Elias O. Opongo SJ.(ed) with Faith Agnes Ondeng and Leonard Omogo. ( HIPSIR Research Series, No. 1/2022/01) WOMEN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN KENYA: A NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY ON MENTORSHIP PROGRAM)

This study explores baseline needs assessment on women political leadership. Globally, and Kenya in particular for this study, women are still underrepresented in political sphere and/ or public spaces despite the local, regional and international instruments that push for gender parity. The study therefore, examines the levels of women engagement in governance; the support and mentorship programs they have received and leadership challenges they face in dispensing their duties. In realizing this, it draws on in-depth interviews conducted with a range of stakeholders who are the Members of County Assembly, political aspirants, former politicians and the County Chief Executive Officers in Kenya, and on available literatures on women in politics and public spaces. The findings of this study highlight the individual and collective experiences; challenges faced; strategies and tools women leaders have adopted to address these challenges; understanding the skills-gap in the implementation of governance duties; their main source of support as well as the need and mentorship programs for consideration. In relation to the findings, the authors conclude that challenges faced by women political leaders tend to surpass their competencies; low women representation hinders their contributions; negative effects of traditional male stereotype affect women participation; and the need for more mentorship and training programs.

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Elias O. Opongo SJ.(ed) with Peter Abala Ouma, Movine Omondi and Josephine Katuu Muthama. ( HIPSIR Research Series, No. 2/2022/02) EVALUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS INDEXES IN THE EASTERN AFRICA REGION: CASE STUDY OF ETHIOPIA, BURUNDI, KENYA AND UGANDA.)

Informed by the feedback received from the 2020 projects under the Conflict Monitoring Tool (CMT) and the Mapping of Faith and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) peace structures in the region, conversations from the Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) conducted, brought out the aspect of human rights violation and thus the area of focus for 2021 Centre for Research Training and Publications (CRTP) research. A study on evaluating and measuring human rights situation in the Eastern Africa within the Regional Peace Partners region with a focus on Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia was therefore conducted based on the happenings in these four countries. Purposive sampling method was employed to identify respondents who have the knowledge and good grasp of the dynamics of human rights on the ground. The data collection was mainly in three methods: individual key informant interviews; focus group discussions and questionnaire distribution. Survey Monkey was used to collect data online from different respondents across the four countries. A total of 648 questionnaires were fill by different respondents with 198 respondents being from Kenya, 156 from Uganda, 144 from Ethiopia and lastly 150 responses from Burundi. Eight Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and two Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted in Kenya (Nairobi and Mombasa) with 2 follow up data validation exercises to affirm the validity of the study.

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Elias O. Opongo SJ.(ed) with Linus Kawuondi, and Joyce Raichenah. ( HIPSIR Research Series, No. 1/2022/04) CONFLICT MONITORING IN AFRICA FOR STRATEGIC INTERVENTION: CASE STUDY OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC), ETHIOPIA, KENYA AND SOUTH SUDAN.)

The problem of conflict especially between communities and nations has always been a dominant concern for societies and civilizations. The atrocities of war stimulated an awareness of the need to develop preventive strategies to mitigate conflict and its devastating effects. Further, to explore strategies of managing and possibly resolving conflicts, an in-depth analysis of causes, trends, and manifestations of conflicts is important. In the development of a conflict monitoring tool, Ethiopia, DRC, South Sudan, and Kenya have been selected due to the particular complexity of the conflicts they have experienced. From this conflict monitoring exercise, preventive measures can be considered to ensure that the conflict is transformed and peace restored among the various parties involved.

Since 2019 CRTP has been conducting research towards development of a conflict monitoring tool for the region as the problem of conflict especially between communities and nations has always been a dominant concern for societies and civilizations. In the development of a conflict monitoring tool, Ethiopia, DRC, South Sudan, and Kenya have been selected due to the particular complexity of the conflicts they have experienced. From this conflict monitoring exercise, preventive measures can be considered to ensure that the conflict is transformed and peace restored among the various parties involved.

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Elias O. Opongo SJ.(ed) with Michelle Nyandong, Michelle Gikonyo and Jean Philippe Mugangu. ( HIPSIR Research Series, No. 1/2021/01) MAPPING OF REGIONAL FAITH AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS’ PEACE STRUCTURES: CASE STUDY OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC), ETHIOPIA, KENYA AND SOUTH SUDAN.)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan are countries that have experienced chronic conflict due to internal and external influences. The dynamics of conflicts in these countries have evolved and brought about more complexity and diversification in the approaches used to resolve conflict. These countries are prone to chronic internal inter-ethnic clashes and border disputes that have claimed lives and displaced many people in the region. This study aimed to identify and analyze the approaches to peacebuilding used by diverse peace structures in these regions with a descriptive research design applied to enable the researchers to meet the objectives of the study. Consequently, this study targeted Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in these countries. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques were used for data collection primarily through open-ended questionnaires and interviews with the representatives of targeted peace organizations in the four countries. The research findings

revealed that the theory of change used by the organizations varied according to their thematic focuses and are often revisited during the implementation phase of the project undertaken by the organizations. The study also revealed that religious leaders played an influential role in peacebuilding activities as they benefit from a high level of confidence from the local population. Finally, the study revealed that a lack of collaboration and coordination among peace structures was mainly fuelled by a conflict of interests and differences of ideology. Therefore, this study recommends that FBOs, CBOs as well as other peace structures must develop new alliances to operate in synergy towards the achievement of peace and security through their advocacy actions for positive socio-political change in the communities they are involved with.

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Elias O. Opongo SJ.(ed) with Linus Kawuondi, Joyce Raichenah and Nelly Kibet. ( HIPSIR Research Series, No. 5/2021/01) CONFLICT MONITORING IN AFRICA FOR STRATEGIC INTERVENTION: CASE STUDY OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, SOUTH SUDAN AND KENYA (2020))

The end of the cold war witnessed a rise in the study of armed conflict in Africa, including its causes, effects, and much more extensively its mitigation and prevention. The problem of conflict, especially between communities and nations has always been a dominant concern for societies and civilizations. To explore strategies of managing and possibly resolving conflicts, an in-depth analysis of the causes, trends, and manifestations of conflicts is important, through a conflict monitoring exercise.

From the conflict monitoring exercise, preventive measures can be considered to ensure that the conflict is transformed and peace restored among the various parties involved. Hence, this book is a report of phase two of the development of the Conflict Monitoring Tool (CMT) by CRTP with the selected sample countries being Kenya, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This report deals with the conceptualization of the conflict monitoring tool, analysis and also outlines the diverse areas of concern in the three countries before making some recommendations for action.

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Elias O. Opongo SJ.(ed) with Christine Wangechi Muthui; Faith Ondeng  (No. 4/2021/01) LEVELS OF CHANGE IN WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN THE PEACEBUILDING PROCESS IN AFRICA (2019)

The UNSCR 1325 of October 2000 underscores a gender perspective in all conflict prevention activities and strategies and women’s meaningful participation at all levels of peacebuilding processes. Despite the normative commitments at the global and national level to implement the resolution, the low level of women’s participation in high-level peace and security interventions has been a concern.

The main purpose of this study was to investigate whether gender representativeness has improved in high-level peacebuilding processes in 10 countries after the adoption of the UNSCR 1325. This study also sought to identify the issues hindering women’s participation in high-level mediation and peace processes as well as possible ways of closing such gaps.

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Elias O. Opongo SJ.(ed) with Peter Maundu, Joyce Raichenah; Faith Ondeng; Linus Kawuondi; Allan Induswe     (HIPSIR Research Series, No.3 2020/01) CONFLICT MONITORING IN AFRICA FOR STRATEGIC INTERVENTION: CASE STUDY OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, SOUTH SUDAN AND KENYA (2020)

The problem of conflict especially between communities and nations has always been a dominant concern for societies and civilizations. The atrocities of war stimulated an awareness of the need to develop preventive strategies to mitigate conflict and its devastating effects. Further, to explore strategies of managing and possibly resolving conflicts, an in-depth analysis of causes, trends, and manifestations of conflicts is important.

In the development of a conflict monitoring tool, DRC, South Sudan, and Kenya have been selected due to the particular complexity of the conflicts they have experienced.  From this conflict monitoring exercise, preventive measures can be considered to ensure that the conflict is transformed and peace restored among the various parties involved

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Elias O. Opongo SJ. (HIPSIR Research Series No. 2017/12) KNOWLEDGE AND POLICY GAPS IN EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES IN KENYA: A BASELINE SURVEY IN TURKANA, KWALE, LAMU, MIGORI, KITUI, AND TAVETA (2017): This study aimed at assessing the gaps in knowledge, particularly concerning policy and advocacy strategies applied in addressing a diversity of issues in the management of extractive industries while evaluating the role of the local populations, county, and national government as well as civil society organizations. Between May and September 2017, a baseline survey was conducted in six counties mainly targeting community leaders, NGOs, CBOs, county government officials, and academic institutions. This helped highlight the key elements of knowledge and policy gaps in extractive industries.

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Elias O. Opongo SJ. and C.A. Mumma-Martinon (HIPSIR Research Series No.2 2018/6) TRUTH TELLING AND CULTURAL DYNAMICS AMONG MALE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE IN MOUNT ELGON REGION IN KENYA (2018)

As post-election violence ravaged several parts of Kenya in 2008, getting the victims of the atrocities committed during the event to share their experience required the examination of a methodology, strategy and socio-cultural implications that played into the truth-telling process in Mt. Elgon.

Therefore, this research demonstrates that it is vital to have a clear methodological strategy, not only in accessing the Male Victims of Violence (MVV) but also in getting the society to recognize the socio-cultural vulnerabilities of the MVV in post-conflict reconstruction.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM AND VIOLENCE IN AFRICA (9-10 October 2018)

Held at HIPSIR, the conference focused on the examination of strategies and responses applied to addressing religious extremism and violence, the extent to which they have been effective, the challenges they have faced and possible review of such strategies and responses from political, security, economic, religious and sociocultural perspectives.

The conference also sought to expound on the understanding of religious extremism, what it is and what it’s not its dynamics, functions, actors, and their motivations, as well as identify major stakeholders that can address the religious extremism menace

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES IN AFRICA: ADDRESSING CONFLICTS AND INTEGRATING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (4-5 October 2016): Held at HIPSIR, with the main focus of addressing the conflicts and integrating sustainable development, the conference was informed by research on extractive industries carried out in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe by African Forum for Social Teaching (AFCAST) in 2015. The discussions from the conference highlighted the existing best practices that give evidence of the improvement of quality of life from resource extraction, and the opportunities that the extractive industries create, while equally advising caution on practices that alienate parts of the population, propagate corruption and degrade the environment

Journal articles

  • Elias O. Opongo et al (July 2019) “South Sudan’s Costly Conflict and the Urgent Role of Religious Leaders.” The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 17:2, 37-46.