The concept of PDF mirrors the Nordic countries’ People’s Meetings (mainly Sweden and Denmark) organized over the years to provide opportunity for citizens and leaders to meet eye-to-eye and on level terms, in a place and in a way, where locked positions and prejudices are left at the door step by all participants.
Despite the fact that Kenya has made progress towards consolidating its democratic landscape, much still remain to be done in addressing underlying challenges that threaten the political, social and economic standing of the country. The country’s democratic transition has been characterized by fortitude and inconsistencies that mixes development and recession in almost equal measure. Kenya’s democratization process has largely been undertaken with limited institutionalization, with the political elite seemingly more concerned about consolidating power than democratizing the state. The level of engagement between citizens and elected leaders as an essential part of democracy has been low. Parliament can also be described as quite divided and partisan, and this is often played out in the media or on the floor of the house.
The active and meaningful engagement of different actors and citizens in public affairs is the distinguishing feature of democratic societies, which are judged by the extent to which governments open up to citizen involvement in public affairs and the space they give for citizens to hold the government accountable. The challenge is therefore to establish spaces for dialogue among state and non-state actors as well as citizens to strengthen their relationships towards the overall good of the country’s democratic development.