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Vision 2020 Background

An organization which does not have a competent working understanding of its world can be said to be incapacitated, regardless of how many other skills and competencies it may have.
Di Oliver

PT has played a critical role in the campaign towards securing the dignity of the Urban Poor. PT has been a part of the national progressive civil society and peoples’ movement that have helped to expose governments, secure a moratorium against evictions, strengthened civil liberties; mobilized and animated organizing of the Urban Poor strengthening their resolve to secure and safeguard their dignity. Unfortunately, these great struggles have not translated into social justice and much of the urban Kenyan men and women are worse off today than ten years ago.

Poverty, inequality, destruction of environment, insecurity, violence and cultural degradation have increased and now threaten to undermine the progress made in struggle for an inclusive and democratic Kenya state. Vision 2020, which covers the period between 2012 and 2020, is cognizant of the state and market centered modernity that threatens to dim opportunities and dignity of urban dwellers in its value and relational chain. The aim of Vision 2020 is to ensure an equitable and democratic society where urban citizens have adequate space.

One of the salient lessons from the last thirteen years of PT’s work though is that animation of change can only be done when one learns to learn. Our reflection of this work demonstrates that what we need to do is understand and engage the forces that create vulnerability and marginalization. Based on this background, it is obvious that PT’s fourth phase must be based on its current Community, National and International presence.

Having realized great success from our interventions as part of the anti eviction movement, we are keen to have PT rise to greater heights as a key agent for social change in Kenya. The successes of earlier phases call for a deeper internal reflections and benchmarking of PT within the broader context of social transformation in Kenya.

It calls on PT to work towards completing its mission of mobilizing the Urban Poor around their issues. While using security of land tenure as the entry point for these interventions, we have opened our eyes broader to the entire phenomenon of urban poverty. This is why the interventions by PT now situate urban poverty within the broader national and international disfunctionality. The adoption of this vision follows the successful implementation of three Strategic Plans by PT, the adoption of a new constitution; Vision 2030; Nairobi Metropolitan strategy and National Urban Development Policy. At PT we believe that the firm actions proposed by Vision 2020 shall enable the Urban Poor to gain their urban citizenship.

Vision 2020 is therefore an attempt at a strong and cogent theory of change, ideology and strategies attempting to pursue radical social change and transformation that would contribute into sustainable development and democratization in Kenya. This kind of undertaking cannot be realized through simplistic Strategic Planning. To the contrary, it requires deep reflection and interventions aimed at restructuring the state, market and each one of us. Besides, this task requires deep reflections and brainstorming with as broad array of stakeholders and actors as possible.

Why are we concerned with urban poverty?

For reforms to take root in Kenya the range of effective interests at play in the political arena must go beyond those of the political elite.

PT believes that urban poverty is about exclusion, physical and economic insecurity, fear of the future and a constant sense of vulnerability. It is the lack of qualities that facilitate a good life, defined in terms of access to conditions that support reasonable physical existence and enable individuals to realize their spiritual and cultural potential.

PT believes that for reforms to take root in Kenya the range of effective interests at play in the political arena must go beyond those of the political elite. A strong constituency from below that has a deep material and symbolic interest in reform must become a more evident physical and ideological force in the political process. However, the near invisibility at the national level of member-based organizations continuously voicing the interests of the majority is a major drawback in the reform agenda of this country. This correlation of asymmetrical power relationships must go hand in hand with advocacy for change in policies, laws and relations of governance between duty bearers and Rights holders.

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