Uraia Trust Civic Education Program

Funding Level:
US $961,564

June 2012 – March 2014

Activity Goals:

  • Develop a critical mass of informed and empowered voters who are resistant to political manipulation

Activity Accomplishments:
- Reached more than 10,000,000 Kenyans through media, print materials and community-based civic education meetings
- Delivered accurate and relevant information about Kenya’s Constitution to over 10,000,000 citizens
- Increased voter registration among the Kenyan youth through the “Kuvuka Kuvuka” initiative

Key Partners:
The Kenya Institute of Education, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, and 57 civil-society organizations

Activity Location:


The Uraia Trust Civic Education Program is an umbrella under which 57 Kenyan civil-society organizations supported training and deployment of civic educators and the dissemination of a national civic education curriculum in all 47 counties of Kenya.  The Program was designed to respond to the hate campaigns that preceded the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

The Uraia Trust Civic Education Program provided quality civic education to help Kenyan citizens pursue their rights under the new Constitution.  Before the 2013 election, the Program used a national civic education curriculum, “The Citizen Handbook,” developed in collaboration with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), to disseminate accurate and timely information on electoral process and system.  Three hundred and fifty nine trained civic educators from 57 civil society organizations helped disseminate the curriculum.  Each civic educator covered at least eight organized groups (youth groups, women groups etc.) in his or her community. 

In 2013, Uraia Trust, in partnership with the Kenya Institute of Education, developed an online civic education module for primary and secondary schools.  The program is also supporting dissemination of civic education through radio and television programs.

Post 2013 elections, the Uraia Trust continues with civic education, with a focus on citizens’ participation in the implementation of devolution, and promoting social accountability at the county level. 

“Kwani ile Katiba Tulikataa ilipita? (Did the constitution we rejected pass?) This is a question civic educators, trained under the Uraia Trust Civic Education Program, report hearing all too often. 

In a community stakeholders’ civic education forum at the Kabel Primary School, Mochongoi constituency, in Kenya’s turbulent Rift Valley a member of the council of Elders (Mzee wa Chief) could not comprehend how the constitution had passed. He had taken part in mobilizing members of the community against the progressive Constitution that was adopted in a national referendum in 2010. Entrenched politicians had told the elder that the proposed Constitution was so bad that no Kenyan could ever vote for it. He simply could not understand how the politicians could have lied to them!

Like so many others, this community elder had taken every word said by the campaigners as truth.  Now, at the civic education forum, he expressed his fear that, under the new Constitution, his land would be taken away, that he would be forced to share his property with his wives and daughters.  Such were the fears spread during the political campaigns.

The loud wonderment by the chief meant that quite a substantive amount of time was spent in demystifying the lies about the constitution. Chapter by chapter, participants were allowed to express their fears and hopes on issues they had hitherto considered contentious.  Ordinary citizens learned to interpret the constitution with guidance from the trained civic educators.  By the time the Monchongoi forum was over, all fears were put to rest. With a sigh, the old man opined: “Kweli tunadanganywa” (truly we were lied to). Today, the old man is an active member of the Monchongoi Constituency Oversight Committee that monitors the implementation of Constitutional reforms in the sub-district.

USAID Contacts:
John Smith-Sreen, Director,
Office of Democracy, Rights and Governance USAID/Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)20 862 2000
E-mail: jsmith-sreen@usaid.gov

Zephaniah Aura
Activity Manager
Tel: +254 (0)20 862 2000
E-mail: zaura@usaid.gov

Uraia Trust Civic Education Program Contact:
Grace Maingi, Chief of Party
Executive Director, Uraia Trust
Tel: +254 20 213 5561
E-mail: gmaingi@uraia.or.ke


Updated February 2014

Last updated: October 21, 2014

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