The Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Kenya hosted the first Community Driven Development (CDD) Committee meeting on September 1, 2011, at the office of the chief of the Nairobi community of Kariobangi. Twenty two participants attended the meeting, including community leaders, Equity Bank representatives, CDD committee members, and GPF representatives.
CDD is an approach that gives control over planning decisions and investment of resources to community groups and local governments. CDD recognizes and treats poor people and their institutions as assets and partners in the search for sustainable solutions to development challenges. The program operates on the principles of local empowerment, participatory governance, demand-responsiveness, administrative autonomy, greater downward accountability, and enhanced local capacity.
The 15-member CDD committee includes Kariobangi North Area Chief Mr. John Chege, village elders, women and youth representatives, faith-based leaders and private sector representatives. The meeting urged leaders in the community to focus initially on a needs assessment in Kariobangi, particularly in the areas of sanitation, health care, and security.
The assembly also enabled committee members to share knowledge, build capacity and find ways of forging partnerships in public and private sector. The CDD committee’s roles are to act as a liaison between the community and the stakeholders and also to be responsible for any project planning and implementation in the community.
North Area Chief John Chege opened the meeting and handed it over to Mr Vincent Rapando, GPF’s Director of Resource Development and Partnerships-East Africa, who told the community representatives that “the destiny of the Kariobangi people is in your hands.”
Among other invited guests at the committee meeting were Mr. Joseph Muiruri and Robert Kamanja, the former and current Equity Bank Managers respectively. Mr Muiruri noted that “Equity Bank is offering free education to poor students who have attained 350 marks and above in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Exams.” He also emphasized that “Equity Bank is giving employment and scholarship to the top boy and girl in the Kenya Certificate in Secondary Education exams.” He said that the bank is partnering with organizations such as GPF to empower the communities living in informal settlements to initiate entrepreneurship projects.
Mr Kamanja talked about good leadership and pointed out that “a good leader leads from the front just like a good shepherd leads his flock.” He emphasized that communication is the backbone of all relationships and especially in community organization.
Mr. Edwin Aketch, GPF’s Programme Coordinator, presented GPF’s core values and goals, and facilitated the working group discussions. He then engaged participants in coming up with workable action plans.
GPF-Kenya appreciated the Chief’s Office and the community leaders for their courtesy and esteemed partnership in Kariobangi community. The meeting was concluded with a vote of thanks from Pastor Christopher Murimi, who is a CDD committee member.