Securing family planning investments in Kenya through public policy advocacy

Collins Baswony Advance

Working with county governments in Kenya to develop Family Planning Costed Implementation Plans to secure domestic family planning funding
Nandi County’s Deputy Governor Dr. Yulita Cheruiyot (left) and DSW’s Angela Baehr at the launch of Nandi County’s family planning costed implementation plan (2018-2022) on World Population Day 2018 (11th July 2018) PHOTO – DSW

In 2013, Kenya overhauled the country’s governance system, shifting from a centralized system of governance to a devolved one.

One of the functions that was devolved to the new 47 county governments was health services, including family planning. The newly formed county governments became responsible for planning and executing family planning programmes.

In 2016, DSW conducted a budget study in eight counties to examine the extent of family planning investments those eight counties.

Our study revealed that because the county governments did not have a policy basis for making family planning investments, most of them did not have a family planning budget line. And because they did not have a family planning budget line, citizens from those counties were not guaranteed quality family planning services.

Family planning costed implementation plans 

To support them to overcome this challenge, we embarked on a journey with 11 county governments, alongside other partners, in supporting the development of county family planning costed implementation plans.

Since then, nine DSW partner counties (Nakuru, Kilifi, Mombasa, Nandi, Bungoma, Meru, West Pokot, Laikipia and Trans Nzoia ) have developed and launched their family planning costed implementation plans. Nyandarua and Uasin Gishu counties are at different stages of finalising their plans.

Acknowledging the support of DSW in developing the Nandi County family planning costed implementation plan 2017 – 2022 during the launch event held in Kapsabet town on 11th July 2018, Nandi Deputy Governor Dr. Yulita Cheruiyot said that the costed plan will help the county reach its target of increasing access to modern contraceptives to 68% by the year 2022.

“Modern contraceptive use in Nandi County is currently at 58% (Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2017). Reaching the county’s target will not only contribute to averting maternal deaths, but spur development,” Dr. Cheruiyot said.

Speaking at the launch of the Meru County Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan in a separate event on World Contraception Day 2018, DSW Kenya Country Director Ms. Evelyn Samba explained that the costed implementation plans are a potential boost for domestic investment for family planning.

“County family planning costed implementation plans are also effective policy documents, providing county governments with the basis for making investments through the budget making process,” Ms. Samba said.

DSW will continue working with the 11 partner county governments for a further three years, starting January 2019, supporting them to secure the domestic funding envisioned in their family planning costed implementation plans to meet their family planning needs.

Kenya’s FP2020 commitments

During the Family Planning Summit in London in 2017, Kenya updated her FP2020 commitments, including committing that all 47 counties in Kenya will have costed implementation plans by 2020 and include specific goals and strategies for adolescents. DSW’s partnership with the 11 county governments will bring Kenya closer to meeting this commitment.