Noticeably, in both meetings the IDS spirit of warmth and affection was very much alive; in spite of cohort and course differences alumni who had never met prior to these meetings were very cordial to one another. They were happy to share their experiences since leaving IDS and also on information on possible opportunities for the other IDSers and the IDS family in general.
During the informal discussions, the following key issues came out:
a). The need of establishing a formal and solid platform where IDSers will be in better positions to influence public debates on key issues relevant to Kenya’s economic growth and development. Some of the areas IDSers in Kenya can play critical roles in are: devolution to local government, national cohesion and integration, recurrent spells of food insecurity and youth unemployment.
b). Identify ‘friends’ in the media who will publish IDSers pieces on a range of development topics. There is further need to identify spaces for participation in TV discussions on development related issues on leading stations.
c). In addition to the contacts that IDS- Sussex already has, identify institutions and think tanks in Kenya where IDSers can contribute to development studies’ discourses, research, teaching and course modeling and sharing of different literature in development studies.
d). Use possible means to influence public policy analysis, implementation, communication and evaluation
It was further agreed that the IDSers hold another meeting as soon as possible to crystalize these ideas further and identify clear pathways for their implementation. To this end the IDS alumni in Kenya will hold its next meeting within the month of May 2014.