FixMyWard provides technology and programmatic solutions for issue-based, people-centred civic participation at the lowest levels of devolution in Kenya, as envisioned in the Constitution and Vision 2030. The interventions at the Ward level started with a flagship initiative in South C Ward of Nairobi City County in Kenya. The aim is to replicate the success in the 1450 Wards in Kenya. The work done in the pilot phase is documented on http://kenya.fixmyward.org/about , https://www.facebook.com/fixmyward , www.fixmyward.org/southcward and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.app70d27769ee31&hl=en
FixMyWard won the runners-up position the “Social Media Excellence Award 2015” from the ICT Association of Kenya (ICTAK) during the ICT Value Awards 2015 and has been represented at global and national policy forums such as the Stockholm Internet Forum 2015, the Global Summit on Tech Policy Challenges at the TechPolicyLab.org, University of Washington, 2016 and the Consultative Forum in the National ICT Policy 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. FixMyWard is developing two platforms – FixMyWard and Mjumbe – aimed at enhancing issue-based public participation in governance at the local level.
We were proud of the “Award of Excellence” category that placed our work alongside the respected organisation that is Kenya Red Cross Society.
On the same awards night, our Director, Eng. Wainaina Mungai was a winner of the ICT Leadership Award 2015 which he received alongside industry giants such as the newly appointed Principal Secretary for ICT and Innovation, Mr. Victor Kyalo; CEO of mHealth Kenya, Dr. Cathy Mwangi; and Peter Mutunga of DHL Kenya.
At FixMyWard, we initiated a project to facilitate residents of the South C Ward in Nairobi, Kenya to participate in local governance and for improvement of service delivery by public and private service providers.
We have applied lessons from implementing public participation projects such as our previous initiative known as BungeSMS
To support the use of the technology offered by the FixMyWard platform, the project involves improving participation in the County Budget Hearings, Community activities such as Environmental Cleanups, organising regular TownHall meetings for residents, community leaders and county officials, cohesion workshops, entrepreneurship training, advocacy on issues and support for the formation of a vibrant Residents Association for South C Ward. The branded merchandise such as mineral water and T-Shirts has gone a long way in increasing visibility and a sense of ownership by residents.
Some of the events, guided by the Elders in the community who constitute our effort to involve the aging yet resourceful members, shall include an Annual Cultural Festival for the Ward. The objective is to increase cohesion amongst the various social, religious and racial groupings in the community.
This initiative was implemented through the South C Ward Action Team! (started by FixMyWard.org) whose work – since October 2012 – is highlighted on http://www.southcward.co.ke, @southcward on Twitter, http://www.fb.com/southcward on Facebook and http://www.youtube.com/southcward on YouTube. The team has been collecting views and lobbying for service delivery to residents since 2012 and has gained significant traction from the participation of committed residents.
How does FixMyWard engage local, regional or national governments?
The engagement with government will continue to be in line with the County Public Participation laws that have established provisions that support cooperation between independently organised Citizen Forums and the County Government. The laws are aimed at guiding the implementation of public participation provisions in the Constitution through legislative, administrative and sectoral processes. Some of the guidelines are under development and FixMyWard has participated in submitting proposals on the county laws.
FixMyWard will leverage the legislative, administrative and sectoral provisions to inform, involve and deliver civic education in partnership or on behalf of the County governments or their organs at the Ward level.
The platform will continue to support county governments to leverage technology for public participation beyond their limited budgetary allocation of 2% of the county revenues. This will also entail involvement of government in the launch and development of features of the platform.
FixMyWard will present citizen reports in a structured actionable format to county government departments through their citizen relationship management (CRM) while ensuring a feedback path to citizens that may involve email and SMS alerts.
The FixMyWard team shall continue to engage with the Women Representative, Members of the County Assembly (MCA) and Senator on advocacy relating to gender issues.
- Membership in the Langata SubCounty Public Participation Board as Chairman of the Lands, Planning, Roads and Public Works Committee and the successful encouragement of other residents to join the Board. This membership will enable engagement with the Langata SubCounty Administrator, who is the Chairman, and his five Ward Administrators – September 2015.
- Structured Consultations on El Nino Mitigation Plans with County Executives for Transport and County Executive team for Planning (i.e. joint site visits with County engineers, public consultation and follow-up through monitoring teams) – September 2015.
- TownHall consultations (independently organised Citizen Forum) in South C Ward during which residents engaged with the elected Member of the County Assembly (MCA), Ward Development Fund (WDF) officials, South C Ward’s representative to the Langata CDF (Constituency Development Fund) Committee and representatives Langata Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) representative. Continued engagement will be dependent on the regularization of the CDF Act with the Constitution – April 2015.
- Mobilising community members and presenting their agreed priorities during the Ward-level Budget Hearings for 2015/16 and 2017/18 where County officials worked with residents to list priorities for each sector – January 2015.
- Community Clean-Ups as opportunity to spur civic awareness, informal consultations between the elected MCA, WDF official, residents and the business community – February 2015.
- Advocacy/lobbying on CDF projects through the Ward CDF Representative e.g. in protecting the public spaces such as the South C Children’s Playground and collaborating in identifying alternative land in the Ward for the Chief’s Office (CDF project team and Lang’ata MP) – May 2015.
- Involved the Senator of Nairobi City County who provided equipment and engaged youth workforce from the Ward to assist in the Community Clean-Up – February 2015.
- Facilitated consultations between residents and the WDF Chairman for South C Ward on implementation of project priorities such as rehabilitation of the Children’s Playground, amongst others.
- Ongoing Petitions to the County Assembly through the MCA on issues of urban planning and Waste Management (ongoing) in partnership with private players (i.e. private primary school in the Ward).
- Successful broadcast media campaign to lobby for action by government institutions on El Nino Mitigation and create awareness on the flood risks in South C Ward posed by the actions of state corporations such as the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) – [September/October 2015].
- Successful registration and handover of an umbrella residents association to formalize the engagement with County government and other service providers.