The Research, Policy and Planning Department collaborates with researchers and analysts at academic and research institutions to develop frontier tools, models and carry out high quality research to further the understanding of cohesion building, conflict management and equal opportunities in Kenya. This way, the Research Department contributes to the foundation of cohesion and equal opportunity policy decisions in the country. The department has so far published the following reports.
Ethnic Audit in Civil Service
The Commission conducts ethnic audits to ascertain the ethnic composition of employees in the public service. In 2011, an ethnic audit was conducted as the first step towards tackling the general complaints about skewed ethnic representation in the public service. The study was based on the analysis of the integrated payroll and personnel data system provided by the government, and the population census data for 2009. The findings of the study confirmed the crisis of ethnic inequality and exclusion in the civil service. Several ministries were found to be in breach of the legal requirement that none should have more than one third of staff from one community.
Ethnic Audit in Public Universities and Constituent Colleges
In 2012, a similar Audit was done for public universities and their constituent colleges. Just like in the civil service audit, the study on universities found domination of the institutions by the big ethnic groups. To address the challenge, a follow-up meeting was held between the NCIC, universities administrations and then Ministry of Higher Education, where it was agreed that a progressive approach be adopted in the next three years to create balance and include more minorities in employment in universities.
Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Cohesion Activities
Monitoring and evaluation enhances the effectiveness of NCIC project implementation and performance by establishing clear links between past, present and future interventions and results. The Research Department ensures the implementation of the monitoring and evaluation framework by all departments in the Commission.
Study on Ethnic Stereotypes and Coded Language
As part of its effort to create better knowledge and understanding of inter-ethnic relationships and triggers to violence, the Commission conducted a study in 2012 to identify ethnic stereotypes and coded language used by communities in Kenya. The overall goal of the research was to determine how coded language and ethnic stereotypes were perceived by the users and the target communities, and how their application affected peace and cohesion. The findings showed that all communities used coded language and stereotypes, and had both positive and negative connotations and references. While most of those sampled saw the use of coded language and stereotypes as normal and harmless, political leaders, on the other hand, had used them to advance ethnic hatred and to sometimes incite one community against the other for selfish interests.
Baseline Survey on Ethnic Interaction and Tolerance among Kenyans
The NCIC conducted a baseline survey in 2012 to establish the levels of ethnic interaction and tolerance among different communities in Kenya. The survey showed that despite instances of ethnic violence, majority of Kenyans, up to 57 per cent, interacted with people from different ethnic communities. The study further showed that the frequency of inter-ethnic interaction increased with the level of education. It also found that people who did not attend school and those who had attained primary level of education were the least intolerant. The tolerance level increased as one joined college and went up further after completion of tertiary education. These findings thus pointed to the need to examine how education curriculums and the general learning environments could be used to promote national cohesion and integration.
Kenya Ethnic and Race Relations Framework
Creating a framework for ethnic relations is an area that has never been considered. The assumption has always been that ethnic and race relations work in a natural way, and that a policy to underpin these relationships is not necessary. However, the post-election violence witnessed in 2008 created a sense of urgency and led the country to re-examine various assumptions, including how ethnic and race relations were handled. Following the regional conversations across the country, the NCIC drafted the Kenya Ethnic and Race Relations Framework. The rationale for this policy was that a secular multi-ethnic and multi-racial democracy needs a strategic policy framework aimed at promoting and ensuring integration, cohesion and peaceful coexistence amongst all communities.
Internal Displacement and Cohesion Building in Kenya
The NCIC conducted a study that looked at the dynamics surrounding internally displaced Persons (IDPs) living in camps and whether the life dynamics they were exposed to promoted cohesion and integration or they were detrimental to national cohesion. The research found out that internal displacement was not a new phenomenon in the country, and that it dated back to the pre-colonial period. It also found out that at the centre of the displacement and the resettlement of IDPs, were the accusations of nepotism, corruption and tribalism, which could have undermined national cohesion and integration. One of the key findings of the study was that the key players took too long to exhaustively address the IDPs challenge, further complicating national cohesion efforts, especially when political campaigns use the situation to hit out at opponents or to deliver promises. The study recommended speedy resettlement of IDPs and the development of a National IDP Policy.
Unveiling the Endemic Conflicts in the Suguta Valley Triangle
The Suguta Valley Triangle hosts Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo, Samburu and Laikipia counties, whose inhabitants are largely pastoralists. The proliferation of small arms and commercialization of cattle rustling has seen the region witness violent conflicts that have led to loss of human lives and thousands of livestock stolen. The cycle of attacks and complicity of government officials and politicians was the focus of the 2013 NCIC study, which looked at the causes of conflicts and gave recommendations on how they could be resolved. In addition, the study sought to critically analyse and offer suggestions for strengthening established peace initiatives so as to enhance cohesion and integration. The analysis found out that grassroots peace committees, though instrumental in peace building efforts, have not sufficiently reduced tensions or improved inter-community relations.
National Stakeholder Mapping
The NCIC sought to establish key peace building and cohesion stakeholders through a mapping exercise across the 47 counties. The main aim was to establish an effective network of key peace and cohesion building agents across the country in order to build synergies and maximise on efforts and resources, and to provide representation and presence for NCIC in all counties. The exercise identified various categories of stakeholders including International NGOs, National NGOs, CBOs, the private sector, religious organizations, public sector and state organs such as Peace Committees and District Security Committees. This enabled NCIC to actively partner with the most important stakeholders towards achieving its mandate.