CRECO was initially established as a project management unit for like-minded organizations conducting democracy and human rights education. As a result, its members not only expected it to source finances for their joint activities, but also relied on it for capacity development. This development approach marked the initial decade of CRECO’s work. Subsequent institutional growth and development led to a shift focus and resources towards promoting implementation of the new constitution through advocacy, civic engagement, institutional strengthening and partnerships development.
As demands for direct implementation of activities and institutional survival increased, the Consortium found itself somewhat at a cross-roads. In some respects it was seen as competing with member organizations by implementing activities similar to its members. A key question that has recently emerged is: how should the Consortium pursue its vision and mission while preserving its relationship with its members? This challenge is not unique to CRECO – all civil society networks must confront it at some stage in their organizational life cycle.
In response to this challenge, this strategy proposes a new shift in the organization’s development approach. Henceforth, CRECO will strive to not only work with its members but also through them as well. This means that the Consortium will seek its rightful place in civil society in Kenya and the region by carving a niche in the nexus between development actors and development funders; between the state and development actors; and between its members and the strategic constitutional development purposes it exists for. In this new approach, CRECO’s success will be defined by its members’ success and its strategic leadership role in the sector. Overall, strategic sector leadership and civil society capacity development have emerged as key elements in its toolbox for change.