Policy Implementation Key for Kenya and Africa's Inclusive Development

16 December 2019

Nairobi — A week-long workshop that seeks to strengthen the capacity of national planning institutions in Kenya to develop, adopt and implement a national strategy for the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy-making approach in development planning, opened in Nairobi today with a clarion call on Africa to implement agreed plans and protocols for the betterment of her people.

The training workshop, being held under the theme; Strengthening the Capacities of African Governments for Integrating Accountability in Development Planning, also seeks to fortify capacities of national statistical institutions to collect, compile, produce and use data to monitor and assess the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy-making in planning processes.

This week focus is on Kenya with similar workshops having been held in Benin, Cameroon, Egypt and Zambia under an Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) pilot project aiming to address impediments to synergies required to enhance evidence-based policy-making.

In his remarks, Mr. Saitoti Torome, Principal Secretary in Kenya's State Department for Planning, said planning in Kenya was well-integrated, like some African countries. But the problem was with implementation.

"Kenya has come from far in terms of development planning. Its development strategies have been focused and target oriented," he said, adding the country's development planning was cemented by integrating planning and budget systems in the constitution.

To entrench accountability in the country's planning and implementation of Government projects and programmes, Mr. Torome said, President Uhuru Kenyatta this year put in place different development implementation committees from national to county levels. This was meant to foster greater coordination and harmonization in the implementation of national development programmes and projects.

He said the ECA initiative to strengthen the capacity of African national planning institutions and statistics institutions came at the right time when countries are implementing Africa's Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

"Sustainable economic growth and development requires a proper framework for planning based on evidence. This must be accompanied by frequent monitoring and evaluation during implementation and continuous assessment to establish whether the intended purpose of the projects or programmes and the benefits to the citizens are being realized," said Mr. Torome.

"The wide sphere of inclusive and sustainable development can only be achieved if there is synergy between planners, researchers, data analysts and policy makers. We will realize this if the disconnect in institutional framework across countries in terms of insufficient coordination and communication between the institutions in charge of planning, data and policy analysis are well addressed."

For his part, Mr. Julius Chokerah, a Development Coordination Officer representing the United Nations Resident Coordinator, said strengthening capacities of national statistical institutions to collect, compile, produce and use data to monitor and assess the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policymaking in planning purposes was key to gauging progress on Agendas 2030 and 2063.

"Accountable and inclusive institutions should be in place to ensure participatory decision-making and responsive policies that leave no-one behind, whereby citizens have unfettered access to justice and the rule of law without which there can be no sustainable development," he said.

The training seeks to enhance the technical capacity of planning and statistics officers of member States in implementing national strategies for integrating accountability in national planning. It is specifically geared towards meeting capacity gaps unearthed during case studies for each pilot country.

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