I am now able to engage in social protection policy processes
“This training on social protection management will enable me better engage with the ongoing policy formulation work in Samburu County,” a thoughtful John Lolchuraki shared. Lolchuraki is in charge of coordinating the county’s social protection interventions.
Management of Social Protection Services is a pioneer training programme in Kenya aimed at boosting the knowledge and strengthening skills on social protection. The curriculum was developed by the collaborative effort of the Social Protection Secretariat (Ministry of Labour and Social Protection), WFP Kenya, UNICEF and Kenya School of Government. The pioneer trainings are supported under the UNICEF-WFP five-year joint programme for Social Protection funded by Sweden.
Samburu County has several social protection programmes including the National Government’s Inua Jamii cash transfers, WFP Kenya’s drought emergency preparedness and locust evasion project in the North and East, Nutritional Improvements through Cash and Health Education- NICHE (UNICEF Kenya) and in August 2021 Hunger Safety Net Programme cash transfer programme began conducting mass registration in Samburu North.
“In addition, the county government is supporting drought resilience interventions for the poorest and vulnerable households. These include; distribution of one camel per poor livestock-keeping household to encourage the keeping of drought resistant livestock in Samburu East and North. There’s also the distribution of drought-resistant seeds and county tractors for hire to poor farming households in Samburu Central,” he added.
As of 2020, Samburu’s poverty rate was third highest in Kenya at 77.5%, more than double the national average of 36.3%. Samburu is an ASAL County of about 20,000KM2 with a sparse population of 310,327. The high poverty rate, low human capital development and effects of drought on livelihoods create the need for inclusive social protection interventions.
“Before this, I hadn’t had any formal training on social protection, and it was challenging for me to fully engage in developing sectorial policies and legal frameworks. Currently, Samburu is at different stages of developing a Social Protection policy and a Drought Risk Management policy with the support of WFP and UNICEF Kenya. When I go back, I plan to apply my new skills to better engage in these processes,” said Lolchuraki.
The two new policies are aimed at streamlining the reach, coverage, coordination and funding of existing social protection interventions.
“Engaging in targeting processes that reach out to the most vulnerable has been a big challenge. There are those that are always excluded and yet they really need the support of the county. The concept of inclusive targeting is one that I’ll share with the County Executive Committee and Directors within my department,” he further added.
Sharing on what further support he’d require from the training, Lolchuraki shared “KSG and WFP Kenya should think of providing us with post-training support. This could be in the form of sharing current literature on social protection trends, findings and setting up platforms for peer-to-peer learning. It looks like the sector changes very fast and it’s good to stay well informed.”