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“We must begin to pay closer attention to quality care and build resilient health systems that Kenyans can trust and have confidence, irrespective of the facility they visit,” H.E Margaret Kenyatta

The First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Margaret Kenyatta on 11th April 2019, launched the Lancet Global Health Commission High Quality Health Systems Report in the Sustainable Development Goals Era in Nairobi.

As a member of the Commission, the First lady, commended the progress being made by the government and its partners to ensure that all Kenyans have access to affordable, quality and trustworthy Healthcare services irrespective of the provider and their regions.

H.E Margaret Kenyatta said, the reduction and in some cases total removal of the service charge in public health facilities, the ongoing infrastructural expansion, the government-sponsored National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), the free maternity cover and other interventions are all aimed at protecting Kenyans especially women, children and vulnerable communities.

According to the Lancet report, 52,000 deaths occurred in Kenya in 2016 due to poor quality health systems. Out of these deaths, 32,000 were attributed to lack of access to healthcare while the rest were occasioned by poor quality care. Recommendations from the report are bound to accelerate the gains made by Kenya in achieving health related SDG 2030 targets because they emphasize on quality health services as a “big win” strategy.

“We as a country have taken some steps towards enshrining the principle of patient-centered service in our healthcare systems through the Kenya Quality Models for Health guidelines developed in 2012, alongside the Joint Health Inspection Report both developed by the Ministry of Health,” the First Lady said.

Speaking at the event Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki pointed out that quality of care is the fundamental cornerstone of Kenya health service delivery also entrenched as right in the Constitution for all to enjoy. She acknowledged that quality health care increases the likelihood of desired health outcomes consistent with seven measurable characteristics of health namely effectiveness, safety, people- centeredness, timeliness, equity, integration of care and efficiency. The CS pointed out that to ensure quality is institutionalized, the Ministry is implementing the Kenya Quality Model for Health for continuous quality assessment and improvement of health services and is currently realigning policy and regulation through the implementation of the Health Act 2017.

“Linda Mama initiative, is one of the publicly funded health scheme, that ensures pregnant women and infants have access to quality and affordable health services. This has seen a 35% increase of deliveries in public health facilities,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the County Governments, CEO Council of Governors Jacqueline Mogeni, said that Health system strengthening has been a key focus and Counties have progressively allocated funds to health services targeting at least 30% of County government’s annual budgets.

“In Kenya the Constitution 2010 which spelled out the devolved system of governance paved way for devolution of health services to 47 County governments. Although Counties are at various levels of development we have nationally recorded impressive results in our key indicators. For instance, over the last five years skilled delivery has moved from 53% (2014) to 65% (2018), fully immunized children from --75% (2013) to ---77% (2018)”, she said.

Today, Post devolution many Counties own and manage a robust referral system that has greatly increased efficiency, reduced long time of pain and suffering.

The report commissioned by the Lancet Global Health examined literature analyzed surveys to evaluate the quality of care provided to people in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), including Kenya. It outlines actionable steps Countries need to take in order to revolutionize their health systems to meet Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goal health targets by 2030.

Others who spoke at the high level event included the chair of the Lancet Global Health Commission of High Quality Health System Prof. Margaret Kruk, WHO representative in Kenya Dr Rudi Eggers and the Ag. Director General of Health Dr John Wekesa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, CGH, on 29th March launched the 2nd African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Country Review Report (CRR) for Kenya at State House, Nairobi, making Kenya the first country in Africa to apply the methods used in the African Peer Review Mechanism to strengthen its devolved government system.

The Mechanism, which was pioneered by countries including Kenya, has seen African Nations review each other on governance and economic policies leading to improvements in performance in all participating countries.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who gave the keynote address at the function noted in his remarks that he was pleased with the tremendous progress attained by Kenya through the APRM. The President said that he is happy that Kenya will set the pace in cascading the peer review mechanism to strengthen the efficient delivery of services at the County Government's level. “Kenya will be among the first countries to customize the APRM mechanism to the second tier of governance and I believe this will foster democratic dialogue between leaders and citizens in the delivery of services,” said President Kenyatta.

The President said Kenya will continue subjecting itself to peer reviews and is ready for the third APRM. The milestones mentioned in the second review include the promulgation of the constitution of Kenya in 2010 and the establishment of the devolved system of government (County Governments) which has progressively resolved issues of perceived marginalization. Other milestones include the successful establishment of constitutional commissions and independent offices.

The establishment of various affirmative action funds notably Women Enterprise Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the Uwezo Fund; and the establishment of Huduma Centers, as one-stop shops for public service delivery, were also cited as key the milestones in the report.

The Council of Governors and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will embark on a voter and civic registration exercise to increase citizenry and stakeholder participation in matters governance and voter registration.
Both institutions are legally mandated to conduct civic education, County Government’s on the understanding of the devolved structure of governance and the other the electoral procedure and systems. It is on this understanding that the IEBC Chairperson Mr. Wafula Chebukati called for a framework for engagement to conduct civic education project aimed at providing citizens with the right knowledge and attitude that will enable them actively exercise their civic duty.
The Chairman Council of Governors, H.E. Hon. Wycliffe Oparanya expressed optimism in implementing a joint initiative based on the fact that Counties already implement Public Participation thus incorporating IEBC civic education would pose no challenge. “I support the proposal for an engagement framework to guide how both institutions will implement this engagement,” said Governor Oparanya.
Speaking in the same meeting, the Chairman IEBC Mr. Chebukati noted that both institutions bear a commonality. “It is therefore prudent that we develop modalities for meaningful partnership and collaboration towards educating the public on matters relating to democracy, governance and election through civic education,” he alluded.
The Vice Chairman of the Council of Governors, H.E. Mwangi Wa Iria noted that the electioneering period in Kenya is characterised by violence and divisive politics. He challenged IEBC to stagger election into two and thus conduct the National and County elections separately in the general elections for the year 2022 to avoid the chaos that normally takes place. Equally, the Chairman CoG called upon IEBC to release the voter register at least 6months ahead of the elections to enhance transparency and voter credibility during the elections period.
Other present during the meeting included Mr. Boya Molu, IEBC Commissioner and Mrs. Jaqueline Musyoki, Chief Executive Officer CoG.
The project will be premised on realizing a democratic system that is issue based, people centred, results oriented and accountable to the people of Kenya as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya (2010), the County Governments Act 2012, the IEBC Act 2011, the Intergovernmental Relations Act 2011 and Kenya’s Vision 2030.

The Council of Governors in partnership with other devolution stakeholders for the 6th successive year held the Annual Devolution conference. This year, the conference was held at Kirinyaga University, Kirinyaga County on the 4th and 8th March 2019. The conference brought together over 6,000 delegates to discuss devolution under the theme “Deliver. Transform. Measure. “Remaining Accountable.”
This is the second time, the conference took a sector approach in line with the Big 4 - Health, Food Security, Trade and Manufacturing and Affordable Housing. In addition the Water and Sanitation Sector was included.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chief Guest, The President of the Republic of Kenya HE Uhuru Kenyatta affirmed the importance of hosting the Devolution conference where stakeholders meet and discuss issues around the implementation of devolution. “For so long, Kenyans have been debating devolution, its merits and demerits. From what we have learnt, the time has now come to put this knowledge into acts and deeds that transform the lives of Kenyans,” said the President
The Sixth Annual Devolution Conference provided a platform to share the accomplishments thus far towards achievement of the devolution dream in Kenya, highlight the challenges and forge a way forward. As a forum of information sharing, the Conference provided a platform to share best practices in the day to day efforts in implementation of the devolution agenda as well as highlight and celebrate initiatives and interventions that improve service At the National and County level.
County Governments still experience a myriad of challenges in the daily implementation of the devolved functions among them Finances, Infrastructure, policies, human resources and currently corruption. Both levels of Government support the war on corruption as it hinders development at both levels. The theme of the conference centrally places the war on corruption as both levels of Governments must “remain accountable” in all their projects and initiatives.
The Devolution Conference each year is planned by a multi-agency committee and steered by a committee Co-chaired by the Council of Governors, the Ministry of Devolution and ASALs, the Senate and the County Assemblies Forum. This year, the Steering commit was co-chaired by the Vice-Chair of the Council, Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL, Senator Irungu Kang’ata; and Hon. Eric Mwangi, Secretary-General of the County Assemblies Forum.
In his address during the Conference, Council of Governors Chairman, HE Wycliffe Oparanya hailed the great work, sacrificial commitment and zeal of the members of the steering committee.
The Chairman also addressed the insufficient allocations and delayed disbursements of funds to Counties by the National Treasury which has paralyzed finalization of development projects and hampered service delivery. “In this second phase of devolution, it is imperative that the National Treasury disburses County funds in time to avoid unnecessary interferences with County operations. Moreover, there are functions that remain unfunded yet they have already been transferred to the Counties, for instance, libraries and museums. Our call for more revenue allocations is informed by the fact that a large percentage of services are provided by County Governments.” he reiterated.
The Conference ended with a 24 point communique highlighting the actions by difference institutions to be implemented over the next one year.
Other guests at the event was the Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga who gave a keynote address on the second day of the conference and the Deputy President of Kenya, H.E William Ruto who officially closed the conference.
The conference kicked off with a football tournament titled ‘The Devolution Cup’ with three football matches being held and the Senate emerging the winners of the tournament. The Council of Governors played against the Senate while the County Assemblies Forum challenged the CSs and PSs of the Ministries under the Big Four Agenda. The tournament was organized by the planning committee to build cohesiveness between the two levels of Government.

Click here for the communique.

Saturday, 30 March 2019 07:17

GENDER COMMITTEE HOLDS ANNUAL ELECTIONS

The Council of Governors Committee on Education, Gender, Youth, Sports, Culture and Social Services convened the third quarterly meeting for the sector CECs on 18th March 2018 at the COG offices. Top on the meeting agenda was the election of the Caucus leadership.

Based on the large composition of the committee the forum decided to split the committee into two; Education and Gender, Youth, Sports Culture and Social Services Committees to allow for easier management of the overall committee. Education committee sector elected Prof. Gabriel Katana CEC Kilifi County as the Chair, Ms. Faith W. Mbugua Nyandarua County as Vice Chair and Dr. Joan Mwende, Embu County as the Secretary. The Gender, Youth, Sports, Culture and Social Services Committee elected Dr. Godfrey Makau Makueni County as Chair, Linner Nkirote Meru County as Vice Chair and Duke Mainga Kisii County as Secretary. The elected CECMs will immediately begin their duties as the Committee focal persons on any technical matter regarding the sector.

After the elections, the forum delved into the other agendas of the meeting, which included the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund and the Kuza Kazi Youth Empowerment Project. County Governments are looking to establish modalities of devolving resources for social protection through conditional grants. Additionally, because this is a concurrent function Counties are to give input towards the development of the National Family Promotion and Protection Policy and give a position on the National Family Promotion and protection policy.

The Kuza Kazi Youth Empowerment Project is an initiative for the Youth by Coca Cola in partnership with Counties seeks to address the high rate of unemployment in the county. Through this initiative, the company aims to boost their entrepreneurial skills and equipping them to start tabletop businesses. The youth will then join Coca-cola’s retail network, enhancing their income and savings, expand their business, and build their potential to become future employers.

The initiative has been launched in Kericho and Kisii and is set to be launched IN Nyeri County in April. However the CECs asked the COG secretariat to convene a meeting with Coca-Cola and the other Kuza kazi partners to address the challenges faced in the two Counties where Kuza Kazi was already launched before piloting the project in Nyeri and the other 6 remaining Counties.

The Chairman of the Council of Governors, H.E. Hon FCPA Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya EGH CGJ, Vice-chair H.E. Mwangi Wa Iria and the Chairman of the Legal Affairs, Human Rights, Security and Foreign Affairs Committee H.E. Amason Kingi today paid Chief Justice David Maraga a courtesy call in his office.

The Governors and Chief Justice Maranga agreed to work together, forging a partnership between County Governments and the Judiciary to ensure the construction and completion of High courts in all County Governments. The construction of the new court buildings will enhance the Judiciary’s service delivery to the citizenry. This will be a major step towards achieving the CJ’s vision of taking services closer to the people and ease the burden of citizens who travel long distances to attend court cases in the quest for justice. The two institutions urged the National Treasury to release funds to go towards the construction of courts across the Country.

In the meeting the two institutions declared their support for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which will in effect reduce the backlog of cases being handled by the Judiciary and also ensure speedy resolution of the matters.

The relative speed and efficiency, with which commercial disputes are resolved, as a result of an effective court and alternative dispute resolution system, will enhance Kenya’s reputation as an economic hub and a center for business interests both regional and global. Furthermore, this will have a direct impact on access to justice.

In conclusion, the Chief Justice stated that he was in agreement with County Government on the issue of remittance of fines emanating from County legislation to County Governments provided that the same has been approved by the intergovernmental structures provided for in law. The CJ urged the Council of Governors to take up the matter through the summit so that the judiciary is given an exemption.

The monies collected will be included in the County Own Source Revenue and will be used to enhance development in the Counties.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 15:27

Counties to host water congress meeting

‘Counties are very passionate about water and the issues around the sector ’, H.E Samuel Ole Tunai, Chair Tourism, Water and Natural Resources Management Committee.
The Tourism, Water and Natural Resources Management Committee led by the Committee Chair, H.E Samuel Ole Tunai held a meeting on the 18th March 2019, together with Development Partners supporting the sector to discuss issues of common interest.
Among the key issues that were raised was the Water Sector Congress as recommended in the joint communique of the 6th Annual Devolution Conference. Development partners sought to know how they could support the meeting. The meeting equally discussed the operalization of the Intergovernmental framework of the water sector between the National Government and County Governments and how counties can implement the National Water Policy.
Speaking during the meeting, H.E. Samuel Ole Tunai, the Committee Chair indicated that, “County Governments are very passionate about water and issues around the sector, and they want all the functions to be unbundled so that all stakeholders are clear about their roles.” He further added that, “Counties are working hard towards ensuring that access to water becomes a reality for all Kenyans across all parts of the Country.” Governor Tunai also noted that the Water Sector Congress will take place in mid-May 2019. He encouraged the partners to offer their support, especially to the realization of hosting the meeting so that all players are brought together to forge a way forward in the sector.
Also contributing to the discussions was the Barbara Kazimbaya, the Africa Coordinator Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance who indicated that, “As Development Partners, we are willing to support the process and preparation of the Water Congress, this is because the forum will allow all stakeholders to forge a way forward on how to improve the water sector.”
Arising from these discussions, technical team from the Council of Governors will organize an intergovernmental planning committee that will execute the Water Congress. Further, the team will also develop a concept note with clear objectives that will guide the agenda of the meeting.

For more information about the preparations of the Water Sector Congress, contact the technical team through Brian Muthoka on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friday, 15 February 2019 05:39

COURTESY CALL TO SPEAKER OF THE SENATE

As the conference draws nearer partners are individually making preparations and working together to synchronize all efforts to ensure that they deliver a conference whose standards measure up to international standards. The 6th Annual Devolution Conference Steering committee on 13th February 2019 paid a courtesy call to the speaker of the Senate Rtd. Kenneth Lusaka and subsequently held the Steering meeting at the Senate of Kenya. The meeting which was co-chaired by the Vice- Chairman of the Council of Governors H.E. Mwangi Wa Iria and the Speaker of the Senate Rtd. Kenneth Lusaka sort out to review the progress made by the multi agency planning committee. While addressing the gathering Rtd Hon Lusaka reiterated the Senate’s commitment to the successful execution of the upcoming 6th Annual Devolution Conference. “I welcome you devolution family to Senate and look forward to successfully executing the 6th Devolution Conference as we have done time and time again” said Rtd Hon Lusaka in his opening remarks. “In the spirit of collaboration and coordination we decided to hold this weeks meeting here at the senate so that we can brief the speaker of the journey so far and work together in ensuring that the pending activities are completed in good time,” said H.E Mwangi Wa Iria

The meeting reviewed the proposed program to ascertain that all relevant implementing partners of devolution in the country were part of the program to ensure the inclusivity of the conference.

Office of the president representative Peter Wanjohi, commended the multi-agency planning committee’s efforts in producing an all- inclusive program tackling current issues in devolution. He gave input to the technical team, which was incorporated to the satisfaction and approval of the steering committee. After consultations, the meeting also approved the inclusion of a water and sanitation break out session and a National citizen perception survey on Devolution breakout session to address arising matters relating to water and public participation.

On 6th February 2019, the steering committee embarked on a recce visit to Kirinyaga County to see first hand the progress made in preparation to host the annual event. The committee reported that Kirinyaga County is working tirelessly to ensure that they are adequately prepared to host the expected 6000 delegates including road expansions and street lighting.

Also in attendance were Devolution implementing partners who are; Ministry of Devolution and ASALs (MODA), Government Reception Office (GRO), State functions and the County Assemblies Forum. Laikipia County Senator John Kinyua, Muranga County Senate Irungu Kangata, and nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga were also presented.

The 11th session of the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council held on 29th January 2019 chaired by the Deputy President H.E. William Ruto gave the opportunity to County Governments to advocate for increased budgetary allocation by the National Government. Further, they deliberated on ways to own source revenue generation and the pending bills among other critical issues. The Deputy President while opening the 11th session of IBEC, congratulated the new CoG leadership and called for cordial working relations with National Government to ensure that services are delivered to all Kenyans.

While addressing the meeting, the Chairman Council of Governors, H.E. Wycliffe Oparanya noted that a reduction of County equitable share for the FY 2018/19 by a tune of Kshs. 9.04bn will have serious implications on essential service delivery in the Counties. Further, he noted that monies had already been budgeted and expensed.

In the same meeting, Cabinet Secretary National Treasury Mr. Henry Rotich noted that the Own Source Revenue Policy had been approved by Cabinet. “The policy is now at the Government printers and will be ready for Circulation. While the Bill is in parliament for consideration,” he said. The Council of Governors will give feedback on the bill on some outstanding issues that need clarity.

The long standing matter on privatisation of sugar was part of the agenda, The Deputy President directed the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that once the issue of verification of farmers is complete that the 1.9B owed to farmers be paid. Prof. Nyongo, Governor Kisumu County called upon government to direct factories once bailed out to pay the farmers who have delivered cane rather than meeting other obligations. H.E. William Ruto therefore equally directed farmers to stop delivering cane to factories that are not able to honour their end of the bargain.

The Council of Governors, office of the Controller of Budgets and the Commission on Revenue Allocation will further meet to deliberate upon the revenue forecasting base for the FY 2018/19 and the Revenue sharing formula for the FY 2019/20.

The Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) meeting is chaired by the Deputy President of Kenya, H.E. Dr. William Samoei Ruto. The members include the County governments led by the Chairperson CoG H.E Wycliffe Oparanya, the National treasury represented by CS. Henry Rotich, CS Ministry Devolution and ASAL areas represented b, Controller of budgets Mrs. Agnes Odhiambo, Chair of the Commission on Revenue Allocation Mrs. Jane Kiringai. County Executive Committee members for Finance from the various Counties were also represented in the meeting.

Tuesday, 05 February 2019 11:15

New leadership at the Council of Governors

“As I take up the mantle of the Council, I have prioritized a number of sticking issues that in consultation with my colleagues I will spend time, energy and commitment to realize and actualize the purpose for which the Council was formed,”- H.E Wycliffe Oparanya. The law stipulates that the Council of Governors shall hold its executive elections annually. The on 14th January 2019, Excellency Governors held their first Council meeting for the year, where they also had an opportunity of electing new executive committee members.
H.E. Wycliffe Oparanya, Governor, Kakamega County Governor took over from his Turkana Counterpart, H.E. Josphat Nanok as the fourth Chairman of COG, while Murang’a County Governor H.E. Mwangi Wa Iria succeeded Kirinyaga County Governor H.E. Anne Waiguru as Vice Chairman. Makueni Governor H.E. Prof. Kivutha Kibwana took over from Marsabit Governor H.E. Mohamud Mohamed as the chief whip.
In his maiden speech as the Chair, H.E. Oparanya took time to highlight his priority areas during his tenure. Key in his to do list included strengthening of the Devolution and push for timely disbursement of funds to the Counties, an issue that has been emotive and has strained development in the devolved units. “As I take up the mantle of the Council, I have prioritized a number of sticking issues that in consultation with my colleagues I will spend time, energy and commitment to realize and actualize the purpose for which the Council was formed,” said the Chairman.
“I will make sure that during my tenure as the chairman, to focus on: Strengthening Devolution through collaboration, consultation and cooperation. It may require that we engage the National Government, partners and citizens to realize the objects of Devolution; timely disbursement of funds to the Counties; Strengthening the Council of Governors Secretariat as a delivery vehicle of the objectives and reshaping the Referendum National agenda in the context of Devolution. The Council will purposely endeavor to drive the referendum discussion by engaging stakeholders,” he added.
The immediate former Chairman H.E Josphat Nanok took time to congratulate his successor, H.E Oparanya as he took up the mantle to steer the 47 Governors towards a new damn in the second phase of devolution in Kenya. The emeritus also highlighted the pending issues at the Council urging the incoming Chairman and the elected executive committee to take time and keen interest to steer towards their realization. Key in the issues include the anchoring of the Council of Governors secretariat into law. “Of key importance is ensuring that our secretariat is anchored in law. Being the technical arm of the Council, the secretariat is key in the execution of our mandate,” said H.E Nanok.
During the Council of Governors meeting, the Governors also restructured the technical committees. The Council of Governors since inception worked through 18 technical committees, the Council now has 12 technical committees each chaired by a Governors.
For the full list kindly click here

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