Human Rights make a difference for sustainable development in Kenya:

If you work with development assistance, you cannot avoid hearing about ‘the rights based approach’ where your intervention must be based on the UN’s declaration of human rights. This also goes for SustainableEnergy where human rights are operationalized in four principles: Participation, Accountability, Non-discrimination and Transparency – in short – PANT.

But what do all those words mean in practice for sustainable development? SustainableEnergy’s main partner in Kenya, Umande Trust, has embraced PANT and describes what it means to them: “Internally we are now more sensitive to gender issues” explains Erick Onduru who is a project coordinator at Umande, “and externally we are now mobilizing the previously passive participants like the young people and women more to actively participate”. The ‘P’ in PANT – Participation – is the most important part of Umande’s approach, which is to ensure the participation of all people across tribes, genders, age-groups, religions, etc. and promote the idea that they all have a right to a clean and healthy environment.

In the future, Umande expects that working with PANT will strengthen the cooperation between people and policy makers, which in turn will enable communities to continue improving their environment beyond the project funding phase. Thus, human rights make a difference for sustainable development in both the short and the long run.