Kenya Action Network on Small Arms (KANSA)

KANSA is the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)'s Kenya Chapter and has a membership of over 35 organizations including NGOs, CBOs, Faith-based organizations, and professional bodies.

KANSA was formed on March 26, 2002 during a consultative meeting held at Utalii Hotel. The workshop was organized by Security Research and Information Centre (SRIC) in conjunction with Africa Peace Forum (APFO) and People with Disabilities (PWD), Uganda and IANSA and the Institute of International Education (through Ford Foundation). The workshop brought together some 34 representatives from 30 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working to combat the problem of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Kenya and one observer from Amnesty International. The coordination of the network is rotational among members. It is currently coordinated by SRIC.

During the same meeting, on March 27, 2002 , a regional IANSA Chapter, the East African Action Network on Small and Light Weapons (EAANSA) was formed. EAANSA membership includes CSOs concerned about the problem of SALW within the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa sub-region, technically referred to as Member States Signatory to the Nairobi Declaration and Protocol and comprises 12 countries.

IANSA is the global network of civil society organisations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons. Founded in 1998, IANSA has grown to include over 500 organizations from over 100 countries. IANSA draws its membership from individuals and organizations from diverse backgrounds that are committed to eradicating the problem of SALW including policy development organisations, national gun control groups, research institutes, aid agencies, faith groups, victims, human rights and community action organisations. IANSA not only coordinates activities of these organizations, but also provides a framework within which organizations share experiences and build skills ( www.iansa.org )

KANSA Activities

KANSA exists to empower its constituents and stakeholders to effectively contribute towards the control of proliferation and misuse of SALW through coordination, collaboration and facilitation. It creates a platform through which its members forge a common front in addressing the problem of SALW in Kenya .

Specifically, KANSA undertakes the following activities:

  • Coordination and mobilizing NGO action against illicit SALW
  • Information sharing among its members and with other stakeholders
  • Campaigning and advocacy for appropriate SALW policies
  • Awareness raising such as during the Global Week of Action on SALW
  • Identifying research and evaluation needs
  • Monitoring and evaluating government implementation of SALW protocols and policies.

KANSA has been addressing the problem of SALW in various ways. Since 2003, it has been organizing and conducting an annual CSOs Global Week of Action to raise awareness on the problem of SALW. The Global Week of Action (WoA) is a worldwide CSOs initiative and effort to draw global attention to the human toll of SALW proliferation, through injuries, death and displacement.

In Kenya the activities during WoA have included press conferences, newspaper articles, youth events, hospital visit to gun-wound victims and patients of SALW, and prayer sessions among other activities. The network hopes to continue awareness raising through its proposed bi-annual newsletter: KANSA Newsletter.

KANSA members have also been organizing and participating in international, sub-regional, and national conferences, meetings, and campaigns to address the problem of SALW. For instance, KANSA members participated in the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects held in New York in July 2001, and the first Biennial Meetings of States (BMS) on the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects held in July 2003.

The second BMS was in July 2005 and KANSA Members travelled to New York as part of Government delegation. Currently, KANSA participates in the campaign for the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which is nationally coordinated by OXFAM and supported by SRIC as well as other stakeholders and actors nationally.

KANSA collaborates with the government of Kenya through the Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms (KNFP), which is the government's coordinating body responsible for policy guidance, research and monitoring of efforts to stem out illicit SALW in the country.

National Focal Points are established in each of the 12 States signatory to the Nairobi Declaration and Protocol on SALW to coordinate measures taken in each country to address the problem of SALW proliferation as well as coordinate with their peers in the other Members States. KANSA is represented at the KNFP by five member organizations that also double as its Steering Committee Members. The members are SRIC, APFO, National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Norwegian Church Aid Kenya (NCA), and Kenya Coalition Against Landmines (KCAL).

The organizations are representatives of the thematic clusters that comprise or reflect the diversity of KANSA membership. The clusters are Small Arms, Research and Advocacy (SRIC), Peace and Conflict Management (APFO), Development Partners and Community Based Organizations (NCA), Gender and Youth Affairs (KCAL), Faith Based Organizations (NCCK). Representation to the KNFP and Steering Committee Membership is rotational.

Other than the joint activities, KANSA members undertake their independent activities. However, such activities are quarterly submitted to the Coordination Point for collation, synthesis, and further dissemination in the form of KANSA Quarterly Updates.

KANSA Core Values

  • Team work
  • Commitment by members
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Volunteerism
  • Sanctity of human life to restore human dignity
  • Equality of relationships

Membership Criteria

According to Steering Committee Meeting held at SRIC on 29 th March, 2005 , any organization(s) or individual(s) requesting to join KANSA is welcomed provided they fulfill the following requirements:

  • They must be seen to be reaching certain targets such as being committed to SALW and related issues.
  • They must share the KANSA vision, mission and values.
  • They must be proposed by a registered member and seconded by another one; and that such proposal is not objected by KANSA membership.
  • They must pay the Ksh1000 registration fee (paid once) and Ksh6000 annual contribution, which may be paid in 4 quarters.

Additionally, the organization requesting inclusion is expected to forward to KANSA Coordination Point brief information about the organization, its activities, contact person(s) and address (telephone, email, postal and physical), etc.