Local Capacities for Peace International (LCPI), a Kenyan NGO registered in 2005. It works to build on the work of its precursor, the Local Capacities for Peace Project. Rooted in the do no harm principle, it works on humanitarian, development and peacebuilding issues in countries across East Africa.
In particular, it works to influence the role of the media, recognising the impact of negative stereotyping which helped to fuel violence during the 2007 elections in Kenya. It reached out to journalists in the Kisumu area, engaging them in its “Towards Peaceful and Secure Elections” project ahead of the 2013 polls. The establishment of the Kisumu Journalist Network has offered many journalists, besides those who were initially trained, the opportunity to understand conflict sensitivity as a vital set of principles in reporting.es behaviors.
The project saw the formation of a task team in Kisumu County, working with the administration, security personnel, the electoral independence and boundaries board, the national cohesion and integration commission and interfaith groups as well as young people and opinion leaders. Together they helped the elections pass off peacefully.
LCPI also organises community forums. For example in October 2014 it joined the governor of Kisumu, Jack Ranguma together, as well as more 20 Kisumu and Western Bishops, to discuss peace, policy, leadership, community participation and the instability that plagued the region at the time. It has also established a Court Users Committee, which brings together people involved in the justice system to improve its performance and accountability.
Theory of change: key people, key outcomes
LCPI’s theory of change is to target key people with significant influence in their communities. With personal prestige playing an important role in electioneering in Kenya, if local leaders urge their respective constituencies to adopt a non-violent and conflict sensitive way of doing things, socio-political change will come about more easily and more peacefully.
Creating impact: of peace groups and publishers
LCPI helped to:
- Create a youth peace group along the Kibigori-Chemelil-Nyangore border.
- Involve the Deputy County Commissioners (DCC) in a multi-stakeholder approach to promote and enhance security in their areas of jurisdiction.
- Involve traditional Chief and Assistant Chiefs in monitoring and enforcing a cattle-rustling early warning system
LCPI's media training programme works to engage all forms of media personnel - broadcasters, comedians, cartoonists, reporters and editors engagement of both electronic and print media personnel, across the country - to reconsider the ways in which they frame and package their stories.
One journalist trained by the LCPI said:
We cover and at times experience different forms of conflicts. Under the Conflict Sensitive Journalism Initiative, we attended training sessions and discussed our role as public information providers. There are always two sides to every story, and sometimes you can make people feel very marginalised. You have to be very careful to avoid triggering the escalation of conflicts between groups who sometimes coexist uneasily.