We currently work with over 15 partners across seven counties, mainly in arid and semi-arid lands. Our work focusses on community health, climate resilience and inclusive markets.
We support poor and marginalised communities to anticipate, organise, adapt, respond to, and cope with, climate change and related disasters. Our work helps communities take advantage of opportunities and work with their local government.
Our areas of expertise
We support climate financing at local levels, ensuring communities can access finance through bottom-up planning and prioritisation. We also work in partnership with the Kenya Meteological Department to support access to climate information services, to help communities make informed decisions.
Christian Aid Kenya is taking a lead role in facilitating systemic market transformation in key sectors that affect the livelihoods of poor communities. We use participatory approaches to market development, to unlock potential in our core priority value chains - beekeeping, cereals and vegetables.
Disaster risk reduction and emergencies
We are at the front line in responding to emergencies in the northern Kenya. We are here for the long term and our work includes preparing communities, institutions and partners to cope with, and avert, future disasters. We focus on 'shifting power' to local institutions and communities for the most effective humanitarian response.
Accountability and transparency are key principles in all our projects and operations. We are continuing to improve our practices in downward accountability (being accountable to the people we aim to help), systems for information sharing, and complaints handling.
Gender and inclusion
We are shaping the new frontier, not just in Christian Aid but also in Kenya generally, to make inclusion a key driver to resilience. We are using our age, disability, and capacity building project (ADCAP) as an entry point to continue critical conversations on gender and inclusion.
We aim to see communities become thriving and resilient by achieving three objectives from our global strategy partnership for change:
- The right to essential services - access to health and education services among others.
- Improving household incomes and livelihoods through inclusive markets development work and fostering resilience of livelihoods to risks such as climate change.
- Mainstreaming gender and inclusion across everything we do. We aim to ensure women, people living with physical and mental impairment, elderly people, sexual minorities, and other marginalised groups enjoy their right to essential services and to economic well-being.
We believe that unjust power relations are at the centre of poverty, so we aim ensure communities are able to understand and exercise their rights to health services, engage in inclusive markets, and be resilient to climate change-related risks.
Kenya’s 2010 constitution provides for devolution of public functions to counties, respect for human rights and freedoms, gender equity, and active citizenship. These serve as key anchors for our work with stakeholders at county and national level.
Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP)
Challenging power imbalance is at the heart of Christian Aid’s work to tackle poverty. Through the ADCAP project an inclusive approach has been adopted that informs project cycle management. This has been cascaded to our partners, some of whom are working towards having policies in place to enhance inclusion of marginalised groups - including women, the elderly and people with disabilities.
The focus is on staff and partner capacity development through training, mentorship and accompaniment. Tools have been developed for inclusive programming including checklists, e-learning courses, and the Minimum Standards for Age and Disability programming in humanitarian action.
Within Kenya, ADCAP has been involved in capacity building and advocacy with a focus on the humanitarian work coordinated through the Inter Agency Working Group (IAWG). A regional (East and Central Africa) conference was held and subsequently a sub-working group established for age and disability inclusion.
Globally, Christian Aid contributed to the World Humanitarian Summit through the Disability Charter, together with organisations within the Start Network.
As a member of the ACT Alliance, Christian Aid is also a part of the community of practice for disability that is supporting the ACT members to mainstream disability in development, advocacy and humanitarian work.
Linking Preparedness Response and Resilience (LPRR)
The LPRR project in Kenya is implemented through a consortium led by Christian Aid that includes World Vision, Help Age international and Safer World. It aims to improve the understanding and use of best practices in preparedness and resilience in order to support communities affected by emergencies and communities at risk of violence.
A framework methodology for a conflict-sensitive risk-based participatory assessment has been developed and staff and partners have been trained on the use of the framework.
The project is implemented in Marsabit county through the Pastoralists Community Initiative Development Agency (PACIDA). County-level macro analysis as well as micro analysis were conducted and brought together. Out of these two processes, action plans were developed with the relevant communities, and relevant decision-making bodies, to manage risk, strengthen preparedness and build resilience. Using the framework, and in consultation with communities, a set of change indicators were developed.
Conflict in Marsabit county is mainly resource based although ethnic and political tensions also play a role. Through LPRR, communities have been engaging in peace dialogues to share and manage resources and prevent conflict. Through these meetings, the communities have developed their own resource management plans and processes.
19-year-old pastoralist Mamo Toro with his dying camel in North Horr, Marsabit, Kenya
Our Inclusive markets work seeks to support small scale producers to gain increased control over, and access to, information, credit and markets so that they can build sustainable livelihoods, increase their incomes and create savings.
This strand of our work is funded by: In Their Lifetime, Laing Trust, Bank of Ireland and individual donors. Since 2012, more than 100,000 individuals have been supported to enhance the economic value they access from engagement in markets.
Our partners over the years include: Anglican Development Services – Mount Kenya East, The Anglican Church – Diocese of Mbeere, Traidcraft, Farm Concern International, Kenya Promotion and Marketing Company, The Hive Kenya Limited, ASPECT consultancy and Kenya Honey Council.
Maternal and child health, Narok county 2013-2016
Thanks to our maternal and child health project there has been a 19% increase in skilled deliveries in Narok county. 6,004 of 28,845 (20%) of the total skilled births in the 30 community units were accompanied by re-oriented 'traditional birth attendants' - ensuring mothers had access to a skilled, safer delivery.
These deliveries would have occurred at home, without skilled assistance, if the project hadn’t intervened.
Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) project
The Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) project seeks to address gender inequalities to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes. It does this by challenging negative social norms in cultures, in largely patriarchal communities in Narok County.
The project has been using the SASA model (start, awareness, support, action) to challenge harmful social norms, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child early forced marriage. The model uses structured community dialogue sessions that are facilitated by community-based activists, with support from community members trained as paralegals.
The model is implemented through a four-step process and leads to open dialogues and awareness on negative social norms.
To date the project has been able to increase the number of formally reported cases from 0 to 24 in one year. Eight of these cases are active in court. This is a significant achievement in a community where such issues were considered a way of life.