After the Kenya 2013 elections, the Umati Outreach team embarked on a review of the civic education efforts conducted in areas targeted as part of the NipeUkweli Pre-election Outreach. We identified two of the hotly contested areas between Jubilee and CORD coalitions as per the poll data provided by the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC). These areas (Dandora and Kamukunji) became our pilot study areas to review the citizen experience of NipeUkweli and the Uchaguzi deployment; investigate the community's use of social media; and better understand how the community receives and responds to rumors and propaganda.
Within the small groups of participants assembled, we found that most had experienced Uchaguzi positively. They spoke of seeing action after reporting on the platform and being very happy with the outcome of the tech platform. We will detail this in greater depth in our upcoming Uchaguzi M&E Final Report, due to come out in June 2013.We also found that many of theparticipantsuse social media (Facebook primarily), a possible tool we will be exploring in future work as a means for citizen engagement. Finally, we learned that rumors and propaganda were mainly spread by word-of-mouth, community meetings (barazas) and at social gatherings. Therefore, respondents tend not to trust information from such sources as much as they do information from community radio stations, churches, and the local chief.
We believe it important to collect iterative feedback from the grassroots (rather than interacting with communities in one-off incidents). This builds trust and enables them to reveal their true experiences. The summary report from the community feedback can be found here:http://www.research.ihub.co.ke/uploads/2013/may/1368081292_819_672.pdf
For more on the Umati project and NipeUkweli campaign, please email Umati @ ihub . co . ke.