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.