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Huduma Centre wins top UN award for improving service delivery

By Standard Team | Jun 29th 2015 | 4 min read

NAIROBI, KENYA:  Kenya has been awarded a global excellence prize through the Ministry of Devolution and Planning for improving service delivery.

The glittering prize is for Huduma Kenya, the programme that delivers a number of key government services on a one-stop, under-one-roof basis.

Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was presented with the United Nations accolade in Medellin, Colombia, in South America by Lenni Montiel, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

UNPSA is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service delivery.

The award came barely a month after the Programme won the African Gold Award on Innovative Management from the Association of African Public Administration and Management.

The programme won two other awards – both Kenyan – in 2014, for Best Customer Service, presented by the Institute of Customer Service Kenya and Best Use of ICT in the Public Sector, by the ICT Association of Kenya.

The Programme won after overcoming stiff competition from 898 submissions with 528 entries in this category, of which 59 were from Africa.

It is barely a month after the Programme won the African Gold Award on Innovative Management from the Association of African Public Administration and Management and two other Kenyan awards in 2014 on best Customer Service by the Institute of Customer Service Kenya and Best use of ICT in the Public Sector by the ICT Association of Kenya.

The Programme won after overcoming stiff competition from over a total of 898 submissions with 528 entries in this category of which 59 entries were from Africa.

The UNPSA rewards creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions towards a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide.

Huduma Kenya Centres are a symbol of transformational leadership.  It is transforming Government service delivery in ways that puts Kenya ahead of some developed and other developing nations.

The seamlessness of the Huduma Centres is their operating model of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD). It provides the citizen with multiple-channel, single-window access to government services at one-stop Citizen Service Centres, complete with call centres, mobile phone platforms and web portals.

The Huduma Kenya Programme implemented by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning was recognized for its outstanding achievements in serving the public interest, says Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru.  

“You wanted to cut the bureaucratic red-tape in service delivery, transform Public Service into an efficient, effective and ethical institution. You gave the vision; we came up with the concept and plan, this team made it a reality,” Waiguru said when she introduce the Huduma team to the President. 

Waiguru said in the last two years, her Ministry has won other awards for improving public service delivery including the Customer Service Award, the ICT Excellency Award and the Africa Association for Public Administration and Management 2015 Award. 

President Kenyatta commended the Huduma Kenya Programme, saying his Government is committed to serving Kenyans and the one-stop-shop approach to public service delivery adopted by the programme will go a long way towards achieving that goal.

“I am glad that the Huduma Programme is already proving to be a showcase in efficient and effective public service delivery in Africa and beyond,” President Kenyatta said.

The Presidency has been steering the Programme through the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and chairs the Huduma Kenya Service Delivery Summit.

The Huduma Kenya Programme has identified five channels for integrated service delivery: Huduma Centers/ Physical Centers, Huduma Web Portal, Huduma Mobile Platform, Huduma Call Centre and the Huduma Payment Gateway.

The implementation of the Programme has seen the establishment of 20 Huduma Centres across the Country. Each Centre has a Service Menu of between 30 – 35 National and County Government services and serving over one thousand customers daily.

Huduma Programme is working towards delivery of its services in various platforms such as the E and M Huduma Platforms, The Huduma Smart Service and Payment Card, The Huduma Call Centre and an additional 26 Huduma Centres will be activated.

Citizens who have been served at the centres have lauded the high quality of service at Huduma Centres. Most Kenyans have felt valued and treated with respect by their Government compared to the poor service culture experienced in the past.

This has been achieved by placing the citizen at the Centre of service delivery, adopting high Customer Service Standards in the Centers and leveraging on 21st century Information Communication technology platforms.

The Huduma Kenya Programme is a huge leap in the transformation of the Public Service and has led to the restoration of citizen confidence and trust in the Public Service. It has also created a new Government Brand that customers associate with high standards in delivery of Public services.

It is this departure from the past that has led to its recognition and winning the 2014 United Nations Public Service Award.

The Government has therefore declared that the Huduma Kenya Programme is “Best in Kenya, Best in Africa and Best in the World.”

The award Programme is managed by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-WOMEN).

It to discover new innovations in governance, motivate public servants to further promote innovation, raise the image of public service, enhance trust in government and collect and share successful practices for possible replication between and within countries.

To win the category, Huduma Kenya had to excel in seven areas of Increasing efficiency, Provides High-Quality Service Delivery, Incorporates Citizens’ Feed-back, Improves Access and Promotes Equity, Promotes Partnerships, Transforms Administration and Introduction of a New Concept.

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