Incentives and rewards are common tools used by many employers to reward hard-working or dedicated employees who go the extra mile. Think of ‘Employee of the month’ and then imagine putting something similar in place for MPs? ‘Best MP of the month? ‘Most dedicated MP of the year?’ Seems a little silly, no? Surely, holding public office is their reward? Well, maybe not. Parliament is an organisation like many others – there’s no reason why the people in it wouldn’t respond well to incentive. Indeed, they may relish the competition and the opportunity to outdo their colleagues – after all, we can be pretty sure they like competing, as politics thrives upon competition; whether at the hustings or in the chamber.
In Kenya, Mzalendo recognised the fact that MPs may well benefit from some positive reinforcement and so last year held the inaugural People’s Shujaaz awards to identify and honour Kenya’s most dedicated parliamentarians. This year they’ll be running a bigger awards campaign and public vote and we’re delighted to support the work with a grant of £10,000. Voting has begun and people can vote for their winners across a range of categories. The shortlists have been drawn up by Mzalendo and partners using information from Hansard and committee proceedings to identify politicians most closely associated with a particular issue or topic. And from Mzalendo’s perspective, the awards are a useful way of highlighting their work and getting some press attention. If you want to see the shortlisted candidates and learn how to vote, take a look at the live voting page here.