These are:

A Situation Room

An Action Platform

A Resource Centre

The Situation Room will be a space for quick and consistent thinking, reflection and strategizing: providing an online platform for virtual discussions and strategy formulation amongst CSOs. Its focus will be on producing cohesive joint strategy, leveraging the strengths of the diverse existing institutions, coalitions and networks.

The Action Platform will facilitate the formulation, implementation and coordination of timely and appropriate action to mitigate the situation at all levels. The Resource Centre will amplify and disseminate updated, relevant research, pedagogical, advocacy and activism materials and strategies appropriate for the wide range of contexts, constituencies and needs served by the sector.

As was the case with 2008/9 Rapid Response Initiative, Uraia’s role will be purely facilitative; it will hold the space for the platform and provide logistical and administrative support to keep it running.

To take part in the initiave, please join us at https://csocovid19rapidresponse.discussion.community/

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