What Prospects lie ahead for Kenyans in the period of the Third-Medium Term Plan (MTP) of the Vision 2030? Will we achieve better results during the MTP III period? Will there be remarkable flagship milestones like the realization of universal primary education under MTP I, improved infrastructure or increased generation of power under both MTP I and MTP II?
In sum, will we realise the envisaged 10 per cent Economic Growth rate every year to increase the per capita income levels? Will there be enhanced disposable income for the Kenyan people to enhance the marginal propensity to save and create wealth that informs Net-Economic Welfare? Only time will tell.
The third Medium-Term Plan (MTP III) of the Kenya Vision 2030 covering the period 2018 – 2022 whose launch is expected in early 2018 will be the 12th cycle of National Development Plan. By the end of MTP III in 2022, the Vision 2030 will have undergone 14 years since inception. Therefore, while the launch of the MTP III will be a major milestone for the country, widespread concerns abound about whether the Plan is capable of addressing the myriad challenges the country faces.
So then, how can the National and County Governments meet the developmental expectations of Kenyans within a context of rapidly changing environment, population growth and limited resources?There are no straight-jacket answers to this question, but definitely the two levels of Government need to innovatively change their approach to planning and how they conduct business.
First, is the need to ensure that the MTP III and other lower level plans and strategies are effectively aligned to the Vision 2030 and major global initiatives.
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Alignment is vital as it ensures that the medium-term plans are able to actualise the goals and objectives of the long term blueprints. Regarding global initiatives, it is important to note that Vision 2030 incorporated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015. Moving into the MTP III period, the country should align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were launched by the United Nations in 2015 to succeed the MDGs.
The alignment of the MTP III with the Vision 2030 and SDGs is the first level of alignment. County Governments must develop County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) which are aligned to the MTP in conformity to the County Governments Act, 2012. Subsequent to these should be Functional Strategic Plans at the County level aligned to the County Integrated Development Plans.
These lower level plans are important for they form the bedrock upon which Government projects and day-to-day operations are anchored. Business people, economists and those interested in economic development know about and are likely to interact occasionally with the MTPs. However, very few Kenyans are aware of the Sectoral Plans, and even fewer numbers ever interact with Ministerial Strategic Plans and the County CIDPs.
The second imperative we must address is how to finance the plans. Because the country continues to grapple with unmet revenue targets by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and an ever-increasing debt-burden and widespread corruption, we must have Fiscal discipline at both National and County Governments.
The third imperative is the need to improve the Country’s performance management framework. Unfortunately, the vigour with which performance contracting was launched and implemented has since waned off. If Government has to deliver goods and services, it must strengthen and institutionalize a comprehensive and sustainable performance management framework at all levels.
We need to build on the in the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector. To facilitate the desired reforms, the country needs deliberate initiatives to inform sustainable change in the culture and attitudes of public servants. A national culture audit has to be instituted to inform interventions that will close the culture and attitudinal gap to support realization of Vision 2030.
Fifth, we must improve the monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework. Weak monitoring and evaluation could be a deliberate action by public servants to evade accountability. Today, there is scanty information about how government projects are implemented - and in most cases it is almost impossible to know the actual cost of the projects.
Furthermore, and very central, the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 requires Government to make available to the public information related to its programmes.
Such reporting informs efficient utilization of the public’s resources.
Mr Owalo is a Management Consultant