Factors influencing the role of civil society on peace building in Kenya: a case of Nairobi county
The purpose of this study was to identify the factors influencing the role of Civil Society on peace building in Kenya. The study reviewed related literature from books, articles and journals in order to get more insight on the factors identified which include donor funding, media, capacity building and government policy. This study employed a descriptive research design and targeted 18 registered civil society organizations in Nairobi that deals with peacebuilding. The study used all the CSOs where purposefully sampled senior managers and middle level managers in every organization. The study used questionnaires to collect empirical data from the obtained sample size. The completed questionnaires were edited for completeness and consistency, check for errors and omissions and then coded. A content analysis and descriptive analysis were employed. The study findings revealed that the media plays an active role which aids civil society organizations‘ role in peacebuilding process at a very high extent. Therefore supporting CSOs in disseminating peace information to the societies in conflict however, they also affect peacebuilding through disseminating politicized and biased information during and after conflict. Funding of CSOs influence their peace building at a very high extent, while, an overwhelming majority of the respondents indicated that the government offer funds to their organizations though the funds offered are in sufficient. Majority of the respondents indicated that training help reduce community conflict and recurrent of conflict at a very high extent. An overwhelming majority of the respondent agreed that they have strengthened communities through networking. Further, majority of respondents (61.1%) indicated that government policies influence CSOs on peace building at a very high extent. Based on the study findings the study concluded that the media play a very crucial role in the success of CSOs in peacebuilding heightening conflict when wrong information is passed on. Funding from the government supports CSOs to carry out their role since funding was a very important essential for the effectiveness of the organizations. However, CSOs staff are trained, refreshed and upgraded among others on evolving and new concepts of managing peacebuilding with the newly acquired capacity building. CSOs are hand tied by government policies making it hard for then function smoothly. Based on the findings and conclusions of the study, the researcher made the following recommended that the media and civil society should team up to disseminate peace messages to conflict affected communities and also ensure that they are not used for malice by any parties to avoid intensifying conflict. The researcher suggests that a study should be conducted on the strategies employed by Civil Society Organizations to cope with the challenges regarding to funding.