Reconstructing collective memory through participatory approaches: a study of Transparency International-Kenya’s Citizen Demand Programme
This study evaluated a civic education programme, ‘Citizen Demand Programme’, by Transparency International–Kenya (TI-K) that was aimed at increasing accountability through citizen participation in governance following the 2010 Constitution. This article presents results of the programme in a rural community in Kenya. Specifically, the article analysed the narrative approach to dialogue used by TI-K facilitators to determine how it enabled citizens to construct memory, enabling them to demand more accountability. Paulo Freire’s concept of dialogue it was used as both a theoretical framework and a tool of analysis. The study used a mixed method approach and explanatory sequential design; structured random sampling and purposive sampling to come up with a sample of 250 for the quantitative phase and 16 for the qualitative phase. Findings show that participatory narratives provide channels for alternative stories, creating a wider collective memory different from that created by nonparticipatory strategies. Further, the participatory approaches helped construct an alternative collective memory different from that created by mainstream media and the political elite. The programme enabled the previously excluded non-elites to enter public debate. Thus, participation created retrospect memory based on which people had some expectations of what should happen in future.
Keywords: accountability, collective memory, dialogue, Kenya, transparency international