News Detail

Phoebe Jeruto October 20, 2020

Nandi County joins the Elite group of Open Government Partnership (OGP) 2021.

Nandi County joins the Elite group of Open Government Partnership (OGP) 2021.

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The news first announced by H.E Stephen Sang on his twitter and Facebook accounts, “I am elated to announce that the County Government of Nandi has been selected into the elite group of global local regions to implement OGP commitments in 2021. The County was selected based on value proposition, jurisdiction’s track record in open government reforms, citizen engagement, public participation, transformative technologies and engagement with local civil society. The Open Government Partnership, with a membership of over 70 countries, is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from national and subnational governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.”

According to the local focal point person of contact, Mr. Jonathan Misoi, the Chief officer ICT & e-Government, predicts that the journey will bring good tidings to the County. “I am very elated with this news. Having championed and led the process of Expression of Interest (EOI), I must say that joining OGP has been the vision of His Excellency the Governor. He mandated me in 2019 to look into OGP activities and to ensure we push new technologies that will help the county meet the parameters to join OGP. I look forward to championing the 5 commitments we submitted and ensure policies are done and implemented in 2021”.

The County is partnering with National Taxpayers Association (NTA). NTA has been our partner in programmes geared towards OGP through an MOU signed in April 2019. In this article, we showcase a few areas of local policy co-creation, not only with NTA, but with other stakeholders too. But specifically, Nandi County was invited by National OGP Kenya to participate in NAP III workshop in Mombasa Kenya.

 

Social Audit: Citizen Report cards and Scorecard

Nandi County created an environment for non-state actors to assess performance of government in project implementation and to provide recommendation for strengthening transparency and accountability.  National Taxpayers Association (NTA) through partnerships with Ford Foundation and Council of Governors (COG), initiated Social Audit of Projects in Nandi County in 2018. In the final report by NTA, they noted that “The driving force behind social auditing is the obligation of duty bearers to take responsibility for their use of public resources. It is a rights based and participatory approach to accountability, which recognises that all citizens have the right to demand accountability from public officials, and public officials have a corresponding obligation to account to citizens.” Whereas the Partnership has set the base for the County to adopt more initiatives that relate to the objectives of Open Governance, we see more opportunities to institutionalize citizen-led oversight. Their recommendations from the report saw the County Government take measures to initiate more programmes aligned to Open Government.

 

Social auditors: These were twenty five (25) youth, women and persons living with disabilities community representatives who were trained by NTA and led in auditing of the forty-eight county development projects. Prior to this, they selected the projects to be audited and were involved in community mobilization, and will participate in the county based validation of this final report.

Check the report here and its findings 

https://nandicounty.go.ke/news/embracing-social-accountability-for-effective-service-delivery-in-nandi/

From the recommendation by Ford Foundation in their report, the three projects of Call Centre, CIMES platform and public Participation bill were implemented to ensure we meet the peoples desires of participating more in the selection, implementation and review of County Projects.

 

County Commits to ensure:

  • Development and adoption of Policies on Social Audit
  • Development and adoption of Procedures and Guidelines on Social Audit
  • Staff Training on Social Audit
  • Jointly with NTA develop and co-create Quarterly and Yearly Citizen Reportcard and Scorecards as a way to enforce accountability to the County Government

 

Strengthening procurement processes

The County Government through the department of Finance and Economic planning have been engaged in processes towards strengthening procurement processes at the County. They recently joined a programme on Procurement Systems Resilience Assessment Framework by Open Governance Institute (OGI) who on behalf of Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), are implementing an open contracting project. The project aims to assess the resilience of Kenya’s procurement systems to adapt and maintain good practices of procurement. Through this assessment, we look forward to strong recommendations on how the County should strengthen its procurement processes and start implementing Open Contracting. Prior to this, Finance Department have fully embraced e-procurement including automating the process of pre-qualifying suppliers online to reduce on paperwork

https://procurement.nandicounty.go.ke/login.php

 

County Commits to ensure:

  • Full roll out e-procurement through IFMIS. Already the roll out began in 2019.
  • Development and adoption of internal Policies on e-procurement
  • Development and adoption of Procedures and Guidelines for Open Contracting by customizing the OCDS standards
  • Staff Training on Open Contracting, Open Procurement and e-Procurement
  • Publish procurement and contracting information on the County CIMES platform https://projects.nandicounty.go.ke

 

Monitoring and Evaluation of County Projects:

Already, the County, again through the Department of Finance and Economic Planning in an effort to enhance Budgeting making process, Projects Management and Open Contracting process, are currently implementing CIMES platform www.projects.nandicounty.go.ke. This platform integrates all facets of operations, including budgeting, planning (CIDP, ADP, MTEFA), Communication Management, schedule management, Public Participation, project management, Monitoring and Evaluation. This is one big attempt to have a stronger link with the public to participate online. It is through this platform that Open Contracting data, data on development and data on projects will be published. At present, data for FY 2017/2018, FY 2018/2019, FY 2019/2020 and FY 2020/2021 just got populated on the system and any time it will be made public for the citizens to access and get a chance to comment.

 

County Commits to ensure:

  • Full roll out CIMES guidelines as published by COG
  • Development and adoption of internal Policies on Project implementation, Budget making process and Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Development and adoption of Procedures and Guidelines for CIMES
  • Staff Training on CIMES
  • Publish Projects information on the County CIMES platform  www.projects.nandicounty.go.ke
  • Adoption of a new model of project conception and identification right from the village level by promoting new models of public participation.

 

 

Entrenching Performance Management Framework to Support OGP

One key internal mechanism to ensure effective and efficient public service delivery is the process of strengthening performance management framework to be used by County employees. The County Government through the Department of Administration, Public service and e-Government in 2019 started this process in partnership with AHADI, a USAID programme that was established to help Devolved Units in Kenya. Already, top management employees have signed performance Contracts with the Governor to ensure that they meet their targets at the end of the financial year. While all employees will be subjected to performance appraisals. The framework for Counties can be found here.

https://cog.go.ke/phocadownload/reports/Performance%20Management%20Framework%202017.pdf

 

County Commits to ensure:

  • Roll out staff appraisals and reporting and ensure that OGP principles are introduced into these Performance Contracts and appraisals as a mechanism to ensure accountability by the County Government on all the areas we are committing in this EOI.
  • Development and adoption internal Policies on e-procurement
  • Development and adoption of Procedures and Guidelines for Performance management and appraisals
  • Completion of the establishment of Performance Contracting Unit
  • Staff Training on performance contracting and staff appraisals
  • Development of a performance and appraisals module in the CIMES platform www.projects.nandicounty.go.ke to link it to  projects.

 

 

Promoting Citizen engagement and Service delivery through the Call Centre Project

One key recommendation that came out from NTA proposal was to establish ways of enhancing Citizen engagement especially in projects and services. When this report was being released, already the County Government of Nandi and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), through an MOU, were already rolling out a Call and Data Centre project. Nandi County became the first County in Kenya to launch a Toll-Free Call Centre to offer services to the people. The Call centre no is 1548 and has so far handled over 10,000 Calls since its launch in September 2019. This approach has opened up government to the people and made services available and closer. The Call centre analyses calls, and reports are generated and submitted to departments. Apart from handling requests, it has become a channel where the public give their views to their government. During the Covid-19 period, the call Centre has become the tool to manage people’s fears and expectation. So far 5 Counties already benchmarked on the Call Centre and has led to Nandi County’s Call Centre project being listed as a best practise by Maarifa Centre at COG for other Counties to learn from. It has been dubbed as a good tool for Open Government. The following links have more details and write ups on the Nandi County Call Centre:

 

County Commits to ensure:

  • Full roll out all features of the call centre including automated calls, training contents on Civic and Voter Education.
  • Development and adoption internal Policies on Citizen engagement
  • Development and adoption Procedures and Guidelines for Citizen engagement through the call centre
  • Staff Training on service provision through the Call centre
  • Cascading of reports and insights from the call centre to departments.
  • Roll out more services through the Call centre to open up more government to the people.

 

 

Pursuing Geo-Spatial Open data through GIS Lab funded by FAO/EU:

Three Counties Baringo, Vihiga and Nandi were funded in 2019 to establish GIS labs. The main aim for this GIS lab is to process and make available Geospatial Data both for government use and access by the people, but will most importantly facilitate Nandi County to:

  • Support spatial and land use mapping;
  • Inform county government development planning;
  • Improve documentation of community land rights for recognition, protection and registration of communal tenure rights; d) estimate crop yield mapping and health assessment;
  • Facilitate surveillance and predictive mapping of diseases for early warning and early action;
  • Map landscapes in terms of natural resource use, management and degradation (including forests, soils, water and irrigation and wildlife);
  • Assess suitability of selected value chains to inform revenue collection and county investment in agriculture; and
  • Facilitate agricultural census and and adoption of precision agriculture practices using satellite data.

 

Already, the County is in the process of developing its Spatial Plan and the lab is already Mapping County resources that will be made available online.  The following resources give more details on our project on GIS as we push the agenda of opening up geo-spatial data:

o          http://www.fao.org/kenya/news/detail-events/en/c/1206305/

o          https://nandicounty.go.ke/news/food-and-agriculture-organization-to-deepen-cooperation-with-nandi-county/

o          https://nandicounty.go.ke/news/geographic-information-system-launched-in-nandi/

Enhancing Healthcare Services

The County government largest budget goes to the department of Health. There has been good progress to improve the physical infrastructure. However, the most important advancement is in the policies being adopted in the sector and especially on preventive and promotive health. Public health is a key issue and already the County has drafted a policy on how to collect health data right from the grassroots. In the recent months, more Community Health Workers have been recruited. Through policies and the use of Nandi Afya Care and AfyaRekod for Covid-19 response-Partnership with AfyaRekod and Telkom, Nandi County is making strides in enhancing HealthCare services especially during this pandemic. The HMIS is able to produce lots of data that are shared even to the National Government DHIS. These data also are used for planning purposes at the County level. The efforts of the County have been noted by the Council of Governors and this is how its quoted in their website, “The County Government of Nandi has become a focal point on matters development and learning model on devolution for other counties. Nandi Governor Stephen Sang earlier in the week received delegations from Makueni, Kitui and Bomet Counties who are on a benchmarking tour. The delegation visited Kapsabet County Referral Hospital where they paid a courtesy call to the Medical Superintendant Dr. Daniel Kemboi who welcomed them to the facility. Among the areas of interest being the Health Management Information System (HMIS).” https://maarifa.cog.go.ke/139/learning-inter-county-exchange-program-for-women-youth-in-nandi-county/

County Commits to ensure:

  • Development and adoption of Procedures and Guidelines for publishing Open Health data
  • Publishing more data on government DHIS and Open data Portal.
  • Completion of the establishment the roll out of HMIS in all County health facilities.
  • Staff Training on importance of Open Health Data
  • Continuation of publishing of Open Health data in the www.projects.nandicounty.go.ke

Public Participation

Arising from the need to deepen public participation, the County Government through the department of Administration, Public Service and e-Government, went on a benchmarking mission to Makueni, to study and get best practices in carrying out public participation. This has led to the drafting of the Public Participation Bill that is currently awaiting debate at the assembly. Also, the head of public participation has been appointed and structures are underway to ensure this unit is created. This is the reason why Nandi County intents to join OGP to gain more insights and access to resources and expertise to be able to strengthen it and have a robust public participation models even from other jurisdictions. See out bill here 

County Commits to ensure:.

  • The County Assembly finalizes the debate and passing of the Nandi County Public Participation Bill
  • Development and adoption of policies on public participation
  • Creation, equipping and staffing of a public participation Unit
  • Development and adoption of Procedures and Guidelines public participation
  • Sensitization of residents on how to carry out public participation online www.projects.nandicounty.go.ke

 

 

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