Better responses to violence and crime
Jamii Thabiti - Improving Community Security, Kenya 

police officers

trained in the support of prosecutions for violence against women and girls, across 28 police stations


actively engaged in the strengthening of 18 sub-county policing committees


are benefiting from more effective prevention and response mechanisms to crime, conflict and gender-based violence.

Security represents a significant challenge for poor and marginalised Kenyans. In 2013, nearly 500 Kenyans were killed and more than 55,000 displaced due to inter-communal violence and resource conflicts. Women and children were most affected by the brunt of sexual violence, killings, injuries, and loss of property and displacement. Security services in Kenya face immense challenges in tackling crime, conflict, and violence against women and girls due to relatively weak conflict management structures and institutional capacity.

Coffey, A Tetra Tech Company, is managing the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Jamii Thabiti programme, which seeks to improve the strength and capacity of security authorities in Kenya. Stronger and better equipped security organisations are able to respond to criminal violence, inter-communal violence, and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in a more effective and efficient manner.

The programme promotes long-term partnerships with government authorities, service providers, and civil society at the national, county, and local levels. As programme manager, Coffey is strengthening and leveraging these partnerships to support more effective, accountable, and responsive public services. 
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At community level

The programme identifies locally defined problems and supports activities designed to address the immediate problem as a means to open up opportunities to address the broader causes of violence more systematically

At county level

Jamii Thabiti works with security actors and stakeholders in the Bungoma and Kisumu (Western cluster), Baringo and Nakuru (Rift cluster), Kilifi and Kwale (Coast cluster), and Wajir and Mandera (North East cluster) to achieve better coordination and integration and to apply lessons derived from local interventions more widely

At national level

The programme works with government, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders on highly specific areas of policy and strategy development and implementation that are relevant to the problems that Jamii Thabiti is addressing at the local level

Jamii Thabiti works together with national and county governments, the National Police Service, local partners and communities to establish contextually relevant local structures (Community Policing Committees) responsible for addressing security and safety problems. These committees bridge the gap between the police and communities and create community dialogue platforms aimed at establishing safe, fair and transparent channels for holding each to account. Through this programme, 32 committees across eight counties have been set up. These have contributed to an 8% increase in public perceptions of safety, a 16% increase in public satisfaction with services provided and a 37% increase in women expressing they thought policing services have improved.
By working with national and county governments, the National Gender Equality Commission, Gender Technical Working Groups, Women Concern Centre and the National Police Service, Jamii Thabiti has improved prevention and mitigation of violence against women and girls. This video shows how, with a little technical assistance and training local stakeholders have achieved change in Kisumu and Bungoma counties.

Jamii Thabiti and downstream partner Women Concerns Centre have been supporting formation of survivors’ of violence against women and girls’ safety-nets by coordinating Village Savings and Loans Association to empower women by giving them greater financial independence. This approach has been combined with the training of the established Gender Units with the National Police Service at the police station and the Gender Technical Working Group to coordinate multiple actors within the referral chain for more efficient service delivery.
In Kenya, violence against women and girls is prevalent. Coffey has been implementing the Jamii Thabiti (JT) programme to mitigate the effects and support survivors by improving their legal and social protection. Through our work JT has contributed to a 73% increase from baseline in the number of reported cases, a 64% increase in the number of cases investigated and a 6.2% increase in the number of cases prosecuted.
We have worked with both country-level and downstream partners to localise national legal frameworks to county contexts. Such partners include the Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development and Sauti Ya Wanawake Pwani. This legal framework, the SGBV Prototype Bill, holds both government and county officials responsible for the protection of women and girls against SGBV. The Bill outlines the county’s role in case management to enhance female safety, management and the referral mechanism. So far, the Bill has been passed in Kwale, Bungoma and Baringo.
We adopted a multisectoral approach to help train civic stakeholders, including police officers, and to raise awareness around the true impacts of SGBV on both the individual and the wider community. Our strategy varied from establishing local VAWG committees to increasing communication between police stations and relevant VAWG stakeholders. Moreover, we held multiple training workshops for paralegals and wider gender actors as well as producing and disseminating information through media campaigns. The success of such a mixed methods approach is particularly felt through the increased sense of assurance from our local partners to refer victims to police stations.

Results and Innovations

Police strengthening

The new National Police Service Standing Orders (SSOs) were adopted in June 2017. They give Kenya’s police operational guidelines that are aligned with the policing laws and provide practical guidance to officers in their everyday operations. Jamii Thabiti facilitated technical reviews with senior police officers and are supporting a roll out plan for training police officers in project-supported police stations.

Election violence mitigation

The program’s engagement with County Security and Intelligence Committees (CSIC) helped coordination of county-level peace and security activities during the 2017 General Election period. Strong messaging from the CSICs reduced the intensity and spread of violence and five of the Jamii Thabiti counties remained peaceful despite the anticipation of violence. Where violence did break out - in Kilifi county, for example – the CSIC worked with key program partner Kenya Community Support Centre to engage and mediate with all parties involved in the conflict to neutralize the tensions. 

Responsive programming

The Jamii Thabiti team has pioneered the Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) programming approach. By embedding PDIA into Jamii Thabiti’s programming approach, we were strategically prepared to be responsive to the fluid challenges of 2017. This was particularly important following the announcement and annulment of the election results and subsequent rerun of the election, where a number of mediation processes and security interventions were undertaken to maintain peace. 

Improved reporting

Jamii Thabiti is increasing women’s participation at community security forums and training police to place greater priority on responding to violence against women and girls. We have supported a 65% increase in reporting of VAWG across 16 police stations and have undertaken 43 school dialogues and 36 media campaigns to build community support to tackle VAWG. Ahead of the election, Jamii Thabiti engaged 1,553 women leaders to strengthen the community response against VAWG.