SUNY/CID Works with Government Officials in Kenya to Strengthen Policy Development
In 2010 Kenya established 47 new county governments to develop policies and deliver public services at the local level. To ensure that these new governments have the capacity to effectively deliver these services, SUNY/CID in training local officials in policy development through its USAID-funded Agile and Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) project.
The County Government of Mombasa located in the coastal region of Kenya, identified priority areas for reform to include health services, the water supply and education among others. The County has asked AHADI to offer training to the executive committee responsible for directing the county’s affairs through policy development and implementation.
AHADI used a practical training approach by analyzing a case study of the county’s proposed local resource mobilization strategy, which is a key priority for the county. The training highlighted best practices in formulating decisions with a particular focus on translating executive decisions to policy and the importance of public participation. The training emphasized strategies to embrace public actors as allies that should be involved in policy decisions.
"This training has been an eye opener" stated Lewa Tendai, Executive Secretary, Education and Children. He added, "It has been a reality check in terms of the way we have led the process of policy planning and a lesson on how we ought to do it differently. It has been a lesson on understanding the importance of effective communication and mobilization of key stakeholder groups".
Although this was the first training on policy development, immediate outcomes are promising. Within three weeks of the training the County Executive Committee had developed a clear plan for engaging stakeholders to discuss revenue generation met revenue collectors to discuss their experience, the weaknesses of the systems, and how best these can be cured through the proposed policy.
The meeting was the first in series of stakeholder meetings planned to enable the executive collect critical insights for developing a new policy on revenue generation. Tendai emphasizes that boosting local revenue generation is a key priority for the county. "Unless we can achieve that outcome, then we will struggle with delivering better services," he adds.
Posted March 11, 2016