By Luke Kapchanga, Director, Emonyo Yefwe International, @mobile3xx2
After becoming a member of the Together 2030, I thought it a beneficial space in terms of understanding the advocacy work at the global level.
Towards that goal, I joined the Global Advocacy Working Group, which enabled me to participate in and contribute to the deliverables of the following position papers:
- “From Ambition to Implementation: Ensuring that no one is left behind”
- “Essential Elements for an ambitious, inclusive and participatory follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda.”
- “Together 2030 Reaction to Zero Draft Resolution on Follow up and Review of the 2030 Agenda at the global level.”
On May 6th, 2016, I wrote to the cabinet secretary, HON. Mwangi Kiunjuri, from the ministry of Devolution and Planning of Kenya, regarding the progress being made on Kenya’s implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the letter, which I wrote on behalf of my Organization, Emonyo Yefwe International, I raised concerns on our wish to understand the national-level implementation process which was well under way.
I wanted to know if the national government was respecting the crucial principle of participation in order to make the people and planet focus on the Post-2015 agenda a reality on the ground. I was also interested in evaluating whether the “leave no-one behind” principle was being put into practice.
Thus, the issues raised in my communication included the following inquiries:
- What is currently being done to mainstream the post-2030 development Agenda into national development plans.
- The most significant challenges and opportunities in developing and implementing integrated solutions across institutions, social, economic and environmental dimensions.
- The approaches and tools being adopted for integration of Sustainable Development into planning and policy making.
- The level of involvement of people in creating, monitoring and implementing policies and supporting the development of accountability instruments.
An important note to make is that no response was ever received from the cabinet secretary with regards to the contents of this letter.
To put this into context, Kenya shifted from the centralized system of governance by adopting the constitution of Kenya in 2010, effectively establishing a two-tier devolved system of governance which comprises the national government and 47 county governments. Both levels of governments are distinct but interdependent, and work on a mutual ground on the basis of consultation and cooperation. The establishment of decentralized governance was motivated by the goal of enhancing the delivery of public services through better transparency and accountability.
In April 2016, we responded to the draft medium term expenditure framework report and fiscal strategy paper. In this communication, we questioned the achievements made thus far with regards to the next 3 years (2016-2017 and 2018-2019), due to the Sustainable Development Goals not being factored into the report’s proposed plan. In fact, the document’s budget component clearly lacked line items pertaining to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our communication with regards to this report also highlighted the issue of climate change, due to its effects being so critical to our own survival. It is our belief that it is urgent to put climate change into perspective during this process.
I reminded the county government of the contents of The Preamble to the 2030 Agenda, which says it is a “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity” (Para 2):
“We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.”
Our communication also included proposals on the allocation of national budget funding for the following:
- Integrating climate change into county plans – shs.100M,
- Mainstreaming in all sectors with – shs. 50M,
- Stakeholder engagement and Coordination among decision makers – shs. 50M,
- Mitigation and Adaptation AND Awareness creation – shs. 200M
My organization also wrote to the Governor of Bungoma county to put in place an SDG implementation committee in order to increase the country’s capability to achieve the goals set forth by the UN 2030 Agenda.
This committee was to be tasked with building public awareness and engaging national, sub-national and local stakeholders in The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs as a critical initial and ongoing step in successful implementation. Following this communication, we had several face-to-face meetings with the Governor, who later referred us to one of his senior officials to coordinate the process. However, the efforts where fruitless. After roughly three months of efforts to coordinate a meeting, the official could not be reached, and the Governor became elusive.
We were under the impression that a clear understanding had been reached that aligning national and sub-national plans and policy-making processes with the 2030 Agenda and SDGs and building ownership for it among people, including marginalized groups, would provide the foundation for the real and lasting delivery of the agenda in Kenya.
On August 15th, 2016, we wrote a letter to the speaker and clerk of Bungoma County Assembly appealing for a partnership on capacity building and with the hopes of developing a working system for Members of the Assembly and senior county Assembly staff. In this communication, we reminded them that specific institutional and political conditions and strong accountable structures involving multi-stakeholder partnerships are crucial to successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. However, no response has been received, and our efforts were in vain.
As much as we were promised to have a strong working framework put in place, this had remained a promise.