Working With Civil Sector

Strategic Goal - Strong PBO Sector influencing development agenda in Kenya


At a time when the divisions between the State, markets and civil society are being blurred, CSO's credibility is undermined when they cannot demonstrate they are effective in their work and accountable to their stakeholders. Inappropriate regulatory frameworks and lack of a common voice limits credibility and development of CSOs as effective agents of social change.

In working with the Civil Society Sector, PEN aims to work together with other stakeholders in creating an enabling environment for CSOs to operate. PEN plays a key role in legal reform and the development of a new framework for high performing CSOs by strengthening collaboration and engagement with civil society. PEN systematically develops initiative and opportunities to unite civil society for collective action and encourage civil society to engage with government and the corporate sector.

How we do it

PEN works with like minded organizations in driving collaboration within civil society to ensure full participation in national Development.

PEN's Initiatives;

1. CSO Standards
PEN was instrumental in the development, popularization and adoption of CSOs standards between 2007 and 2010 - an initiative that gave way to the formation of Viwango. Viwango is a new organization responsible for driving a new agenda for professionalism and integrity within the civil society in Kenya was formed out of this initiative. Viwango will now promote the adherence by CSOs to generally acceptable standards and voluntary certification. It will set principles and standards of behavior for responsible practice and protect credibility and integrity of certified CSOs. Some of the useful documents developed by Viwango include the following Kenya CSO Code of Practice, Kenya CSO Standards and Kenya CSO OCA Tool. Click here for full details about Viwango

2. PEN and PBO Act
PEN's model for effective civil society aims at creating an enabling environment for CSO's by partnering and collaborating with likeminded organizations for the pursuit of excellence. PEN is a secretariat to the CSO Reference Group, an umbrella body of civil society organisations that have provided leadership to a consultative process on the review of the 1990 NGO Act which has led to a new law, Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) Act 2013. The PBO Act is anchored on the new Constitution and is hoped will lead to an effective and enabling legal, regulatory and institutional framework for CSOs in Kenya with acceptable levels of independence and objectivity. Click here for full details about the PBO Act, 2013


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