Will Nyumba Kumi include Community-based policing? 

Community-based policing or community-oriented policing is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows the police and the community to work together to prevent and solve problems of crime, disorder and safety issues and to improve the quality of life for everyone in that community.

·         Experience shows that when communities play a key role in defining their own security and safety needs and are involved in planning, implementing and monitoring locally-defined solutions to their problems, community safety and security improves considerably.

·         The quality of the relationship between community groups, civilians and local security personnel – usually the police – is often the determining factor in whether a survivor reports violence and receives adequate treatment, whether the perpetrator is apprehended, investigated and prosecuted and whether effective action is taken locally to prevent future incidents of violence. 

·         The deployment of a community police force or use of community policing methods can increase trust and the effectiveness of police in preventing and responding to violence against women.

·         Community-based policing requires police departments to organize their management, structure, personnel, and information systems in a manner that supports partnerships with advocates and other community members and proactive problem-solving focused on survivor safety. 

·         Basically the Community MUST be aware that prevention of crime is a better approach to harmony that will depend on curtailing the desire, the opportunity and enabling environment for potential criminals to commit a crime.

That means Nyumba Kumi Supports inclusive processes for Peace 

Yes. Sustainable peace comes when everybodyfeels that they have a stake in the future. 

·         Building peace requires processes – from high-level peace settlements through to daily decision-making – where all voices and interests are represented.

·         Where community security work will succeed where people are able to contribute to local discussions and participate in local decision-making on security and justice issues, the decisions taken are more likely to lead to lasting improvements in security and perceptions of safety.

·         Peaceful societies are built on their ability to manage competing interests in ways that are seen as broadly fair and legitimate. In places which are emerging from violent conflict, at risk of conflict, or in conflict, a great deal hangs on the process of decision-making. Peace requires compromise and the accommodation of different interests. This can only be achieved if decisions – and the processes by which they are reached – are seen as legitimate by everyone.

·         Sadly, many crucial decisions are still made behind firmly closed doors. While there is sometimes a need for secrecy, when decisions are taken without consulting or informing a wider group of people – and sometimes without even understanding their concerns – they often fail to overcome the conflicts they were intended to address. Nyumba Kumi will encourage community inclusiveness at decision making and implementation stages.

·         Even when peace negotiations succeed in stemming the immediate violence, they often put to one side a range of difficult issues that leave key conflicts and tensions unresolved. The Northern Kenya and coastal areas frequent conflicts are two examples. By contrast, in countries that have been more successful in gradually building more peaceful societies, people from across the spectrum emphasize that one of the most fundamental lessons was to exclude no one.

Will Nyumba Kumi promote neighbourhood friendship?  

Yes. Instead of taking our neigbours for granted we should know each other, in order to improve our neighbourhood security and reap many other social and economic benefits.

·         As you get to know your neighbour better, you will be more open to each other and anxious to live more peacefully in a secure neighbourhood. 

·         There will be no need of hiding illegal guns, grenades and other items that threaten peace and anybody doing so will be threatening your lives. 

·         Such actions should be reported to the authorities immediately.

·         Again, we all have different professions and are engaged in different business and know different things. If we take the initiative of knowing each other better, we shall discover how as fellow neighbours we can assist each other professionally or in the businesses we do. We can therefore source services from our neighbours instead of looking for people far away or in the forest of offices in cities and towns. Many social benefits that can emerge from neighbourhood alliances Neighbourhood networking.

·         Your neighbour may be a doctor, a lawyer, an architect or surveyor whose services you may need instead of struggling looking for total strangers introduced to you by strangers. 

·         So knowing your neighbour can benefit you and the more you know each other the more you can trust each other and even form business alliances and do serious business to benefit you and your children.

·         Residents of many areas represent powerful professional and economic forces that can improve socio-economic livelihoods there.

·         They can form organisations that can render professional services there and beyond. They can form business networks that can create massive wealth there and beyond. They can run their own Bus company, Supermarkets, Hospital, University etc. The opportunities are open out there but the drivers to realize them are there - YOU.

What about areas that are faced with frequent community conflicts?

Nyumba Kumi will Promote conflict-sensitive development

·         Nyumba Kumi peace initiative will offer an opportunity to promote peace awareness on conflict issues that should be integrated into all social interventions, and action taken to reduce conflict risks and support peace-building.

·         Conflicts generally revolve around competition for power and resources. By introducing new resources into this sort of environment, external aid inevitably has an impact on the local political economy. This may challenge and change existing power relations, and affect dynamics of peace and conflict.

·         Over the past ten years an increasing number of international agencies have recognised this risk, and have tried to adopt a more ‘conflict-sensitive’ approach.  This entails: 

·         understanding the context people operate in, especially the conflict dynamics

·         understanding the nature of your engagement and how this affects the conflict context, and vice-versa

·         acting on this understanding to avoid reinforcing conflict dynamics and to capitalise on opportunities to support peace.

·         Conflict sensitivity is sometimes associated with the ‘politicisation’ of aid. Aid is always political at the point of delivery, because it creates winners and losers in the recipient society. 

·         What is most important is that aid takes account of these politics and reduces rather than increases injustice and exclusion.

·         That is why Nyumba 10 will steer clear of politics

What are the practical ways of putting conflict sensitivity into all this?

Practical ways of putting conflict sensitivity into practice include:

·         Consulting with local stakeholders and ensuring their security concerns are taken into account,

·         Ensuring reconstruction and development projects benefit different regions and groups equally,

·         Operating in a way that supports the local economy and provides employment opportunities to local people,

·         Engaging responsibly with political leaders and government institutions to avoid fuelling corruption and patronage politics.  Conflict sensitivity is relevant for all external actors operating in conflict-affected contexts, including development NGOs, multilateral agencies, national governments and international companies. 

·    One of the key challenges is to understand the scope for different sorts of actors to alter their approach. 

·    This means understanding the entry-points and opportunities to institutionalize conflict-sensitive approaches within the agency concerned.

·         Conflict-sensitivity is an essential aspect of making aid effective in conflict-affected and fragile states. 

·         It is also an important principle for all international actors, including Emerging Powers, to understand and act on in their increasing engagement in conflict-affected states.  

What is the relationship between Security, Peace and Gender?

Understanding the relationship between security, peace  and gender. To address violent conflict and insecurity effectively it is critical to understand the different roles that women, men, boys and girls play in preventing, resolving and perpetuating conflict – and the different impacts it has on them.

·         Conflict and insecurity affect women, men, boys and girls differently and this shapes the dynamics of every conflict. Conflict also disrupts the social interactions of everyday life – changing the roles men and women play and how they relate to each other in society. This interaction between gender and conflict has major implications for how we should think about conflict, security and opportunities for peace.

·         For example, women are disproportionately affected by sexual and gender-based violence during conflict, with rape regularly used as a weapon of war – a fact that is too often ignored. However, it is important to realise that women can also be perpetrators as well as peace-builders. 

·         Women in fragile and conflict-affected areas face a unique set of issues and challenges, and these are reflected in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions. These resolutions are important because they recognise the peace-building potential of women and the importance of women’s political participation; acknowledge the impact of conflict on women; and set the basis for international policy on women, peace and security.

·         Similarly, cultural notions of masculinity can fuel insecurity and conflict. In many pastoralist communities in the East and Horn of Africa cattle rustling is a rite of passage for teenage boys – but increases conflict and insecurity. The cultural practice of paying for a bride with cattle further reinforces the cycle of cattle raiding and violence.

·         Gender dynamics often play a part in what is driving conflict, and can also provide pathways to peace. This means that taking a gender perspective is important to fully understand a conflict and to be able to design programmes that can effectively address it.