Improving policy, practice, culture and norms through research and advocacy

We strongly believe in the value of advancing knowledge to improve policy, practice, culture, and norms, through the evidence and insights generated from our work. We rely on this knowledge and evidence to inform our advocacy initiatives to catalyse change in the communities we work with by raising awareness on mental health, building resilience and wellness, reducing stigma and discrimination, and promoting access to mental health services for all. We are able to achieve this by fostering strong partnerships with the communities we work with, Government agencies, other civil society organizations, and organizations of persons with disabilities. Our ultimate goal is to drive sustainable change in the mental health landscape, where policies are reformed, services are improved, and individuals and communities are empowered to lead quality lives.

The challenge

Whereas the subject of mental health and wellness is increasingly getting more and more attention in Kenya and around the globe, with the Kenyan Government putting in place laws and policies to streamline the sector, there still remains inadequate data and evidence to support interventions. Both government and non-governmental organizations are not adequately capturing and consolidating data on mental health, with this creating a gap in the quality of interventions which then negatively affects achievement of intended outcomes. 

Our approach

To cure this challenge, we employ two approaches namely Participatory Rural Appraisal and Participatory Action Research. Our work is therefore centred in the communities where we work. We make it standard practice to involve the community at all stages of the project life cycle, co-creating solutions with them, monitoring and evaluating progress, documenting lessons learnt and sharing them with relevant stakeholders to inform future decision making. We value the power of experiential knowledge as an important tool for problem solving. These approaches have helped to generate evidence-based insights that have helped to catalyse change.