As part of building the profile of EISA and support to its programme, Felix Odhiambo, EISA Kenya's Country Director, paid a courtesy call on the JB Muturi, the Speaker of the Kenya's Parliament on the 4th of February 2015.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss EISA Kenya's work with Parliament in spearheading electoral law reform. The Speaker agreed to support EISA's programme and rally the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to work with EISA on an Electoral Reform programme.
EISA provided support to the development of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Act 2011 and to the development of the Political Parties Act 2011. As part of enhancing policy interaction between parliament and the CSOs in Kenya, EISA convened a multi-sectoral forum on the IEBC Act 2011.
The forum succeeded in building the requisite consensus for the development of the Act. Indeed, consensus reached by the stakeholders was crucial in advancing the agenda for the implementation of the Constitution and, in particular, establishing the new electoral management body ahead of the next general election. Acknowledging these efforts while opening the new session of parliament on 21st March 2011, President Kibaki noted that "the IEBC Bill soon to be tabled in parliament was a product of extensive multi stakeholders consultation". EISA's support to the Political Parties Act 2011 centred on convening a multi-sectoral forum to review the existing Political Parties Act (2007), supporting a technical committee retreat to collate, analyse and develop the draft Bill and a plenary to adopt the draft Bill (now PPA 2011).
EISA convened a planning and strategic review meeting for key civil societies in Kenya working in the field of governance and democracy. The meeting was aimed at reviewing the specific activities that each organisation was conducting under Representation, Devolution, Legislature and Executive Chapters in the new Constitution. The meeting not only succeeded in exploring ways in which the efforts of the various organisations could be harmonised and complemented, but also saw EISA 's nomination to act as a focal point on electoral and political party legislation for the CSO Forum.
For the new Constitution to function effectively, Parliament is required to pass at least 49 pieces of legislation. Parliament therefore requires the support of all key stakeholders to meet this enormous task as laid out in the timeline. EISA's contribution in this regard was based on consultations held with key partners, which necessitated EISA to tailor its legislative programme to focus on fostering close working relations between Parliament, CSOs, political parties and non-state actors. While in the past these sectors have interacted, the absence of a formalised structure for interaction was lacking, and where it existed, it needed to be strengthened. To this end EISA facilitated the establishment of a platform where key institutions and CSOs could engage Members of Parliament in dialogue aimed at fast tracking implementation of the Constitution. Due to its pivotal role in establishing a formalised structure between key sectors on the implementation of the new constitution, EISA was subsequently mandated to convene policy dialogues on the Chapters of Representation (Chapter 7) Legislature (Chapter 8), Executive (Chapter 10) and Devolution (Chapter 11) of the new Constitution.