document A Strategy Paper Developed during the National Civic Sector Leaders Meeting Popular

The shrinking civic and democratic space has become a major governance issue for the civil society and other independent voices and actors, at all levels in the society. It is on this basis that the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ), and Civil Society Reference Group (CS-RG), co-convened the National Civil Society Leaders meeting which drew participants from different sub-sectors[1] to cross pollinate ideas, perspectives and strategies for reclaiming and expanding civic spaces.

[1] Participants were drawn from the human rights and governance sub-sectors, media, religious sphere, donor level INGOs and umbrella institutions bringing together a coalition of human rights defenders[1].


pdf Civic Space Timeline Popular

A Civic Space Timeline 2013 - 2016

pdf Findings of EACC after investigations into the authenticity of the degree certificate of Mr. Fazul Mahamed, The Executive Director of the Non-governmental Organizations Co-ordination Bureau. Popular

The Civil Society Reference Group is an umbrella self-regulation platform bringing together local, national and international Public Benefits Organizations (PBOs) formerly known as NGOs working in Kenya. Among our members are organizations registered under the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act, 1990.

pdf Kenya's 2nd Cycle Universal Periodic Review Mid Term Report Popular

In 2006 the United Nations General Assembly near unanimously adopted Resolution 60/251, to establish a Human Rights Council (replacing the Human Rights Commission) with the responsibility for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. One of the key mandates of the Council is to undertake a Universal Periodic Review (UPR), on the fulfilment of each States’ human rights obligations and commitments. The UPR is therefore a unique Human Rights mechanism where each of the 194 UN Members States are peer-reviewed and examined on their entire human rights record every five years regardless of its size or political influence, under the same rules and supervision. States are required to respond not only to all recommendations made by its peers, but also to provide data on the implementation of recommendations it has previously Accepted, including voluntary commitments.

The UPR remains a co-operative process that requires the full participation of the State under Review. It complements the work of all UN treaty bodies. The UPR is a very important process for advancing the realization of human rights nationally, regionally and globally. It is worth noting that the UPR is a process and not an event. Therefore, the engagement of all the stakeholders must be sustained all through the entire cycle.

Kenya’s human rights record was reviewed for the 2nd time on 22nd January, 2015 when Kenya received a total of 253 recommendations. The outcome document of the review, the Working Group report, was formally adopted before the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on 25th June, 2015. After the Adoption of the Working Group report, the implementation phase begun. To this end, the Government of Kenya developed a comprehensive UPR Implementation Matrix for all the Accepted recommendations that was launched on 3rd June, 2016. Thereafter, the Government of Kenya together with other UPR stakeholders were expected to implement the said recommendations.

In order to enhance the implementation, it is good practice for States to submit Mid Term Reports to the UN HRC between the UPR Cycles so as to bring out the progress they are making in this regard and also raise some of the challenges that the State is facing and the solutions they have put in place to overcome those challenges. The Government of Kenya submitted its Mid Term Report to the HRC in July, 2018 while CSOs have also just finalised this erstwhile report in October, 2018. 

pdf Know Your Rights and Duties as a Civil Society Organisation Popular

A Civil Society Organisation (CSO) is an organised, independent group of individuals and, or institutions that controls its own activities and procedures. It serves as a vehicle that brings together persons with a common interest, activity or purpose, on a voluntary basis. Civil society organisations are separate from the government i.e. they are private. What are the different types of CSOs? There are many different types of CSOs: Some are set up to advance the common interests of their members. They include self-help groups, youth and women’s


pdf NGO Summit talking points 2016 Popular

Master slide deck for NGO Summit with talking points in notes.

pdf Report of the first National Summit of PBO leaders on expanding Civic space and towards implementation of the Public Benefits Organizations Act 2013 Popular

Chaired by Care International Regional Director Emma Naylor- Ngugi, CSO Reference Group representatives Suba Churchill and Regina Opondo welcomed the commencement of the PBO Act by the Ministry for Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri.
They congratulated the Cabinet Secretary for holding a momentous meeting with CSOs Reference Group representatives and committing to not only implement the PBO Act but also to establish structures (working group and quarterly roundtable) to strengthen
PBO-government relationship.

pdf The First National Summit of PBO Leaders Popular

The meeting is for all PBOs working in all 47 Counties, nationally and regionally to discuss the latest developments on the commencement of the PBO Act and to agree on the way forward.Under the Public Benefits Organisations Act (2013), PBOs are defined as “organisations that provide public benefits or act in the public interest”. Public Benefits Organisations can be represented at this meeting by either a Board Director or an Executive Director.

pdf Towards a protected and expanded Civic space in Kenya and beyond Popular

From 2013 to date, there have been several attempts by the Kenyan State to constrain the civic and democratic space through punitive and prohibitive governance frameworks targeting the Public Benefits Organizations (PBOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), media organizations, trade unions, Constitutional Commissions among other independent state and non-state actors. Efforts to push back against restrictions have generally succeeded in countering immediate threats, but they have been reactive and ad hoc, rather than proactive engagements that claim back and expand the space for civil society. Additionally, civil society actors have often responded to impeding threats to civic space on their own. Cognizant of this glaring gap in the struggle to expand shrinking civic space, on 17th May 20163, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ), and Civil Society Reference Group (CS-RG), co-convened a National Civil Society Leaders Meeting which drew participants from different sub-sectors to cross pollinate ideas, perspectives and strategies for reclaiming and expanding civic spaces. The meeting agreed to the formation of the Civic Space Protection Platform in Kenya whose mandate is to support the creation, reclamation and preservation of civic spaces in Kenya and Beyond. From this meeting, and several subsequent meetings, this strategy paper titled ‘Towards a Protected and Expanded Civic Space in Kenya and beyond’, was developed. The National Coalition of Defenders- Kenya, later on joined the convening team as a co-convener