The Kenya Community Support Center (KECOSCE) was founded in 2006 and has been working in the coastal region of Kenya, it was established to address democratic governance, socio‐economic and youth concerns with a focus on the coast of Kenya.
The main purpose of Kenya Community Support Center (KECOSCE) is to promote and facilitate institutionalization of the values and practices of good governance at all levels of society as a basis for sustainable social‐economic development. The organization is registered in Kenya by the government as a Non‐Governmental Organization under Section 10 of the Non‐Governmental Organizations Coordination Act vide certificate number OP.218/051/2006/0324/4307 dated 6th September, 2006. KECOSCE takes recognizance of the fact that the majorities of citizens have not been recognized or effectively involved in public policy processes that impact on their social, economic and political lives. KECOSCE takes recognizance of the fact that the majorities of citizens have not been recognized or effectively involved in public policy processes that impact on their social, economic and political lives.Further, it candidly admits that national and local governments have generally failed in tapping the abundant individual and collective creativity of the people.
KECOSCE VISION AND MISSION STATEMENT:
"A free, just and democratically governed society that upholds progressive equality. Our mission is to facilitate an equitable and secure society by promoting Peaceful coexistence, good governance and sustainable social‐economic development at the national and local level".
GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
KECOSCE is governed by a seven member board of directors who are the police making organ of the organization. The board provides strategic leadership and guidance for effective and efficient management of the center.
THE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
KECOSCE has established a secretariat based in Mombasa headed by the Executive Director supported by a team of self driven, motivated staff who implement its programmes. The Center promotes volunteerism and works with volunteers who offer on‐the‐ground services to support its projects through mobilization, stimulating initiatives that bring desired socio‐political and economic change at the local level.
OUR DEVELOPMENT APPROACH
Our approach is conflict sensitive, human rights oriented marked by deep respect and support for those we work with. We should be interested enough to listen carefully to what people say and think, feel, and want. We also should be committed to a high level of inquisitiveness to understand better the communities we work with.
We should be interested enough to listen carefully to what people say and think, feel, and want. We also should be committed to a high level of inquisitiveness to understand better the communities we work with. Our facilitation focuses on supporting the local communities to invent homegrown solutions to their challenges. Our approach is that of being searchers than planners. It is about adapting solutions to local conditions and grounding our initiatives to the local realities. These realities are different for each area and hence we should not always push for replicating what worked elsewhere as this is also a recipe for failure especially if not informed by the local context.
The biggest challenge that we face is general lack of well‐being with poverty being a major concern. Poverty is also a complicated tangle of political, social, historical, institutional and technological factors. Poverty is multi‐ dimensional, complicated and needs complicated solutions provided by multiple players and actors including the Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Private Sector, Media and others.
In achieving social change, KECOSCE is prepared to attack the root causes of social ills. We are aware that it will not be enough for us to address poverty through implementing activities on livelihood enhancement without addressing the operating environment that makes it possible for the poor to continue in that condition due to corruption, resource misallocation and marginalization, denial of rights or exploitation by those in power. Our interventions will be at the two levels – service delivery and the advocacy/ governance /policy environment.
In service delivery, we will run programmes at the local level/community levels that address livelihood and the structural challenges communities face. In Advocacy, we will work at both the community level as well as the higher national level, creating public awareness and pushing for policy reforms. This will give us more credibility at both levels. It will enable us to bridge the divide between the practitioners and the policy makers. We will provide services at grassroots and at the same time advocate for policy change at the local and national levels to address the hurdles and challenges that we identify.
Working at the policy level will enable us to create a more significant systemic change and to do this we have to influence the political process and governance. To do this effectively, we have to be an organization that seeks knowledge and uses it. Working at the grassroots levels will enable us to gain firsthand view of the problems facing our constituents, as we will be “closer to our most important customers ‐ the citizens” where we in partnership with locals facilitate development of local solutions that inform our policy positions.
Our advocacy work will be focusing on creating solutions rather than just highlighting the issues – which has been happening usually from the rooftops. We shall use street activism and at the same time engage the government constructively to implement the policy change in a partnership relationship.
We should focus on initiatives that promote fairness, well‐being and human rights through programmes that address root causes.
We have to deliver programmes that give more resources to the poor as well as advocate for the rights of the poor. We need to choose approaches that enable us to work alongside the grassroots and understand them in addition to working at higher levels on pro‐poor policies/practices.
We will especially target more on the marginalized groups, people with disabilities and the poor. This is because the needs of the poor and marginalized are not met because they have little money or political power with which to make their needs known and they cannot hold anyone accountable to meet their needs. We have to be committed to our work and be pragmatic with regard to those we work with. We should be able to collaborate with business, government, and other CSOs as long as their partnership gives us the social change that we are seeking.
As we mobilize communities and individual partners to achieve social change, we should also leverage our CSO networks to increase through developing a movement of strong organizations around us whom we work with and through maintaining a network mindset especially through forums and consortiums.
ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (OD)
For KECOSCE, Capacity Development is a process of developing and strengthening skills and abilities that individuals, communities, and civil society organizations need to address, respond, adapt and thrive in a fast changing n context in order to achieve long term and sustainable positive change.
Capacity Development is a very important component in the process of development and in addressing the challenges communities face. We shall embrace a culture of regular organizational capacity assessments and develop capacity enhancement plans that will develop the employees, the board of directors and volunteers working in the organization. The capacity‐building programme should not only enhance efficiency and effective management systems but also pay special attention to creating a positive image with the constituencies, our peers, the business sector, the media and the government. We shall promote regular communication about who we are, what we do and what we stand for.