Best Practice Document- Integrating Gender and Social Inclusion in Urban Economic Development

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Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED) Best Practices in Integrating Gender and Social Inclusion (GeSI) in Urban Economic Development Planning How the Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED) ensured gender and social inclusion in the development of municipal-based urban economic plans (UEPs) in Kitui, Isiolo and Malindi. Context: Urban planning and design heavily influence the way people access services and utilise spaces in urban areas; while urban economic planning plays a key role in determining how individuals from different backgrounds access and benefit from economic opportunities. A socioeconomic analysis of most urban areas demonstrates that inequities in economic status amongst the population exist and can be associated with differences in age, gender, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, economic status, and culture. This lack of equity in access to opportunities and benefits can be associated with the following barriers to social inclusion: attitudinal - whereby people perceived to be different are stigmatised and denied opportunities; environmental - whereby service providing organisations such as banks and health centers not accommodating people with special needs such as pregnant and nursing mothers and also not providing services such as braille and sign language; internalised, when excluded persons may lack proactive behaviour in expressing their opinions or claiming their rights, leading to further exclusion. Inadequate and inaccurate data makes it difficult to demonstrate exclusion and benefits of inclusion; concern over cost and difficulty of disability inclusion, mostly imagined, because the costs of exclusion and benefits of inclusion have not been demonstrated widely. There is no concrete explanation on social exclusion, the excuses used to justify exclusion have to be tackled to establish commitment to inclusion. The lack of participation of excluded persons in the development of urban spaces undermines inclusive economic growth. When there is social inclusion, the previously excluded person is accepted and recognised as an individual beyond his/her gender, age, disability etc.; has personal relationships with family, friends and acquaintances; is involved in recreation and social activities; has appropriate living accommodation; is employed; has appropriate formal and informal support. Inclusive development seeks to ensure the full participation of previously excluded people as empowered selfadvocates in development processes and emergency responses. It works to address the barriers that hinder their access, participation and benefits. Programme Intervention/ Strategies Applied As a way to address this, the UK Government funded SUED Programme is working with 121 municipalities in Kenya to ensure that they make their urban economic development process both inclusive and sustainable. These municipalities are supported to actively engage with the public and private sector to improve urban economic planning, business environment, develop bankable urban investments (by attracting investment for critical climate resilient infrastructure and value chain projects) and enhance municipality actors’ capacity to better manage inclusive urban economic development within their local context. Kenyan counties have been autonomous from the central government since their existence. Counties were established after the 2013 general election following the promulgation of the Kenyan constitution in 2010. Counties are, therefore, constantly learning how to best streamline their urban economic development process. Additionally, and more recently, they are in the process of operationalising their municipalities as primary urban centers. These municipalities provide a platform through which both the national and county leadership are able to demonstrate their political goodwill for


Bungoma, Eldoret, Isiolo, Iten, Kathwana, Kerugoya, Kisii, Kitui, Lamu, Malindi, Mandera and Wote

accountability on urban development. Consequently, SUED is working with selected municipalities to develop their institutional capacity with clear cut plans that will inform their development process. SUED commenced its support towards the municipalities by first working with three2 municipalities (Group 1) to develop responsive Urban Economic Plans (UEPs). These provided the municipalities with a focused urban and economic development strategy that would enable them to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth. The development of the UEPs is stakeholder led and responsive to the needs of the municipalities within their local context. These UEPs guide the municipalities future development by identifying value chain projects and critical infrastructure that will help unlock their economic potential. While developing the UEPs, the Programme integrated a gender and social inclusion study at each municipality to: a) b) c) d) e)

Identify social groups that were most excluded in social-economic activities Establish when, how and why these groups were excluded Learn about the perceptions of the excluded groups in the community as well how they perceived themselves Determine the socio-economic activities that the excluded groups tend to participate in Determine from both excluded and included groups how the urban economic development process could ensure there is gender and social inclusion in SUED’s activities.

The study utilised both primary and secondary data including focus group discussions (FGDs) and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs). The study was geared towards improving the Programme’s understanding of the nuances at the municipal and county level that hindered the participation of particular groups from the UEP development process. Each municipality had a separate gender and social inclusion (GeSI) study conducted. Findings:

National Level: In the Kenyan context, policies are enacted at the national level, customised and adopted by the counties then cascaded to municipalities for implementation. Kenya’s 2010 constitution provided a legislative framework through which the principle of equality and non-discrimination was espoused. The principles include the promotion of human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusivity, equality, non-discrimination and protection of marginalised groups that include both women and youth. While the constitution has been recognised globally to be one of the most progressive constitutions in the world due to the potential gains, it provides for women such as equality in leadership with the two thirds gender rule that calls for at least 33% representation from either gender in leadership positions, the framework is yet to be actualised. The gender bill that will ensure this rule is enacted has not been passed. This has continued to perpetuate a culture of lower representation by women in leadership positions further excluding them from critical decision-making roles. Furthermore, a significant number of People Living with Disability (PLWDs) are not represented at the national level due to lower employment rate in the formal sector. However, in the recent past the Country has taken a proactive role in ensuring that the needs of PLWDs are included in policies that are geared towards urban design and access. However, the need remains to ensure that their representation in leadership is encouraged as there is a risk of assumptions being made on their needs by legislatures. Youth in Kenya do not hold senior positions in the public and private sectors due to the perception of their inexperience in managing complex issues that have high impact and implications of decisions made. However, the Government has made strides in the inclusion of varied voices into its policy making processes by utilising public participation. However, with public participation, the methods used need to be targeted towards the varied population as not all people can actively participate in public forums. This is due to the tendency to listen to the most active speakers who might intimidate those with dissenting opinions limiting the breadth of insights that can be garnered in such forums. There is need to incorporate more tech-savvy ways of public participation so as to encourage participation by youth.


Isiolo, Kitui and Malindi


County- Level As municipalities are embedded within the county system, SUED worked with both the county and municipal leadership to carry out the gender and social inclusion study in urban economic planning development.

County and Municipal Level The findings of the studies that were carried out in Malindi, Isiolo and Kitui are highlighted below. The study covers SUED’s first three municipalities as they have completed the UEP development process and have formally adopted the UEP as an advisory document. SUED has integrated the learnings shared here into its UEP development process for Kathwana, Iten and Kisii. Gender: Laws, Policies, Regulations and Institutional Practices: At municipal level the national policies are applicable with the two-thirds gender rule applied to the municipal board. However, in the three municipalities both the Chairman and the Municipal Manager who are tasked with the bulk of decision making for the municipality are men. The women in the board are encouraged to participate however the institutional practice dictates that protocol is followed with the Chair’s opinion having prominence above other members. This may hinder women in the board from giving dissenting opinions from those of the Chair. Although such reports were not given, there might be a lack of diversity of ideas that could have enriched the urban economic development process. Cultural, Norms and Beliefs: The municipalities visited have patriarchal family systems whose cultural norm requires that women withhold their opinion if it differs from that of the male leader. Although strong women who aired their opinion were found in some municipalities and counties, and women were leaders in others, it might be possible that some women’s willingness to participate in public forums where they were required to state their opinions, especially on subject matters that are perceived to be “masculine” such as urban planning shied away from speaking freely. This may have robbed the municipality of ideas on how to ensure that the urban designs created catered adequately to the needs of women such as safeguarding their security, employment opportunities and unlimited access to and ability to utilise the newly created urban spaces. For example, in Malindi, women are perceived to be the property of men especially if dowry had been paid for them. Such women are expected to not to dissent their husband’s opinions to be deemed good wives. This cultural practice greatly influences how women participate in decision making processes within and outside the home. Gender Roles, Responsibilities and Time Use: In all the three municipalities, childcare and unpaid domestic work care are predominantly left to women, which results in less time for them to engage in other socio-economic matters. Consequently, women who choose to be self-employed opt for businesses that they can conduct near their homes. The role of men as the primary bread winners is communally upheld and women who earn more money than their husbands may receive a backlash. This is often in the form of violence against them and impacts homes where women are potentially stronger income earners than their spouses. Access to and Control over Assets and Resources: While the constitution provides equal rights to ownership of land that enables women to take an active role on decision making with regards to land use, the cultural practice has been to exclude women from inheriting family land. Furthermore, access to, and control over resources along gender continues to be heavily influenced by the patriarchal culture in the supported municipalities. Patterns of Power and Decision-Making: Like elsewhere globally, men continue to dominate leadership positions and therefore have a higher influence over decisions than women. In Kenya, in consideration of gender inclusion in leadership, women often deputize men, which gives them an opportunity to contribute to decision making. This was not the case in the three municipalities, where the women were underrepresented in leadership. This low representation of women in the three municipalities may have reduced the contribution of women to the decision-making process. In all the municipalities the women were neither the chair or vice chairperson on the board. Youth: The national government has aimed to increase the uptake by youth, women and persons with disabilities in economic opportunities by encouraging both the counties and private companies to set aside 30% of its invitation to tender for them. However, while in principle this is lauded as a positive approach to engaging the youth, in practice the, youth are excluded in major contract jobs as they are perceived to be inexperienced. This has a ripple effect on their inclination to participate in county decision making processes such as urban economic planning. 3

In Isiolo there is an added factor of radicalisation whereby unemployed youth are perceived to have a higher propensity of becoming violent extremists. With the municipality having added pull and push factors3 that would cause them to be radicalised, it greatly disfavours them when it comes to seeking economic opportunities or actively participating in public forums. In Kitui, youth representation in leadership positions remains low hampering their level of influence in development decision making. People Living with Disabilities: PLWDs in Malindi are organised under the Association of People with Disabilities Kenya (APDK). While policies have been put in place to protect PLWDs, most shared that they were denied employment because of the negative perception of their capability to effectively carry out roles. The stigmatisation of PLWDs at the Counties leads to reduced active participation in key decision-making activities such as public participation forums where their inputs on processes and development goals would add value. Additionally, buildings in the urban centers have not actively incorporated structures, e.g. access rumps, automatic doors that enable the physically challenged persons to access services located within these buildings. In Isiolo, the cultural perception that PLWDs cannot actively contribute to economic activities has resulted in them being viewed as charity cases. This communal attitude hampers the active participation of PLWDs in decision making processes. In Kitui, PLWDs are not involved in the development of projects as they lack access to information that would help them effectively contribute to project planning and implementation. In addition, a significant number of buildings in the municipality are inaccessible by wheelchairs. Furthermore, there is communal stigma against them as they are viewed as cursed creating a barrier to their active participation in development processes.

SUED’s Incorporation of the Findings in the UEP Development Process Equal Participation: In carrying out the Gender and Social Inclusion (GeSI) Study the Programme was able to identify how the groups were excluded. During the UEP diagnostic process, SUED incorporated excluded categories of the population in the various processes such as workshop breakout sessions to contribute to the UEP development process. The Programme additionally worked closely with the municipal and county leadership to ensure that the meetings had equal representation across the board. Furthermore, in its follow-on activities that required detailed one-to-one interactions, the UEP development team spoke to a variety of experts, including gender and social inclusion experts, to see how best to ensure that minority voices were included in the UEP. Integration: While the GeSI Study was carried out independently at the diagnostic phase of the UEP development, it was not autonomous of the objectives of the Programme and how it would help improve the UEP output. The findings of the studies were integrated during analysis to ensure that the UEPs would be inclusive. Community Driven Development: The stakeholder engagement sessions provided a platform through which SUED was able to reach the various segments of the community and incorporate their insights and priorities in the economic development plans. As a result, the public launches prior to the finalisation of the UEPs were embraced by the community because they felt that the UEPs incorporated their inputs. Expert Capacity Building: During the GeSI studies, SUED worked closely with the county Gender and Social Inclusion (GeSI) specialists. SUED was, therefore, able to share with these specialists, priority areas of GeSI, such as in decision making during the development and implementation of the urban economic development plans. Knowledge Adaptation and Use: The GeSI study was able to demonstrate the intersectionality between social inequities and urban economic processes, which led to lack of, or negative, impacts of urban economic development interventions on the lives of women, youth and PLWDs. The study helped the Programme to utilise this knowledge in the development of the UEPs in all three municipalities resulting in plans that are economically inclusive.


Push factors refer to the general conditions that allow violent extremist to spread such as poverty while pull factors are the benefits individuals may get from joining a violent extremism movement such as a sense of belonging/family


Best Practices to Replicate: Advocate for Participatory Planning and Governance: While supporting local governments to develop urban economic development strategies that will help build their municipalities’ economic resilience, programmes must adopt participatory planning and governance. Governing bodies should be constituted by representatives of the populace served. The Kenyan government has taken steps towards achieving this through the development of, and efforts to enact policies of inclusion such as the two-third-gender rule in composition of decision-making bodies as well as in distribution of opportunities and benefits. Programmes, therefore, must encourage participatory planning that incorporates people from diverse backgrounds, especially women, youth and people living with disabilities. This will help address any imbalances that prevent their full social and economic inclusion. This will require a concerted effort by the current leadership to re-think of innovative ways to enhance gender and social inclusion in public-participation and associated benefits. For this to be achieved, leaders in governance must be willing to support required change, they need to be supported in terms of the skills required to intervene to effect change and finances to pay for trainings, sensitisation and make required changes in the social, political and physical environments to accommodate the needs of the excluded. It is worth noting that the presence of a policy is not a guarantee that it will be enacted. Both the included and the excluded persons need to understand the benefits of implementing the policies and have the technical and financial capacity and capability to implement them. Equally important is the willpower and availability of the municipality and county workers to implement these policies. Advocate for Human Right-Based Approaches: Urban economic development programmes should encourage local institutions that they work with to use human rights-based approaches (HRBAs), which by their nature enable all round gender and social inclusion. Advocate for Institutional Collaboration: To ensure gender and social inclusion in programme activities, programmes cannot work autonomously, but must partner with counties and municipalities to ensure that the lessons learnt on gender and social inclusion are harmonised and institutionalised as part of the best practices across the collaborating partner institutions. Success to this harmonisation and institutionalisation is only possible if the stakeholder institutions are included in planning and implementing of studies on GeSI. When conducting GeSI studies collaboratively, stakeholders are able to easily access required information for, say, secondary research easily. In addition, collaborators are able to agree on who to interview and how to interview them. The close collaboration of stakeholders ensures ease of engagement of appointed actors. Advocate for Prominence of Inclusion: While the Programme carried out its GeSI study and had it as a stand-alone reference document, there is need to ensure that the GeSI narrative is closely woven into the final UEP. The final UEP should contain systematic and replicable methodologies and activities that inform the economic strategies developed to narrow the inequity gaps. Advocate for Gender and Social Inclusive Data: Programmes collect and utilise data to assess various statuses and changes in social, economic and political conditions. There is need to have data disaggregated by demographic variables such as sex, age, (dis)ability status, income quintiles, geographical location etc., as defined in the Programme’s GeSI strategy (reference document), to guide on the statistics/ parameters to use when measuring change and impact. By collecting the complimentary quantitative and qualitative data that is valid and reliable, gender and social inequities and gaps can be measured and explained, and strategies developed in the urban economic plan to narrow the identified gaps. Demonstrate Evidence for Benefits of Gender and Social Inclusion: In order to get buy-in from other stakeholders, the lead stakeholder needs to demonstrate to other stakeholders the benefits of GeSI. In addition to the hard to measure values such as increased human dignity, economic benefits such as changes in position in income quintiles for disabled persons, women and youth with their inclusion in employment and changes in tax incomes by inclusive governments can motivate interventions to enhance gender and social inclusion. SUED was able to attain stakeholder buy-in by demonstrating some of this evidence from national level data and some preliminary study results that demonstrated how the exclusion of various populations resulted in a lower quality of life in urban areas. Use Subtle Approaches when Dealing with Culturally Sensitive Issues: Experiences with past efforts to integrate gender and social inclusivity show that the issue is accepted in varying extents among stakeholders. The matter can be rejected covertly or overtly, which makes it necessary for the team fronting it to gauge the gender and social inclusion 5

attitude of the stakeholder at hand. Wisdom on how to introduce the GeSI agenda in the various contexts is paramount. For example, in Kenya there is a socially excluded Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) population. Putting their exclusion issues as a key agenda item can result to a cancellation of the meeting and permanent hostilities from a potential collaborator. It may be more beneficial for all the stakeholders to address needs of other marginal groups types like gender, youth and PWDs that intersect with other less universally accepted identities. Prioritise Interventions that are Most Beneficial and Determine how to Integrate them: With the completion of the GeSI study, SUED had to determine which components of the UEP will benefit the most from GeSI. Co-integrating GeSI interventions in the UEP is likely to be more beneficial and cost effective than implementing it separately. Cost of investment in capacity of intervening actors should be factored in and added to the cost of the interventions. Enhance GeSI capacity in the Technical Teams Carrying out Assignments: While SUED has technical experts, who are tasked with ensuring that the Programme is gender and socially inclusive, enhancing GeSI capacity of technical teams working with the county and municipality teams will enable them to develop and implement key GeSI strategies. This will also ensure that gender and social inclusivity is mainstreamed in the Programme’s approach to urban economic development. Capacity development should take place in different forms such as on-the-job trainings and mentorship and at different points of the Programme to attain the highest impact. GeSI capacity needs assessment and capacity development interventions can be identified with the help of GeSI specialists at the county level. Create Partnerships between Local Organisations and Governance Systems: When carrying out the study, SUED worked with local organisations to reach some of these excluded groups. After completing the Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with them, the Programme was able to articulate their issues to the county and municipal leadership advocating for GeSI in the UEP development process. For programmes carrying out similar assignments, there is an added benefit of conducting research in partnerships with local organisations/ special groups and the municipal/county leadership to enable them to share their insights directly with the decision makers. This was found to enhance the quality of stakeholder engagement and ownership of recommendations for GeSI by all stakeholder categories. Ensure Feedback Sessions are all-Inclusive: The best practice of evidence gathering entails carrying out data collection in sub-sets such as by; gender, age and disability to ensure that they feel that they have a “safe space” where they can openly share their challenges and experiences. There is merit in having a feedback session that entails the sharing of the sub-sets’ experiences with the included population. These feedback sessions provide a platform for those who are usually included to learn the challenges of the excluded and see how best to support them to engage more in key-decision making processes. When SUED team was carrying out its breakout sessions for gender and social inclusion, care was given to ensure that the feedback from the FGDs was not only given to the sub-sets of groups, but to the wider workshop participants’ plenary discussions helping to bring to the table discussion on how best to support the active participation of women and other excluded groups in the UEP development process. Disaggregate data collection, aggregate analysis conclusions and recommendations: Data collection for gender analysis should be disaggregated by gender because women tend not to speak in the presence of men and those who speak do so in support of communal discourses in fear of repudiation. Both men and women should be interviewed separately. For other socially excluded groups, interviews for the specific groups, e.g. PWDs should also be disaggregated by gender. This is because gender intersects with almost all social categories. During analysis, gaps among the categories can be determined and recommendations for including men and women in the various categories made. Consider Intersectionality when Analysing for GeSI: While SUED carried its GeSI study, the focus was not only on gender or youth, but it incorporated a differentiated approach towards the various demographics that intersect with gender, physical ability and age. Assessors should also consider factors such as economic and geographical factors and who is more marginalised within those contexts. Interventions proposed should consider the opportunity intersectionality provides. Incorporate GeSI Analysis to Provide Context: SUED GeSI analysis was context specific. In each context, in this case the municipality, there were specific nuances unique to municipalities. For example, only one municipality had an organised Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community that was not well received. In another community, polygamy was the norm, other communities were almost homogenous in religion whereas others were not. All these nuances affect GeSI differently because they may affect different barriers to inclusion. Understanding the context enables development of relevant interventions rather than imposing blueprints that do not work. 6

SUED has a GeSI strategy and technical support personnel as additional and available capacity support for teams involved in various aspects of the urban economic development processes greatly influencing the prominence that GeSI has in the Programme.


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