Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two-Way Communication

I think that one initiative we need to start in this country is Ministers and PS's in every ministry having some sort of open day forum once a month. The aim of this would be for the minister/PS to report to the public what their ministry has done in that month, update us on what was done in the previous month and listen to the views & feedback of the public. In a sense show us that they are accountable to us and inform us how they are working for us, what challenges they are facing, how we can help etc

Everyday, I see/meet/hear very bright, passionate individuals who have many wonderful thoughts and suggestions on things that could be done to improve our existence. I think that those running our public institutions need to make a more concerted effort to connect with these people and tap into what they have to offer.

We had the Kenya We Want conference and we have the annual Public Service Open Days but I think that these sorts of events need to be much more frequent and need to be less about PR and more about finding solutions to the problems we face. We need frank, open discussions about all the problems that are afflicting us, we need our public servants to be visibly answerable to us and we need creative, innovative solutions made by us, for us.

I would also suggest using technology. Blogging, online ministry forums (think stockskenya but for ministries) etc. Even if that didn't happen, how about having letter writing competitions..encourage the public to write to ministries and publish the 10 or 20 best letters each month. Make the letters form part of the agenda for the next month so that at each monthly forum, we get status reports on steps taken to address the issues raised in the selected letters from the previous months.

We have to be imaginative about finding ways to accelerate our development. We need to find ways to get all the cleverest people working and thinking and contributing towards making this the country that it could (and should) be.


  1. Online relations are still largely ignored and yet they could be a very powerful tool. Imagine if ministries had blogs where people could post their ideas?

  2. A powerful AND relatively inexpensive tool! We, (Kenyans and Africans at large) with our meagre resources can least afford to be ignoring that combination.

  3. KW, what do you mean have these foras once a month? That would expose the gross incompetence and non-performance of our ministries!! You know people don't work in this country!

    Aki will Kenya ever change?

  4. Having these forums would be a welcome venture into the right direction, but the best thing, and inexpensive too, is setting up a blog and making it mandatory for every ministry to update their section every other week.