In recent years, Kenya’s media stakeholders, Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations have been seen coming together in ways never seen before. They’re paving way for shared objectives that offer hope and transformation for a better future.
According to the 2019 Private Sector Report by Fingo Kenya, Media Stakeholders, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) place great significance on their capacity to collaborate with companies that share and align with their visions, strategies, values, and aspirations.
They highly prioritize the ability to establish mutual trust among stakeholders, with a central focus on the well-being of people and their communities, and working collaboratively to achieve common objectives.
As outlined in the report, media stakeholders hold a pivotal role in shaping public discourse and disseminating information, while civil society organizations actively strive for social and political transformation. Conversely, NGOs have earned a reputation for their unwavering dedication to humanitarian and developmental endeavors throughout the nation.
The Aga Khan University Nairobi hosted a stakeholder workshop on October 31, 2023, related to their project focused on advancing gender equality in media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
During the engagement, questions were raised among the stakeholders about the significance of collaboration.
Diana Bochaberi, a seasoned expert in gender equality programs, youth initiatives, and humanitarian actions, highlighted the importance of these collaborations. She emphasized that they primarily serve the purposes of resource mobilization, expertise exchange, and influencing policies.
“NGOs often depend on the support and resources provided by the media to fuel their projects. This exposure can be transformative for them. The exchange of expertise between CSOs, media stakeholders, and NGOs is mutually beneficial, enhancing their problem-solving capacities and yielding more effective outcomes. When these three sectors unite, they can collectively advocate for policy changes, thereby creating a more conducive environment for the success of their initiatives,” Diana explained.
She further added that the media plays a critical role in amplifying the concerns and needs of both Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). They are instrumental in building public awareness and, significantly, possess the power to influence decision-makers.
Charity Chahasi, the Executive Director of Twaweza Women with Disabilities, shared her insights, emphasizing that involving all relevant parties in the decision-making process and establishing regular meetings and forums is essential for fostering healthy collaborative efforts.
“In collaborative endeavors, decisions are typically made collectively,” she emphasized. “By involving all relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process, it ensures that diverse perspectives are considered, leading to a consensus. Furthermore, regular meetings and forums facilitate open dialogue, enabling stakeholders to discuss ongoing projects, share updates, and address challenges.”
Maureen Mudi, the Regional Coordinator of the Media Council of Kenya, also contributed to the discussion, emphasizing that collaborative efforts between these three sectors revolve around shared objectives, including the promotion of social justice by addressing issues such as corruption, human rights abuses, and inequality.
In her closing remarks, Diana Anyende, the Project Coordinator at Aga Khan University, emphasized the increasingly critical need for collaboration. She highlighted that Kenya is currently confronted with a myriad of challenges, making the concerted endeavors of these sectors all the more crucial in finding sustainable solutions. She also noted that these partnerships have a long-standing history, with momentum steadily growing over the years.
The collaborative unity between media stakeholders, civil society organizations, and NGOs in Kenya is a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to a brighter future for our nation. Yet, the triumph of these initiatives relies heavily on the active participation and support of the wider Kenyan community.
By Priscillah kaigai, AMWIK Member