Parliament, Participation and Policy Making – Policy Brief
This policy brief describes the experiences and lessons emerging from the revision of Kenya’s Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (2013) through the use of public participation. The Act was reviewed with a parliamentary body, the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (DCENR), playing a direct role in facilitating the public engagement. The Committee was supported by the Parliamentary Research Services (PRS), that played a critical role as a knowledge broker.
After multiple attempts over the course of 16 years, the Act was successfully reviewed and with a strong sense of ownership across a diverse and somewhat fragmented group of stakeholders. However, the shortcomings and challenges in the process are recognised and give rise to a number of lessons for the country in going forward. These include:
- The value and opportunities offered by the direct engagement of Parliament in facilitating public participation
- The significance of the role of the PRS as a knowledge broker
- The importance of good leadership; and
- Ensuring that the necessary resources, including time, budget and skills is critical to successful public engagement