Effectiveness of Selected Civil Society Organizations in Community policing in Kenya’s Informal Settlements: A case of Kibera
Tiira, Mwenda Flora
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Community policing plays a critical role in maintenance of law and order in the society. However, the success of community based policing depends on the relationship that the police and the public cultivates. Traditionally, the ties between the police and the general public have been frosty and this is likely to affect community based policing which heavily depends on mutual trust between the parties involved. It is against this background that civil society organizations have come in to play a mediation role between the public and the police in order to build confidence and create the culture of trust. This study therefore sought to examine the effectiveness of the civil society organizations in enhancing community based policing programmes in Africa’s largest informal settlement- Kibera slums in Kenya. Anchored on the broken windows theory, the study targeted to collect data from Kibera residents, the police and the management of civil society organizations in order to examine the activities, ascertain the extent of participation, investigate the nature of cooperation between these organizations and the security agencies and finally suggest policy recommendations in view of involvement of CSOs in community policing. This study employed the descriptive survey research design. The study utilized both secondary and primary data. Primary data was collected using structured questionnaires and interview schedule from 384 randomly sampled residents and management staff of the civil society organizations operating in Kibera’s Makina village. Secondary data was reviewed from existing studies related to the study. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Quantitative data was descriptively analysed using the percentages and inferential statistics while qualitative data was analysed using themes emerging from the data in line with the study objectives. Analyzed data were presented using charts and tables. The findings of this study showed that activities of CSOs influenced success of community policing as CSOs are composed of various professionals with different skills which are crucial for successful implementation of community policing policies. In addition, there was sharing of information amongst various entities especially between public and police. Further, the study found that improving transparency and accountability was effective approach by CSOs in community based policing. The study concluded that civil society organizations are effective in the implementation of community policing initiatives in Kibera. The study also concluded that there was sharing of information amongst the police, medics and the public. The study recommended that there is need for provision of funds that would enable the CSOs in Kibera informal settlement to offer medical help and mental assistance. There is also need for CSOs to include legal practitioners and social workers within their midst so as to increase the frequency and value of these activities. The findings will be beneficial to policy makers at the Ministry of interior, security agencies and the residents of Kibera.
Africa Nazarene University