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How Kenya is taking giant steps to strengthen evidence use

In February 2019, Evaluation actors in Kenya from the African Gender and Evaluation Network (AGDEN) and International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS), won a competitive award for innovation challenge by the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) and EvalPartners to work in the area of localizing Democracy, Rights and Governance Evaluation Practices.  The project was titled ‘Expanding Democratic Spaces for more Inclusive and Equitable Governance: Integrating Gender-Responsiveness and Equity-Focus into Legislation through Evaluation’.

The project embarked on a one year implementation of the planned activities in collaboration with the Kenya’s Parliamentary Caucus on Evidence-Informed Oversight and Decision Making (PC-EIDM).

A breakfast meeting was held with all key stakeholders, to have their buy in and plan together the course of action for successful as well as sustainable results. The Kenya PC-EIDM took the opportunity to validate their five year Strategic plan. The project team conducted a participatory training workshop for the parliamentarians on evidence use, gender and equity-focused monitoring and evaluation and the alignment of national strategies with the goals for the SDGs and Africa Agenda 2063.

For sustainability and Institutionalization of Monitoring and Evaluation principles, the parliamentarians expressed the need to have their staffs trained on evidence creation, packaging and communication, evidence use and basically the M&E processes to strengthen the overall goal of evidence-informed decision-making with a gender-lens. The project team conducted the second workshop for the parliament staffs and other key stakeholders. The participants were drawn from diverse sectors:

  • Parliament: Parliamentary Research Services; Parliament Budget office, Center for Parliamentary studies: Kenya Women Parliamentary Association
  • Government Departments: National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate (MED) of Ministry of Treasury and planning; Ministry of Public Service Youth and Gender Affairs
  • Academia and emerging Evaluators: Kenyatta University and University of Nairobi
  • Networks and Associations: Kenya Women Parliamentary Association; Monitoring and Evaluation Associations: SDGs Kenya Forum; FEMNET
  • Human rights organizations
  • UN Women
  • Africa Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
  • Africa Union staff

Launch of the Monitoring and Evaluation Champions Network

Kenya’s Parliamentary Caucus on Evidence-Informed Oversight and Decision Making and the project team launched a National Network of Kenya Monitoring and Evaluation Champions. The event aired in the News by Kenya Television Network and published in the Daily Nation Newspaper evidently showed the longing for networks of relationships, communications and catalysts to strengthen evidence use in oversight roles. 

The Champions Network aim to strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation and Evidence use for Gender-Responsiveness and Equity-Focused legislation.

Honorable Dr. Makali Mulu, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Caucus on Evidence-Informed Oversight and Decision Making, pointed out the need for a critical mass of M&E champions in the country. He defined the word champion as written in the dictionary as: an advocate, defender, promoter, and supporter. He emphasized that a champion defends by word and deed. And the M&E champions should borrow from the human right champions to vigorously support and advocate and if the worst gets to the worst get confrontational for strong, full resourced M&E activities. He urged the need to think around the parliament’s strategic plan. Hon Makali, launched the M&E Champions and borrowing from the Bible, he stated “Champions, go out there and preach M&E in all parts and sectors of Kenya”.

Honorable Dr. Susan Musyoka, Founder of the Parliamentary Caucus on Evidence-Informed Decision-Making and former Member of Parliament reminded all participants that M&E championship should not be a one man’s show. Every champion has something to offer and should be embraced to play a role in strengthening the culture of evidence use for decisions and legislations. Dr. Susan led the team to select the stewards and the trustees of the champion’s network. And the team took time to democratically debate on the name of the champions’ network. At last, the team voted for the name Kenya Evidence Monitoring and Evaluation Champions Network (KEMEC). The champions agreed on the date to meet and have the plan of action for the year. They received an in-kind support of a venue from both the AFIDEP and the University of Nairobi.

The network was likened to a volcano by Dr. Etta. And walking in the steps of the giants, the Kenya Evidence Monitoring and Evaluation Champions Network will be ginormous.

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Comment by Eddah Kanini on January 31, 2020 at 21:46

Thank you Sakina. We would love to exchange ideas and enrich one another and strengthen our M&E system in East Africa.

Comment by SAKINA BAKARI MWINYIMKUU on January 28, 2020 at 15:14

Thank you Eddah for sharing this. I would like to learn more from Kenya on your efforts to strengthen Monitoring and evaluation System. Tanzania is now struggling to achieve this far.

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