Kenya Elections 2017 course, Rift Valley Institute (very not free)

Kenya Elections 2017 courseNairobi22–23 FebruaryRift Valley Institute
APPLY HERE (USD $1700 per person — 176,000 KES)

Syllabus and teachers confirmed

The final syllabus and teachers for the RVI Kenya Elections 2017 course are now confirmed. From 22–23 February, RVI will host this new, customized training course focused on the upcoming Kenyan elections. Designed and taught by leading Kenyan and international experts, the course will outline and unpack the complex electoral processes and political context for Kenya’s second post-devolution election set for August 2017. The course is designed for practitioners and policy makers. It will discuss the ways in which donors, civil society and the business community can best engage with the electoral process, and evaluate the kind of supportive interventions available to domestic and international actors, and the likely impacts these might have.

Teaching staff

  • Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy and International Development, Birmingham University
  • Denis Galava, Visiting Research Fellow, Kings College London, formerly Managing Editor at the Daily Nation
  • Karuti Kanyinga, Professor, Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi
  • Gabrielle Lynch, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Warwick
  • Mutuma Ruteere, Director, Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies (CHRIPS), UN Special Rapporteur, Racism and Xenophobia.
  • Justin Willis, Professor of History, Durham University

How to apply

To reserve a place on the course, please complete the online application form before 1 February 2017. The course fee is USD1,700 per person, and comprises lunch and refreshments, and additional learning resources that participants will receive in advance of and during the course. Accommodation, travel and visas are not included in the fee. The venue location in Nairobi will be shared with confirmed participants only. APPLY HERE


22 February: Contexts, Challenges and Risks

Session 1: The historical electoral context: A history of Big Men, manipulation, and malpractice

  • Who were the main players in post-independence Kenyan politics?
  • How have ethnicity and patronage influenced elections historically?
  • What attempts have been made to break with historic patterns of electoral politics?
  • To what extend have these attempts to break with the past been successful?

Session 2: Electoral challenges: The IEBC and the judiciary

  • How institutionally robust is the IEBC?
  • What is the logistical capacity of the IEBC?
  • How far along are electoral preparations?
  • Is there a risk that the election may have to be postponed?

Session 3: Electoral risks: malpractice and violence

  • What kinds of electoral malpractice are likely to increase tension and trigger violence?
  • What other factors might trigger instability?
  • What is being done to monitor the electoral process and hotspots?
  • What security arrangements are in place to effectively respond to early-warnings?

Session 4: Devolution: competition at the county level

  • What types of counties are most prone to intense electoral competition?
  • What is the impact of devolution on managing national security?
  • What will be the most significant security challenges around the election?
  • What is the state’s capacity to manage these security challenges?

23 February: Managing electoral uncertainty: opportunities & solutions

Session 1: The media, civil society and peace campaigns

  • What is the appropriate role of the media in the electoral process?
  • To what extent can civil society organizations help to support free and fair elections?
  • Can peace messaging be balanced with the need to promote democratic accountability?

Session 2: Election monitoring, technology and the role of the international community

  • What is the past experience of electoral observation and monitoring?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of election observation missions?
  • Why does popular confidence in electoral processes remains limited?
  • What kind of improvements for electoral integrity and public confidence are possible?

Session 3: Managing ethnic, generational and religious cleavages

  • What is the political salience of ethnic, generational and religious cleavages?
  • How and when might political mobilisation around these cleavages heighten inter-communal tension and fuel violence?
  • What measures could be deployed to manage these inter-communal tensions?

Session 4: Conclusions & group discussion on ways forward

In the final session, participants will be invited to identify key issues and questions that they want to discuss in greater depth. This discussion will focus on policy and practical considerations relevant to the organisations represented by participants.


For further information about this course, please contact

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