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Creation of Community of Practice for social protection welcome

By Cecilia Kimuyu
Friday, October 30th, 2020
Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.
In summary

The Government’s recent launch of a new multi-sectoral policy think-thank to advise on the government’s Sh26 billion-a-year social protection programme in the country is undeniably commendable step.

The formation of the Community of Practice for Social Protection (CoP), announced by Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, will undoubtedly advise on the most suitable ways of enhancing the management of the noble project of cash transfers in the country.

For long, the country has been in search of a forum through which practitioners, implementers and stakeholders will share knowledge and best social protection practices to spur the advancement of the sector in Kenya.

The upshot has been a dire lack of a knowledge management platform that brings together social protection stakeholders, policymakers, legislators and well-wishers to examine opportunities of partnership and overall knowledge sharing in the sector and improve coordination. 

But the launch of the forum is bold indication yet of the government’s commitment to the drive of social protection that has enhanced the fight against poverty and vulnerability amongst its citizens. It also helps to promote equity and social inclusion in the country.

We only hope Chelugui’s promise that the government will keep embracing social protection as a tool for poverty reduction and economic growth amongst the most vulnerable and poor population is upheld. 

The government, he said, was so far impressed with the outcomes of social protection in cushioning the poor and vulnerable through government-led interventions in social assistance, social security and health insurance. 

For it is the Constitution’s requirement that the government needs to put in place interventions that are key in promoting equity and social inclusion.

Since its introduction, the social protection programmes have brought about good gains, including income security for households, dignity, broadening of financial inclusion to the most vulnerable, improved child development, economic stimulus and opportunities for business.

Currently, the government runs Cash Transfer to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC), Older Persons Cash Transfer Programme (OPCT), Cash Transfer to Persons with Severe Disabilities (PWSD-CT) and the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) which is managed by the State Department of Devolution. 

We hope the total number of 1.1 million Kenyans enrolled in the cash transfer programmes, with each of them receiving Sh2,000 per month, can be raised since more Kenyans are sinking into poverty, especially during the Covid-19 era.

The establishment of the CoP, for social protection is therefore  critical to building linkages and synergies across programmes and sectors for knowledge sharing platforms by bringing together skills and specialities in the social protection sector. 

The goal of establishing the forum is to provide a forum for sharing knowledge, exchange of information, mentorship and sharing of best practices in social protection.

The think-thank will draw membership from relevant government agencies, civil society and development partners.

It seeks to include all stakeholders to participate in the social protection agenda which includes the government department, donor agencies, local and international non-governmental organisations, private sector and academia.

Ms Kimuyu is a development communications specialist

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