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Empowering Turkana communities to hold leaders accountable over natural resources by increasing citizens' awareness of the extractive industries

Report on follow-up interactive radio project

Summary Africa’s Voices Foundation collaborated with Oxfam in Kenya to listen to citizens in Turkana about developments on oil and gas exploration in the county. A radio pilot carried out in September 2015 highlighted that citizens feel they have not been consulted enough by extractive companies and the government of Turkana about important decisions affecting their communities. Also using interactive radio, in March 2016, we carried out a follow-up project to understand opportunities and expectations from communities about the consultation process. Two radio stations invited people to send their opinions through SMS to a short-code managed by AVF. The shows did not attract much participation (only 56 people), for reasons which show just how important careful design and planning are to high quality citizen engagement using radio. Of the 56, only a few people (6) said that they were consulted. Amongst the justifications for not being consulted, people said that that there are no opportunities to discuss oil issues. They perceive the government and the companies lacking transparency, and the information to be hidden from people. They also believe that when community consultation does exist, it is very biased. Only people with more influence/wealthier are heard, and ordinary people do not have a say. This project reinforces the idea that Turkana citizens were frustrated with the consultation process and that they do not trust the government of Turkana and Kenya and extractive industries to make decisions that benefit their communities.

1. Background After the 2013 discovery of oil and gas reserves in Turkana County, Northern Kenya, the ‘Kenya Extractive Industries Development Programme’ (KEIDP) 1 sought to ensure profits from these natural resources led to sustainable and inclusive economic and social development in the region. The KEIDP is funded by the UK's Department for International Development and comprised of a consortium of stakeholders, including extractives industries and development and governance actors.

Oxfam Kenya is one of the stakeholders responsible for implementing KEIDP’s Public Awareness component, which seeks to disseminate accurate information about the roles and responsibilities of oil companies and the National and County Governments, and, crucially, to give Turkana citizens a platform to have their voices heard on these issues and incorporated into policy. In September 2015, Africa’s Voices2 partnered with Oxfam to gather insights into the Turkana peoples’ opinions, beliefs and expectations towards the oil and gas industries via interactive radio and SMS. Over one week, three interactive radio shows on Radio Jambo gathered 617 text messages


The KEIDP is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, and managed by Adam Smith International. The KEIDP has four components: (1) Local and Community-Driven Development; (2) Public Participation; (3) Public Awareness; (4) Monitoring and Evaluation.


Africa’s Voices is a non-profit organisation spun-out from research at the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights. From multi-disciplinary expertise, it has developed and tested an innovative approach to engaging citizens and conducting research in the African context generating insights for development and governance organisations. Ÿ Ÿ April 2016


from 220 people (37.4% women). The majority of participants believed that the extractive industries in Turkana will benefit their communities, though many were concerned that local communities are not being consulted enough.

Photo 1: Broadcasting at Radio Jambo, Turkana

Following this pilot project, further interactive shows were broadcast in March 2016 on Radio Jambo and Radio Akicha (both in Turkana County) to gather additional opinions. In particular, the follow-up project aimed to assess whether people had participated in decision-making processes related to the extractive industries. The additional text messages gathered help to deepen understanding about community perceptions about the consultation process and how people would like to be consulted, complementing the findings from the pilot project in September 2015.

2. Method Oxfam Kenya contracted Radio Jambo and Radio Akicha, two local radio stations in Turkana County, to broadcast a short series of daily interactive radio shows, some of which were on-the-ground shows with communities in Lodwar, Nakukulas, and Kalapata. Mobilisation of communities was done in partnership with local chiefs. The radio shows

were preceded by radio promos, advertising the time and topic of the shows. During the radio shows, held on different days from 17 to 21 March 2016, the radio hosts asked one question per show to their audiences, inviting participation through SMS. The questions were asked first on Radio Jambo and then Radio Akicha the next day, but there was one additional question on Radio Akicha.

Questions asked on Radio Jambo (broadcast in Swahili) and Radio Akicha (broadcast in Turkana) 1. Have you ever participated in decisionmaking about the oil and gas industries in Turkana? If yes, how? If no, why? 2. Do you think that oil and gas industry will improve your chances to access job opportunities? Yes/No? How? 3. Do you think the extraction of oil and gas within Turkana County will benefit the life of your community? Yes/No? How? 4. [Radio Akicha only] Are you happy/ok/relaxed about oil and gas companies getting access to land? Yes/No? Why? Africa’s Voices set up an SMS communications flow on EchoMobile, allowing for two-way communication with radio audiences via a free shortcode. When audience members texted their answer to the question posed by the radio host, they received a socio-demographic survey (gender, age, location). After all shows were broadcast, every participant received a question via SMS asking: Have you ever participated in decisionmaking about the oil and gas industries in Turkana? Yes/No? Why? Ÿ Ÿ March 2016


Survey messages sent by Africa's Voices were in both Turkana and Swahili. The messages were received mostly in Swahili, but also some in Turkana.

male, 12 female and 21 did not answer the gender question. Participants ages ranged between 18 and 45 years old, but they were mainly in their twenties. Females were, on average, younger than male participants. With one exception, female participants were less than 30 years. Male participants were equally distributed across the 20-29 (9 participants) and 30-39 (9 participants) age groups (Fig 1).

Photo 2: Community meeting in Kalapata, Turkana during pilot project

Participant numbers were very low, and even those who did participate in no way are ‘representative’ of the Turkana population as a whole as they were self-selected (e.g., interest in the topic, access to radio and mobile phones, comfortable in sending their opinion to radio shows). Nonetheless, the opinions voiced reveal unique and valuable qualitative insights on the ideas and expectations of being consulted by the country government and oil and gas industries on decisions that affect their lives and of those in their community. This study identifies some reasons for disbelief about the consultation process by community members that can be addressed through clear and targeted communications.

3. Results & Insights 3.1 Participants Given the small scope of this project (four days of broadcasting), only 56 people participated in the shows across the two stations (34 for Radio Jambo and 22 for Radio Akicha). Amongst the group of participants, 23 were

Fig 1: Age distribution by gender of participants

Most of participants are from the urban centres of Lodwar (17) and Lokichar (3), but there are also a few from the rural communities of Nakululas (2) and Kalakol (1).

3.2 Answers to radio and SMS questions 3.2.1 Participation in the consultation process From the 56 people who sent their opinions to the radio shows, only 6 said that they have participated in the decision-making about oil and gas industries in Turkana (20 said ‘No’ and 30 didn’t respond). Those who said they had participated are a mix of male (3) and female (2); one didn’t’ answer the gender question. Both females are Ÿ Ÿ March 2016


20-24 years old and one of the males is 25-29 years old (the other two did not say their age). It is worth nothing that many of participants (14 of 56) didn’t answer both the gender and the participation question.

something has been agreed about oil, so no other alternative. It just remains like that, we hear much about Tullow Oil but we have never invited, but we going to decide tomorrow when radio Jambo visit us here." // "Mam kotere emam ituan kinyaraeneesuwa lomitingi akimiet nanuwan baratu kiamuarai kaina tanangakinetei kerai ekatukon kerai tuan ichie ebuni, ngesi erai suwa anyun ngakiro atallo lakini emam jik akwaar kinyarare suwa anirumor nakolong abunio emoit lo nakop na akingalere jik suwa kirai ngiturkana anibeen eyeni atamar arumo ngiboreikeng atamasi robo ori keyeka bocha moi kitekunea kotere ebuni moi redio jambo turkana ayango ariss alomeleku."

As only a minority of people said that they participated in the decision-making about oil ad gas developments, it is important to listen to the reasons that people gave for not having participated.

NA: "I have never ever heard about it, our kids suffer and we even lack food to feed them. We can’t sell our vegetables and they go bad. Oil should be used well to help us improve and develop Turkana’s education sector because the standard is low at the moment." // “La, sijawahi hata kusikia. Watoto wetu wanateseka sana; kukula ni taabu, kulala ni taaabu, kuuza mboga na mazao ni shida sababu zinalala. Watoto wetu wanateseka kweli. Tunataka mafuta itusaidie kwa upande wa masomo kwa sabubu Turkana tuko chini sana kwa upande wa masomo. ni mama ben."

Most of the people said that they haven’t participated because there has been no opportunity to.

Female, Lodwar: "No as I have not yet got anyone to explain to me about this issue on oil well."

Male, 33, Lodwar: "I have never participated as I have never been invited and also I don’t know where these people dealing in oil and gas invite people to attend their community meetings." // "La! sijawahi shiriki na ni kwa sababu sijaalikwa, na sijui ni wapi, wao[watu wa mafuta na gesi] hufanya mikutano yao."

Male, 26, Lodwar: "There are no open forums to allow locals to participate in oil issues." // " Hatuna mikutano ya kuhusisha wakaazi wa Turkana kuhusu mafuta."

Fig 3. Gender of participants by whether they participated on decision-making on oil and gas developments (Yes/No/NA).

Female, 25, Lodwar: "No, because nobody has ever called us for oil exploration meetings. It’s only today, we only hear from people that

The lack of transparency of the government of Kenya and oil and gas industries was mentioned as one of the reasons why people were not consulted. Ÿ Ÿ March 2016


Male, 26, Lodwar: "Tullow and Kenya government have no transparency. We are not aware of Tullow’s future plans in Turkana."

participate in the consultation process. Other forms of activism such as strikes are also mentioned.

NA: "No, these issues on oil are managed so secretly that we can never know what is happening at any given point." // "La. Sababu ni kwamba mambo ya mafuta yanaendeshwa kwa siri."

NA: "If there is [consultation], it is always for formality purposes, that’s why after a while you hear of protests to close down of oil and gases camps."

Man, Lodwar: "No, the problem is these issues about oil are hidden and never done openly for all people to participate." // "La. Sababu ni kwamba mambo ya mafuta hayaendeshwi kwa uwazi ili kutupa nafasi ya kijihushisha. Hawataki ijulikane maana watu wote sio sawa kimawazo." Some people are aware about the community consultation process but believe that only some people (wealthier, from certain families or tribes) are consulted. Male, 26, Lokichar: "No, Because I knew my voice would not count as there are influential people who participate in such matters." Male, Lokichar: "No, because nowadays somebody who has wealth in cattle or money is the one who has voice and thus he can talk before people." // "Kotere ng`urwana lugu itwan nieyakhar ibere nimuthung` ikwoni ng`ibaren kori ng`aropiyai ng`esi eyakar etoil ori ng`esi etheunio kirwori alotung`a ejokonoi enyaritae ayong" Male, 26, Lokichar: "No, because we have influential families in this region who control most of the things that happen in this area." // "La. Kwa sababu kuna watu na familia wenye usemi kubwa– wao ndio hushirikishwa kwa kila jambo linalotokea katika kaunti." The belief that ordinary voices will not make a difference explains why some people didn’t

3.2.2 Perceived benefits of oil and gas exploration for Turkana communities Compared to the pilot project in September 2015, participants are less optimistic that oil and gas exploration in Turkana will benefit their communities in terms of employment and social investments. People who participated in the pilot project had high expectations about jobs created by oil industries. However, some of the concerns remain, specifically about the transparency of the recruitment process, the level of qualifications needed for these jobs, and people from the local communities not benefitting from the job opportunities. Given the limited number of messages, we cannot rule out the hypothesis that only those more negative attitudes participated. Participants raised concerns and questions about how the extractive industries will benefit their communities. NA: "I think that the oil is not helping the locals because there is nothing much to show, when people ask for jobs they are told to wait for a response, yet we see the oil stores have been erected already to store oil that is going to be drilled. " NA: "Kenya's oil will actually help the people of Turkana in terms of creating employment opportunities but mainly to the few educated people within the county. The majority of Ÿ Ÿ March 2016


people will only benefit from public goods especially infrastructure. " Man, 22 , Lodwar: "The oil doesn’t have any value to the locals 90% of jobs goes to people from the town only 10% remain for the locals in the village who have to bribe to get the jobs making it very costly. "

3. That they were not influential or powerful people in their community and therefore their voices would not be listened to.

NA: "What is Tullow going to do in order to build the professional capacity of the local community? "

As with the first study in September 2015, employment was a frequent topic, though expectations do not seem to be as high. This is in line with a general decrease in optimism that the oil and gas developments will bring significant and imminent improvements to the lives of Turkana people.

There are only a few positive comments, mentioning school fees for children and unrealistic expectations about future wealth.

The key recommendation arising from this study echoes one of the recommendations from the first study:

NA: "Oil has been very vital especially in helping our people access school fees for their kids. "

Communities in Turkana must be regularly consulted by oil companies and the county government in inclusive and transparent forums. Communication needs to be honest and accessible, and keep communities up-todate on the extractive industries' activities.

Male, 45, Lodwar: "All people in Turkana County will be very rich." NA "We want to participate and work together in unity to bring development. "

4. Conclusions & Recommendations The majority of people who sent their opinions to the interactive radio shows have not participated in decision-making about the oil and gas industries in Turkana. People consider that an open and inclusive dialogue has not taken place and consequently the activities of the oil companies are regarded with suspicion. The reasons they gave for non-participation in the consultation process include: 1. A lack of opportunities to participate. 2. Perceived secrecy and lack of transparency of the oil and gas development and related decisionmaking by the government and industry players.

This second study allows us to expand on this recommendation by highlighting socio-cultural barriers to the consultation process. For instance, the dynamics of power within a community will silence citizens who believe that only people with influence are entitled to participate in decision-making processes. Messages pointed to the belief that families and individuals with wealth, including money and cattle, are considered to be the ones who will be, and even should be, consulted. Therefore those who do not place themselves in this category believe they will not be listened to on these issues. Future campaigns should highlight that citizens from all backgrounds are entitled have a say, matched with genuine efforts the extractive industries and government recognise and respond to the diversity opinions and concerns. Â&#x; Â&#x; March 2016

all to by to of


Finally, we found further indication that local communities want and need accurate information about job opportunities, the pace and stages of the oil and gas developments, and the positive and negative impacts of the industry on peoples' lives and the environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Evaluation of project: challenges & lessons learned During this follow-up project, and with subsequent reflection and evaluation, Africa's Voices would like to draw attention to challenges faced and the lessons learned from them for future work.

a. Planning and preparatory work The main challenge for this project was the limited time available for planning and preparation, which impacted the implementation, quality of radio programmes and levels of audience participation. For example, Africa's Voices did not have time to to refine the project plan, test the SMS platform and SMS surveys, develop and test radio scripts with focus groups, or work with radio presenters to train them on engagement techniques. After discussions, Africa’s Voices and Oxfam have agreed that discussions about future projects will begin ideally three months prior to implementation, with contracts agreed at least one month before implementation. Key contacts from Oxfam and from AVF have been identified who will regularly liaise. George Kaburu is the main contact from Africa’s Voices, and Joyce Kabue is the main contact from Oxfam.

b. Radio presenters Africa's Voices project manager, Moses Maina, liaised with the radio presenters at Radio Jambo and Radio Akicha to help organise the shows and to gather their feedback on the project. Overall, the radio presenters felt a lack of coordination and planning, including confusion over SMS shortcodes to be used and the delay of equipment travelling from Nairobi to Turkana. Our previous research suggests these factors contributed to the low audience participation. For future projects, Africa's Voices should work directly with and contract the radio stations always coordinating carefully with the Oxfam team. This will enable a smooth set-up of the working relationship, enable Africa's Voices to identify and respond quickly to problems before and as they arise, develop scripts with radio presenters, and ensure presenters are trained on hosting interactive show and have appropriate knowledge about the topic. c. Mobilisation of communities Mobilisation for people to attend the live onthe-ground radio shows was not done enough in advance. Some chiefs complained that they were only told on the day of the event. This lack of mobilisation led to poor turn-out. Future projects should ensure chiefs and other community leaders are consulted and informed at least one week before an event to give them time to tell the community through various forums.

d. Guests in radio shows Previous projects have consistently shown the positive impact that radio guests have on Ÿ Ÿ March 2016


audience participation. Unfortunately, Oxfam were not able to fix guests in time. In the future, we suggest for Africa's Voices is responsible for coordinating guests attendance at radio shows, potentially along with allocated budget.

e. Overlap with other interactive shows The interactive radio shows for this project aired shortly after another series of interactive radio shows on Tax Justice, another AVFOxfam project. While initially it was thought there could be advantages in sharing resources between the two projects, it transpired that in fact the close proximity of the two projects confused some audience members, as people send messages mentioning taxes and extractives industries for any of the shows mixing keywords. Therefore, we recommend at least a one-month gap between separate series of radio shows running on the same radio station.

Closing remarks We see this project as an opportunity to reflect on Oxfam Kenya and Africa's Voices longerterm partnership and working relationship. After conversations between the two organisations, we have agreed on regular and deeper engagement and collaboration that takes a long-term view. This will include identifying and applying for grants together that would enable thoughtful and strategic project planning and implementation. Within this, Africa's Voices would prefer to have more control over the implementation of interactive radio projects, to allow for better coordination and management. Ultimately, we anticipate that by working together more effectively our partnership will trigger greater citizen participation and more voices of ordinary Africans amplified to the levels of governance and development actors. Â&#x; Â&#x; March 2016


Africa's Voices report for Oxfam Kenya: Oil and Gas 2  
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