The Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP) and the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) have collaborated to promote evidence generation to enhance social protection policy, legislation and practice. This collaboration is through the “Utafiti Sera” house Community of Practice on Social Protection. The “Utafiti Sera” house brings together various practitioners of social protection, including researchers, policy makers, government officers and civil society organizations, to strengthen the linkages between evidence generation and practice. The “House” works together to generate evidence for appropriate policy actions and uptake through legislation, policies, or programmes. Since the first phase in 2017, different forums have been convened in various thematic areas including: Legislation on social protection; Universalism as a way of reducing targeting errors; Exit/graduation mechanisms; Financing mechanisms; Effective coordination of social protection as well as the Status of Social protection programmes in Kenya.
In order to strengthen the delivery of social assistance programmes in Kenya through the law, national social assistance programmes have been made in Kenya. The Government has placed particular attention on cash transfers and other social assistance programmes through the establishment of the National Safety Net Programme (NSNP) in 2013. The NSNP “aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of safety net support to poor and vulnerable populations in Kenya by bringing a number of cash transfer programs under one common framework. Currently the government in collaboration with partners implements 4 cash transfer programmes; the Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC), Older Persons Cash Transfer Programmes (OPCT), and Persons with Severe Disabilities Cash Transfer (PWSD-CT) in the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Hunger Safety Net Programme in the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) in the Ministry of Planning and Devolution. More recently the government has launched a universal pension for older persons of 70 years and above. Under the banner of ‘Inua Jamii’, the programme targets individuals who are of seventy years and above and not on a government pension. The government is commitment to social assistance but there exists gaps in the Social Assistance laws.
One of the key activities for 2018 for Utafiti Sera is to generate evidence on the various laws, Bills and Policies that relate to social assistance. The forum provides an opportunity for dissemination of the findings on the Synthesis paper on “Social Assistance in Kenya: A Legal and Policy Review”, for input by the Community of Practice. The report provides an overview of the role of the law in protecting the beneficiaries of social assistance programmes, through the analysis the human rights discourse and how it applies to social protection. The report also provides an analysis of the Social Assistance Bill 2018, and provides recommendations for action. Further, the report provides a basis for advocacy for the entrenchment of social assistance programmes in law.
The national forum bringing together key stakeholders will be held in Lukenya’ Resort from 27th -29th November 2018 to discuss three key pertinent issues with regard to the Synthesis paper on “Social Assistance in Kenya: A Legal and Policy Review”, for input by the Community of Practice which are:
- To disseminate the findings of the Synthesis paper on the legal Review of Social Assistance.
- To review the various processes and opportunities for engagement in the development of a Social assistance law in Kenya.
- To develop an advocacy plan for legal and policy strengthening in social assistance.