Kenya: 48 Governments 1 Country for Sustainable Development Goals. by Team Kenya SDGs Forum
Kenya has 47 County Governments each with a Governor and 1 National Government. The 48 Governments must act together to attain the SDGs.
Kenya constitution 2010 created 47 County Governments each with a Governor and 1 National Government with a President. The 48 Governments are independent and complementary. Each enacts its own laws to govern its operations. The national government has a Parliament with Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senate with Senators while the Counties have County Assemblies.
While the national government has a clear SDGs roadmap and the necessary Climate Change policies, the county governments have not mainstreamed them. The relationship with the 47 County Governments remain frosty and not good for grassroots support to the national policies on Climate change. If the SDGs mantra of leave none behind is to apply in Kenya, then a unified approach to the SDGs need setting up.
Just like the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are inter-linked, it is imperative that the 47 County Governments are interlinked to the National Government to have a unified implementation and monitoring framework if the SDGs have to be attained.
Beyond the national SDGs roadmap, the country in 2010 adopted the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS), National Climate Change Strategic Plan (2013-2017), National Climate Change Action Plan and the National Climate Change Act 2016. A new National Climate Change Strategic Plan (2017-2022) is being done and a Working Group on Climate Change is developing Climate Change for the 2017-2022 Medium Term Plan 3. However while all this has happened at the national level, inclusion at the county level remains dismal calling for this anticipated forum.
The proposal aims at bringing the 48 Governments together to draw a common implementation and monitoring strategy. An Agenda 2030 Steering Committee of 48 will be formed to champion the unified actions to CC which transcends their boundaries. The committee will also ensure continuity in the implementation and monitoring climate change actions considering that the governors and the president change every five years.
Category of the action
Building efficiency: Physical Action
What actions do you propose?
The first action will be formation of the Team Kenya for SDGs, an Agenda 2030 Forum composed of 47 Governors and the President to offer policy guidance and direction nationally and at the county level. This will help in country coordination.
The Forum will be backed up by a technical committee to collate and disseminate information on Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures suitable to the whole and the lower levels at county level. This will ensure that the national policies are integrated at the county level.
The Agenda 2030 Technical Committee shall be exposed to technical support and assistance from a think tank of experts drawn from the universities, research organisations and the civil society. The committee shall be the one responsible for implementation of the Agenda 2030 on climate change.
An Agenda 2030 Communication strategy will be drawn and implemented nationally and at the County level.
An common monitoring, evaluation and reporting strategy shall be adopted and implemented.
Who will take these actions?
The President and the 47 Governors form the apex forum supported by the Team Kenya SDGs Technical Committee. It is important that the president has released a cabinet memo and various climate policy documents including an act of parliament are in place. However lacking yet very important is to ensure working together, the proposed forum is important to confer independence and allow for expert participation.
The top organ will guide policy with technical support of the Technical committee which is expected to guide implementation and interphase with experts from all other fields. This technical committee representing each county government level will be expected to form another committee at the county level while acting as the national liaison person.
Where will these actions be taken?
The actions will be taken nationally and the county level. The Team Kenya Forum will be presidential spearheaded by the top government heads for purposes of goodwill.
Below will be the Technical committee also national in nature representing each county government and interfacing with the national government while offering linkage to expert support systems and think tanks.
County Committees will be in charge of grassroots actions.
Communications and outreach will be both national and county based.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
Kenya GHG emission contribution remains low but actions ned to be taken to mitigate the big projects planned in the Kenyas development blue print, the Vision 2030. An engagement with the Climate Change act 2016 and the new climate change strategic plan in addition to connecting with the SDGs will be done.
What are other key benefits?
Most important will be having a forum that cascades the national policy to the grassroots and spearheads communication and outreach strategy and ensuring public participation and buy in.
What are the proposal’s costs?
The cost of formation of these committees and subsequent budgets is estimated at USD 500,000 annually. Fortunately after formation the national government and the county governments will be encouraged to facilitate their members in the committee. The committee will also be able to draw up action plan and fund-raise.
The Committees will be active for the period of the electoral cycle which is 5 years up 2030. With Changes every five year, these may have to be reconstituted.
Kenya Climate Change Response Strategy 2010, Kenya Strategic Plan 2013-2017, and also 2017-2022, Kenya Climate Change Action Plan and the Climate Change Act 2016 and the SDGs amongst others.