Kenya has made significant progress in building a nationally-owned social protection system, expanding coverage of regular and predictable social transfer schemes through tax-financing.
The Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, the Persons with Severe Disabilities Cash Transfer and the Hunger Safety Net Programme were joined by the Inua Jamii Senior Citizens’ Pension, a universal pension transfer for all older persons over 70 in 2018. At this stage, the Government was investing at least 1.3% of GDP.
From 2016-2018, Development Pathways worked closely with UNICEF and the World Food Programme, alongside the Government of Kenya’s Social Protection Secretariat to provide a review of the Social Protection Sector, an Investment Plan for Social Protection towards Vision 2030, and a comprehensive Social Protection Strategy. This work ultimately sought to reduce economic and social vulnerability in Kenya over the medium-term. Development Pathways provided the Government with technical support through extensive analysis of existing programmes and challenges faced in Kenya; comprehensive projections of potential investments in social protection; and providing compelling evidence to support policymakers to continue investing in social protection.
Since 2019, our team has undertaken further work with UNICEF to support the Government with finalising the Social Protection Strategy and developing visually compelling summary reports of the Sector Review and Investment Plan in order to communicate clear messages to policymakers. In mid-2019 Stephen Kidd and Anh Tran led a week-long workshop in Naivasha with members of the Government of Kenya, national Social Protection taskforce and UNICEF Kenya to facilitate a collective process to finalise these key policy documents which set out costed plans and activities for building an inclusive Social Protection Sector in Kenya, aligned with the 2019 National Social Protection Policy.
Through this work, Development Pathways has supported the Government of Kenya to continue working towards a comprehensive and inclusive lifecycle social protection system, with the Inua Jamii Senior Citizens’ Pension a significant milestone. The Investment Plan and Strategy will set the direction for the national social protection sector in Kenya over the 2020s.