What We Must Do As A Country To Realize Vision 2030


The third Medium-Term Plan (MTP III) of the Kenya Vision 2030 covering the period 2018 – 2022 whose launch is expected in early 2018 will be the 12th cycle of National Development Plan. By the end of MTP III in 2022, the Vision 2030 will have undergone 14 years since inception and will be 8 years shy to its end. Therefore, while the launch of the MTP III will be a major milestone for the Country, widespread concerns abound as to whether the Plan is capable of addressing the myriad economic, social, environmental and political challenges that have traversed the previous national plan cycles.

As MTP III enters the arena, the critical begging question then remains; how can the National and County Governments meet the developmental expectations of Kenyans within a context of rapidly changing environment, population growth and limited resources? There are no straight-jacket answers to this question, but definitely the two levels of Government need to innovatively change their approach to planning and how they conduct business. In the circumstance, it is critical to ensure an efficient and effective continuum in policy, planning, budgeting and execution of Government programmes. The most basic implication is that we must integrate and ensure effective alignment of the planning framework at National; Sectorial; Ministerial and County Government levels if the intrinsic ingredients enshrined in Vision 2030 are to be effectively realized. To this end, I wish to postulate five imperatives to refocus the Country’s strategies and approaches in the MTP III period.

First, is the need to ensure that the MTP III and other lower level plans and strategies are effectively aligned to the Vision 2030 and major global initiatives. Alignment is vital as it ensures that the medium-term plans are able to actualize the goals and objectives of the long term blueprints, be they national, regional or global. Regarding global initiatives, it is important to note that the Vision 2030 incorporated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015. Moving into the MTP III period, the country should align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were launched by the United Nations in 2015 to succeed the MDGs.

Alignment of the MTP III with the Vision 2030 and SDGs is the first level of alignment. Whereas this is important, it’s  my considered opinion that from the MTP III, we need to develop a minimum of twenty nine Sectoral Plans; 7 under the Economic Pillar, 6 in the Social Pillar, 2 in the Political Pillar, 11 under the Enablers, and 3 which are crosscutting covering HIV/AIDs; Disaster and Risk Management and Climate Change. Below the Sectoral Plans, all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies should subsequently develop Strategic Plans aligned to the MTP 111 and the Sectoral Plans. And again at the County level, the County Governments must develop County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) which are aligned to the MTP in conformity to the County Governments Act, 2012. Subsequent to these should be Functional Strategic Plans at the County level well-aligned to the County Integrated Development Plans facilitate effective delivery of  the CIDPs.

These lower level plans are important for they form the bedrock upon which Government projects and day to day operations are anchored. Business people, economists and those interested in economic development know about and are likely to interact occasionally with the MTPs. However, very few Kenyans are aware of the Sectoral Plans, and even fewer numbers ever interact with Ministerial Strategic Plans and the County CIDPs. The lacuna in information and low participation in the preparation and execution of these important policy documents is a gap that urgently needs intervention. For example, it should be the interest of all Kenyans to understand in greater details what Government plans to implement in critical sectors such as water, oil and other mineral resources, energy, education, security and peace in the MTP III period.

The second imperative we must address as a Country is how to finance the plans. Budget-making through the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) is well-anchored in the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act, 2012. The National and County Governments participate in the process including the vetting and approvals which are done by the National Parliament and the County Assemblies respectively. The process aside, the Country continues to grapple with unmet revenue targets by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and own revenue sources by County Governments, ever-increasing debt-burden and widespread corruption. These perennial challenges must be urgently addressed by both levels of Government so to realize adequate resources for implementing the MTP and the CIDPs. It is my conviction that we have adequate legal and institutional frameworks to address financial hemorrhage and corruption. We must have Fiscal discipline at both National and County Government Levels if we are to deliver the MTP III and the second cycle of CIDPs.

The third imperative is the need to improve the Country’s performance management framework. For a long time, the public service operated without a performance management framework till the same was introduced in 2003, anchored mainly on Results-Based Management and Performance Contracting. It was admirable when Kenya won a United Nations award in the year 2006 due to noted improvement in public service delivery as a result of Performance Contracting. Unfortunately, the vigour with which performance contracting was launched and implemented has since waned off. If Government is serious with delivery of public goods and services, it must strengthen and institutionalize a comprehensive and sustainable performance management framework at all levels, with the starting point being the rejuvenation of performance contracting. At County level, performance contracting has largely been ignored, with only a few Counties (in the 2013-2017 County Governments) implementing it albeit in a lukewarm manner. My well- considered opinion is that it behooves us Kenyans to push the County Assemblies to enact Legislation that entrenches performance management in the Counties – as the value for this cannot be gainsaid.

The forth critical success factor in my view is the need for reforms in the public service. We need to build on the recent reforms in the public sector that include the afforestated performance management framework and reforms in the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector(GJLOs) institutions which for instance saw noticeable improvement in the prisons, police and judiciary. Unfortunately, just like with the Performance management, the reforms have widely waned off. Again to facilitate the desired reforms, the Country urgently needs deliberate initiatives to inform sustainable change in the culture and attitudes of public servants. Let us urgently undertake a National Culture Audit to inform interventions that will close the Culture and Attitudinal Gap to support realization of Vision 2030.

Fifth, we must improve the monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework. The weak monitoring and evaluation could be a deliberate action by public servants to evade accountability. Today, there is scanty information about how government projects are implemented – and in most cases it is almost impossible to know the actual cost of the projects. Kenyan citizens must be kept aware of what Government is doing with the tax-payers money and the monies being borrowed. Furthermore, and very central, the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 requires Government to make available to the public information related to its programmes. Going into the MTP III, therefore, the Government should make good the Constitutional obligation of providing such information to facilitate Accountability that informs efficient utilization of the Country’s resources.

In conclusion, I want to pose a challenge: – What Prospects lie ahead for Kenyans in the period of the Third-Medium Term Plan of the Vision 2030? Will we achieve better results during the MTP III period? Will there be remarkable flagship milestones like the realization of universal primary education under MTP I, improved infrastructure or increased generation of power under both MTP I and MTP II? In sum, will we realize the envisaged 10% Economic Growth rate every year to increase the Per Capita income levels? Will there be enhanced Disposable Income for the Kenyan people to enhance the Marginal Propensity to Save and create wealth that informs Net-Economic Welfare? Only time will tell, but Kenyans are watching.

The Writer is a Management Consultant.

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