Celebrating Documentation! The IAS Partner Manual

The IAS Partner Manual: Version 1 2014

The IAS Partner Manual: Version 1 2014

The IAS Partner Manual was launched with celebration by participants at the 2014 IAS Partner Network Conference (PNC) in Nairobi, Kenya. This was a process that began in the 2012 PNC with mandate given by IAS and Partners.

As a network, we are celebration a documentation milestone in the Partner Manual. You can download the first version by clicking here or by clicking on the picture above.

2014 Partner Network Conference in Progress! 1

The 2014 PNC is focused on organizational development; considering a more programmatic approach to see more synergies, learning and impact.

The conference gives the chance for in-depth sector-group discussions focusing on three main sectors: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Inclusive Education/Special Needs Education (IE/SNE), and Civil Society Development (CSD). Special attention is also given to humanitarian response, exploring how organizations can be better equipped to respond to emergencies as they arise.

Our Lobbying and Advocacy Project

By ZINDUKA AFRIKA      Nairobi, Kenya

*Names given not actual names of the represented people

Project Context:

The project is a twelve month intervention whose aim is to improve citizen awareness and engagement in governance for effective realization of human rights particularly Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ECOSOC) in the informal settlements of Embakasi and Makadara districts of Nairobi   County. The primary target groups are the women, youth and people with disability with the final beneficiaries being the marginalized populations in the districts in sprawling mukuru slums.

The project is based on the fact that although Kenya has ratified her commitments under International Covenant on ECOSOC Rights and has a constitution which has outlined the ECOSOC Rights, many of her people do not know what they are entitled to or have never accessed the benefits under this legal instruments. This is particularly the case in the informal settlements which are characterized by lack of basic services, inadequate medical services, and high rates of unemployment, poor housing and social exclusion. The women, youth and people with disability bear the brunt of these problems in the informal settlements due to their vulnerability.


The Church Has A Biblical Mandate To Engage In Advocacy Work 2

By FPFK Langalanga     Nakuru, Kenya

God is a just God. He believes in total Justice and Freedom for his people. The scriptures are awash with this theme of Justice to mankind. The most prominent and clearest of all which reflects the just character of God in my view is Deuteronomy 32: 4 (NIV)

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

The creator God is actively involved in the affairs of the world in spite of all the injustices. Through the Son, God is the preserver and governor of all things. Generations come and go because God is still on the throne. God may not be on the throne of every individual’s life, but on biblical reflection, He is truly on the throne of His creation and He is concerned about the welfare of each one of us.

Let us see from the Bible how actively God has been involved in the affairs of humankind. God’s attitude and His actions in dealing with social justice are demonstrated in no better way than the Exodus story.


Setting off in solidarity: the 2013 Partner Network Conference

From the 11th – 16th February 2013, 75 participants from IAS and partner organizations across Africa gathered in Arusha, Tanzania for the second annual Partner Network Conference. The topic was advocacy and networking – challenging and equipping civil society organizations to become better agents of transformation in local communities.

Participants came from different backgrounds and countries, ranging from South Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to Chad, Somalia and Nigeria. Each came with a different history but all came with a common purpose – to explore how they could move toward their role as advocates for change. For some, this was a natural transition, one they had already started on, while for many others, this was new territory to be explored. As the week progressed, common ground was found, in exploring not only the how, but also the why.

IAS, as many of its partners, has a history of humanitarian service provision. In recent years, as the contexts that IAS and partners work in are shifting toward development, and as the impact of the work being done is assessed, the need for new approaches has become apparent in order to achieve lasting change. While service delivery is certainly a valuable role, impact will always be limited if this is not also accompanied by changes in the institutions that have the real responsibility to deliver these services. The Partner Network Conference sought to address this challenge, by exploring the different roles of civil society and questioning the effectiveness of these roles, by introducing participants to concepts and practical tools for advocacy as a means to make change.

Josephat Torner[1] set the week off with a presentation that would leave few untouched,  vividly illustrating not only through his words but through his own story as an advocate, the difference between advocating on behalf of others, with others, or allowing them to speak for themselves. This distinction echoed throughout the week, as Nicta Lubaale[2] took participants through tools for community mobilization, challenging the current state of relationships where citizens have become beggars rather than right-bearers. He emphasized the need to reclaim citizen rights, to realize the role of citizens as principals who, in reality, have delegated elected representatives and Government agencies the power to act on their behalf as agents, not as their masters. The concept of a community charter was introduced, as a tool to bridge the gap and to create a joint framework for social accountability between communities and their elected representatives, empowering communities to claim their rights.


Moving forward – as agents of change

The last participants of the 2013 Partner Network Conference are now finding their ways home after what was an intense and exciting week in Arusha. As we catch up on our sleep and unpack our bags, we may also find ourselves unpacking our thoughts and revelations from the week.

Returning home is perhaps one of the most challenging parts of any workshop or conference. After riding a wave of enthusiasm, we find ourselves back in our daily life without the company of an equally enthusiastic crowd. Our inboxes are full and the pending tasks and to-do lists suddenly dull the energy we came back with. The conference folder is put in an accessible place “I will get back to it next week” we say, only to find next week equally full, the folder under a growing stack of documents and the conference ever more distant. We cringe a little when we come across our action plans and remember the joy and conviction from the conference – the thought that this time we would really come back home and act. When we come home – where does the energy go?

One participant insightfully wrote in the evaluation If this Partner Network Conference will not have the positive impact, we are misusing the donors funds for nothing”. And isn’t it true?


Finding our role as advocates


Josephat Torner from FPCT gives us a practical introduction to advocacy

The 2013 Partner Network Conference has taken off with a lot of excitement and inspiration!

We started the week by looking back upon the year that has passed, and how this has led to our plans for the coming year. IAS and partners in Kenya and Tanzania shared about the process of formalizing partnerships through partnership agreements, capacity building in strategic planning, organizational development, financial management and project cycle management. Their experiences form the basis of the upcoming Civil Society Development Programme, which will support IAS and partners in forming strategic partnerships based on equality in the upcoming years.


The 2013 Partner Network Conference is almost here!

Time is approaching quickly to the start of the 2013 Partner Network Conference in Arusha, Tanzania. We are expecting over 70 participants from across the region, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia and South Sudan. The focus is on ‘Networking and Advocacy’, challenging and equipping civil society organizations to be agents of transformation in local communities. Find the programme here.