Grievance redress mechanisms give communities a voice

Training of local grievance redress committees in Mombasa County
Training of local grievance redress committees in Mombasa County

Following the award of grants to community common interest groups for various sub-projects, KEMFSED is training local committees to strengthen the project’s Grievance redress mechanism (GRM). The training equips the committees with knowledge and skills to address issues raised by communities and stakeholders regarding the implementation of the sub-projects that include productive livelihood, social welfare, and environmental management activities.

A GRM is a key tool through which local communities and other stakeholders exercise their voices. It is a way to mitigate, manage, and resolve potential or realized negative impacts, and to ensure that the project meets its obligations in terms of international human rights law.

A grievance redress mechanism is an organized way or procedure for addressing grievances and resolving problems that arise out of project implementation. It provides an avenue through which local communities and other stakeholders exercise their voices. GRM enables implementers to mitigate, manage, and resolve potential or realized negative impacts of a project.

KEMFSED has in place a rigorous GRM and maintains an open door for stakeholders and communities to raise issues that affect them and ensure they are addressed in a timely manner to the satisfaction of the parties involved.

At KEMFSED, there is a specific aspect of the GRM for handling grievances arising from project sub-grants implemented under the Enhanced Coastal Community Livelihoods (ECCL) interventions in Component 2 of the project.

Why an effective GRM is important

  • It helps to preserve and protect project funds by arresting problems before they become more serious or widespread.
  • It assists in creating public awareness about the project and its objectives.
  • It discourages fraud and corruption in project implementation.
  • It allows project implementers to be more accountable, transparent, and responsive to project beneficiaries.

The grants are awarded to common interest groups (CIGs). These are groups of fishers and/ or farmers who share common problems or aspirations around a value chain/enterprise. It is formed to facilitate the effective implementation of activities identified by members.

The GRM for CIGs are implemented through Project Management Committees formed to oversee the implementation of sub-projects to ensure transparency, effectiveness, and inclusion in their implementation. The committees and trained to create awareness about the mechanism, and receive and address grievances at the community level. The grievances are channeled through GRM committees constituted for each sub-project or grant.

Below is an overview of the KEMFSED GRM for project sub-grants.

Who should receive grievances?

All grievances from community members will be handled by the Project Management Committee PMC. The PMC will appoint a male and female member who will receive all grievances on its behalf, which may be in the form of SMS (mobile phones), letters, or verbal presentations in a meeting or baraza.

What will be done on receipt of a grievance?

All grievances from community members will be coordinated by two members appointed by the PMC who will record them in a register. The information to be put in the register will include:

  • Date of the grievance and time;
  • Name and identity of the complainant;
  • Nature or brief description of the grievance.

Grievance channels will include SMS, e-mail, letter, record in a register, phone calls, written notes, voice records, social media, etc.

They will acknowledge receipt of the grievance and then inform the PMC. If there is a need, the two will carry out investigations to collect more information before the PMC can take action.

Resolving of grievances

Grievances should be resolved using the laid down PMC rules and project guidelines and procedures. Action taken on the grievance by the PMC should be swift, and deserving and feedback should be given to the complainant within 7 days of receipt of the grievance. If the PMC is unable then the CIG should be requested to handle it. If CIG is unable to handle it, then the grievance should be forwarded to the CPIU office.

Each level handling the grievance should not take more than 7 days to respond to a grievance.

Reporting of grievances

The PMC will maintain a grievance register and record all grievances received, their status, and actions taken and make quarterly reports. The PMC is expected to review and make comments and then forward the report to the CIG or CBO, through the laid down project structures up to the NPCU.

Disclosure of information on grievances

The PMC should allow community members and the public to have access to the grievances register and the quarterly reports on the same. It should also disclose this information during general community meetings or barazas.

For more information, contact:

The National Project Coordinator

Maktaba Kuu, NgongRoad, Upper Hill

Email: | Tel. +2540207860430

Satellite Office: Kenya Fisheries Service,

Taib Bin Nasir Road, Liwatoni, Ganjoni Area, Mombasa

Email: | Tel. 0412222222

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