A top delegation of UN officials is in Turkana County to review the progress of a devolution programme.
The team led by UNDP Resident Coordinator, Walid Badawi, is in the County to review progress of initiatives under the Consolidating Gains Deepening Devolution in Kenya project, also referred to as the Joint Devolution Programme (JDP).
They were hosted by the County Secretary (CS), Peter Eripete, on Thursday at the County Headquarters.
The programme is a project by UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF in 14 counties, which seeks to strengthen policy and legal frameworks for devolved governance and enhance service delivery in different sectors.
Badawi said the review will provide UN organizations and partners an opportunity to assess ‘key initiatives implemented; outcomes delivered in the County with the support of JDP.
The review will also identify priority areas for the extended programme from 2022-2025.
The organizations included UNDP, UNICEF and UN Women and partners, Embassies of Finland, Sweden, the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), as well as the National Government.
“The objective of the Joint Review Mission is to review with partners the progress we have made through JDP, hear from the County Government and beneficiaries what was done well and what was not done well. Also we need to discuss possibilities for future collaboration,” Badawi said.
He informed the CS that the UN was in the process of finalizing on a Cooperation Framework with the Kenya Government, to be signed in June, and promised that the agreement will prioritize support to counties in the ASALs.
Eripete commended the partnership with UN agencies under the UN Delivering as One Programme, with seamless coordination of joint projects, which have become a unique model for partner cooperation.
He highlighted partnerships implemented that include the KISEDP support for integration of refugees and host community, FAO support on land registration, partnership on health service delivery with UNICEF among others.
The CS attributed the development progress made across Turkana to the successful collaboration with partner organizations, adding that increased resilience of residents to natural disasters such as drought, was due to investment in different sectors of the society bearing fruit.
He said the county’s readiness to support partner investment despite different modes of support had led to an increase in organizations working in Turkana, adding that the flexibility had turned Turkana into a leading County on partner coordination.
On the Joint Devolution Programme, the CS acknowledged that the initiative had supported strengthening of the county’s planning, budget implementation, monitoring and evaluation and accountability in service delivery as well as train MCAs on budgetary systems.
He promised that the coordination structures developed with partners will be maintained through the third generation CIDP with partner input included in its development.
In the delegation was Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland, Otto Stenius, UN Women Deputy Country Director, Rukaya Mohammed, Programme Officer at the Swedish Embassy, Josephine Mwangi and Programme Officer at Embassy of Norway, Shamza Birik, UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Rotuno Kipsang.
By Peter Gitonga