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  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What’s new? Hundreds of troops loyal to the Federal Government of Somalia, on one side, and Jubaland regional state, on the other, are locked in a tense showdown in the Gedo region of southern Somalia. Clashes between them have already resulted in fatalities and uprooted thousands from their homes. Why does it matter? Neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya, which are both troop contributors to the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia, seek to avoid direct confrontation but respectively support the opposing federal and Jubaland administrations. The situation plays into the hands of the Al-Shabaab Islamist insurgency, which is further entrenching its presence in Gedo. What should be done? The African Union, along with the eastern African sub-regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development, and Somalia’s bilateral partners, should lean on Ethiopia and Kenya to push the two sides to de-escalate tensions. Talks would allow the sides to refocus energies on stemming Al-Shabaab’s gains.
  • Topic: Conflict, Negotiation, Islamism, Al Shabaab, African Union
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Horn of Africa
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What’s new? Jihadists have repeatedly attacked schools in north-eastern Kenya in the last eighteen months. In response, the government has shuttered many schools and pulled most teachers out of a long-neglected region that is one of Al-Shabaab’s main recruiting centres outside Somalia. Why does it matter? The education crisis adds to an already existing sense of marginalisation in north-eastern Kenya. Thousands of out-of-school youngsters could constitute an attractive pool of recruits for Al-Shabaab, which is engaged in a long-term campaign to deepen its foothold in the region. What should be done? The Kenyan government should afford the north east’s residents, including police reservists, a greater role in tackling militancy and revive community-centred efforts that to some degree succeeded in rolling back Al-Shabaab in the past. It should also restore learning by providing stopgap funding so local administrations can hire replacement teachers.
  • Topic: Security, Education, Violence, Islamism, Al Shabaab
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Elvis Melia
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This study asks what impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have on job creation and catchup development in Sub-Saharan Africa over the coming decade. Can light manufacturing export sectors still serve African development the way they served East Asian development in the past? If factory floor automation reduces the need for low-cost labour in global value chains, can IT-enabled services exports become an alternative driver of African catch-up development? I present case study evidence from Kenya to show that online freelancing has become an interesting sector, both in terms of its growth trajectory, and in terms of worker upward mobility in the global knowledge economy. As life everywhere moves further into the digital realm, and global internet connectivity between Africa and the rest of the world grows, more and more young Africans who stream onto the labour market may find work in the world of global online freelancing. I discuss the building blocks needed to make online work a sustainable vehicle for African catch-up development in the years ahead.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Labor Issues, Internet, Exports, Manufacturing, Industry
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Tim Stoffel
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Public Procurement is a highly regulated process ruled by a complex legal framework. It comprises not only national but also, increasingly, sub- and supranational regulations, giving rise to a multi-level regulatory governance of public procurement. The integration of sustainability aspects into public procurement, as called for in goal 12.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda 2030, needs to take this multi-level character into account. This reports focuses on social considerations, which are a central part of sustainable procurement – whether with a domestic focus or along international value chains. Social considerations have been somewhat neglected in Europe, whereas they feature prominently in procurement regulations in many countries of the Global South, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The advanced process of regional integration in the European Union (EU) and the progress made towards integration in some regional economic communities in Sub-Saharan Africa call for deeper analyses of the influence of the higher levels of the regulatory framework on the lower levels. The question is whether public entities, from the national down to the local level, are required or at least have the option to integrate socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) into their procurement processes and tenders, or at least have the option to do so. This report is conducted as part of the project “Municipalities Promoting and Shaping Sustainable Value Creation (MUPASS) - Public Procurement for Fair and Sustainable Production”, implemented by DIE in cooperation with Service Agency Municipalities in One World (SKEW) with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and compares public procurement in Germany and Kenya. In both countries, the multi-level regulatory frameworks allow for SRPP regulations and practices ar the national and sub-national levels of government. There is, however, an implementation gap for SRPP in Germany and Kenya that appears to be independent from the specifics of the respective regulatory framework. To tackle this, supportive measures, such as capacity building, are key. Furthermore, Regional economic communities, such as the EU and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), can play a role in promoting SRPP, even without introducing mandatory provisions. At the other end of the multi-level regulatory spectrum, municipalities in the EU had and have an important role in SRPP implementation, that might be replicable by sub-national public entities in Kenya and other contexts.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Regulation, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell, Peter Hailey
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Despite humanitarian information being more available than ever, confusion persists as to what the information means, how to analyze it and turn it into actionable evidence, and how to ensure that evidence-based actions are actually undertaken on a timely basis. The key points of confusion and issues include: The difference between current status information, projections of populations in need, and early warning of threats or hazards. The difference between “hard” numbers (implying things that have already happened and can be counted) versus probabilistic information (implying things that are likely, but not certain, to happen). Linkages, or the lack thereof, between information systems and policy or programmatic action to anticipate, mitigate, or respond to a shock or worsening situation. Despite the fact that conflict is the most common factor driving extreme humanitarian crises, conflict analysis is the weakest part of early warning and information systems. The information systems do not (or minimally) engage with the communities at risk of shocks or resulting humanitarian crises. This paper reviews these and a number of additional issues with contemporary humanitarian information and early warning systems. While the cases focus on the East Africa region, they have broader implications as well.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, North Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Deborah P. Amory
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The struggle for LGBTIQ rights in Kenya provides a unique and fascinating case study of the powerful social change taking place right now. On May 24, 2019, the High Court of Kenya will rule on whether to decriminalize same-sex relationships, which are currently punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. The court was originally scheduled to decide this case in February but delayed the ruling, citing mounds of documents that had still not been read. Activists pointed out that judges had already had several years to read the documents, and some worried that the delay was a sign of government interference with the judicial process.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Political Activism, Courts, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Tabatha Thompson, Hussein Khalid
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The relationship between corruption and violent conflict is complex and significant. Corruption affects access to basic services, contributes to resource scarcity, and fuels organized crime. It was included on a European Commission checklist for the root causes of conflict, and it was cited as a potential driver of extremism in the 2019 report of the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States. Focusing on several social movements in Kenya, this report reviews the efforts of collective civic action to combat corruption and advance transparency, accountability, and good governance.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Corruption, Governance, Violent Extremism, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Globally, recent years have seen the highest levels of displacement on record. This adds extra urgency to the need to close evidence gaps and identify how to reduce and respond to the risks of gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian settings.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Children, Refugees, Gender Based Violence , Displacement, Child Marriage, Intimate Partner Violence
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Middle East, Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Attention to the growing number of people caught in crises characterized by extreme and often protracted levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, and mortality is increasing. The information systems that track these conditions and inform humanitarian decision-making have expanded substantially in the past two decades and in many cases have reached a degree of unprecedented sophistication. These famine early warning systems have become increasingly sophisticated in the past decade, but they still tend to be based on several assumptions that are important to understand. This paper briefly describes existing famine early warning systems and outlines some of the assumptions on which they are based— both in theory and in practice. Then it gives four brief case studies of recent famine or “famine-like” events and pieces together the formal analysis process with an attempt to reconstruct events on the ground from a conflict analysis perspective—highlighting the extent to which the formal famine analysis did or did not deal with conflict analyses and the political kryptonite around the discussion of “intent.” It closes with a summary of gaps in the current system and an assessment of the risks of trying to address those gaps through famine EWS or alternative means.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Middle East, Yemen, North Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Kimberly Howe, Jairo Munive, Katja Rosenstock
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: “As local as possible, as international as necessary” has become the slogan of one of the latest trends in humanitarianism—localization. Since the World Humanitarian Summit of 2016, the localization agenda has been gaining momentum. While there are no internationally agreed upon definitions of localization, it generally refers to putting local actors at the center of the humanitarian system. While humanitarian actors assume that there are benefits to a localized response over those spearheaded by international agencies, it has not been well studied. Most reports are based on anecdotal evidence, describe lessons learned through the study individual projects, or are aspirational and normative in tone. Across publications, there is insufficient empirical evidence to determine the best way for the international humanitarian architecture to support local actors. The authors place the voices of local actors at the center of this research project, acknowledging that most literature favors international actors when studying localization of humanitarian action. This study interrogates the assumptions that underpin a localized response and identifies the factors that enable and hinder local actors in providing a high-quality, principled, and effective response in three countries in the Horn of Africa: Kenya, Somalia/Somaliland, and South Sudan.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: John Mukum Mbaku
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Certain characteristics and values have the power to make or break a democracy. The supremacy of law, for instance, is the foundation on which democracy is built; it is the heart and soul of a free society and the basis for peaceful coexistence. This holds particularly true in Kenya. To manage the conflicting interests of diverse subcultures, all citizens, regardless of their political, economic, and ethnocultural affiliation, must be subject to the law. Thus, a governing process undergirded by the rule of law is critical for a future of peace and development in Kenya.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Democracy, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: This report provides the findings of consultative forums conducted from May through August 2018 with youth and women in eight counties of Kenya on the factors that hinder and promote their political participation.1 The report offers recommendations to support their increased participation in the political sphere.2 In conducting the consultative forums, The Carter Center partnered with Kenyan organizations that work to promote the rights of these special-interest groups. For the youth forums, the partners were the Youth Agenda, Siasa Place, and the National Youth Bunge Association. Partners for the women’s forums were Community Advocacy and Awareness Trust (CRAWN), the Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), and the Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (FIDA)
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Kenya
  • Author: Judith Kallick, Andrea Brown Murga
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: The fourth report from our 10-year tracking study of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP), Transformational Leaders and Social Change provides important insights into the personal, organizational, community, and societal impacts of IFP alumni in Kenya, Nigeria, Palestine, and South Africa, drawn from the perspectives of 361 IFP alumni and local stakeholders. The results of this study show that the program had a positive impact on participants, with alumni saying that their IFP experience increased their confidence, awareness, self-identity, commitment, leadership, career advancement despite challenges upon re-entry at the end of the fellowship. Some alumni returned to face career barriers endemic to their community and home region, such as high unemployment rates and other labor market challenges. At an organizational level, alumni and community stakeholders said that these organizations now have a stronger work ethic, consistency, transparency, and accountability since alumni returned to their home communities. Stakeholders also said that the alumni they work with are more reliable and committed to getting the job done.
  • Topic: Education, Labor Issues, Employment, Leadership, Accountability, Transparency, Unemployment, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Middle East, South Africa, Palestine, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 34 looks at developments in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Philippines and Kenya.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Iraq, Sudan, Philippines, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Burundi, Myanmar, South Sudan
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
  • Abstract: Of the world’s developing regions, Sub-Saharan Africa has the worst infrastructure deficit, with studies pointing to lost growth opportunities. This study presents in one document information previously dispersed on the region’s infrastructure stock and modes of financing. It assesses infrastructure’s role in the region’s economic growth. It identifies specific capacity constraints that have hindered the private sector’s participation in infrastructure financing. And it suggests a framework for advancing institutional and human resource capacities to boost infrastructure financing. The authors first reviewed documents addressing the region’s infrastructure. They then conducted case studies of private sector involvement in infrastructure financing in Kenya, Mauritius, and South Africa. And, using the generalized method of moments (GMM), estimated an infrastructure-augmented growth model.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Infrastructure, Finance, Economic Policy, Capacity
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, South Africa, Mauritius
  • Author: Meg Davis
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Philanthropy Project (GPP)
  • Abstract: While the late 20th century saw a blossoming of civil society organizations, the beginning of the 21st century has been a period of upheaval. In response to both the threat of terrorism and to growing populist pressure for democracy, transparency, and government accountability, states have used new laws and tactics to restrict freedom of association and freedom of expression. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations have always faced such barriers, ranging from criminalization of same-sex sexuality, to refusal of the right to register organizations or hold public events, to the shutdown of websites.1 In recent years, some countries have also ratified new laws that explicitly prohibit groups engaged in “LGBT propaganda.” In other countries, politicians have mobilized resurgent nationalism by publicly scapegoating LGBT groups as representing “foreign values.” These overlapping trends have created a “perfect storm” for LGBT civil society organizations caught in simultaneous waves of political pressure.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Law, Freedom of Expression, Discrimination, LGBT+, Marginalization, Philanthropy
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Global Focus