Addressing Mindsets at the top of the Reform Agenda for Kenya's National Police Service

Nairobi,  08 April 2016 - In March, UNODC  launched an innovative approach to support reform of Kenya's National Police Service (NPS) by addressing the mindsets of individuals within the organization. The NPS reform agenda has been embraced by reform 'champions', 23 mid-to-senior ranking police officers who volunteered to lead the transformation process at the police station level.

The recent training session focused on an approach pioneered by George Pransky, a global leader in the human relations field. Pransky's 'Three Principles' method targets the individual mindsets rather than administrative structures. It is the first time that such a method has been applied in a comparable context, and with very promising early signs. This training has "inspired me to discover the potential I didn't know I possess", remarked one of the trainees.

Pransky expounds on this theory that, "hearts and minds is like the software that makes the change possible. Structural and procedural changes are like the hardware.  If the human part of the equation isn't there then there is no chance for success. I will boldly say that ninety percent of all unsuccessful reorganizations and attempted cultural changes fail solely because the employees' human qualities were compromised." By understanding the role of the human mindset as an agent of change, the reform champions will be better at embedding reform in the working practices of county and station commanders.

The NPS Director of Reforms, John Ochieng, heralded this approach as "the key to transforming Kenyan policing services for the 21st century". The initiative is integral to the NPS Reforms Roadmap, supported by UNODC, which rolls out strategies and procedures to reform the police at the station level. Before the strategies and procedures have a chance of taking root, the NPS has stressed that the mindsets of the officers - the soil in which the strategies will be planted - need to be addressed.

The UNODC's Police Reforms Programme will profile the Kenya Police Reform work at the up-coming One Solution Event in Oslo, Norway, on May 27-29, 2016. The One Solution Event will demonstrate how persistent societal challenges - for example difficulties in reforming institutions - can be solved through a better understanding of the mind. Through UNODC's participation, the conference will draw on the positive reactions of Kenyan police officers to their training, and how this approach can be applied in other situations around the world. For more information about the event, please visit the website: onesolutionevent.com