Kenya: Govt Seeks New System to Identify the Needy in Social Protection Reforms
Nairobi — The government is considering a revamped identification matrix to help correctly identify needy and vulnerable households across all 47 counties.
The Enhanced Single Registry (ESR), a database being developed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection will be ready by December 2023, Stefanie Bitengo, an officer at the National Social Protection Secretariat said on Thursday.
In a paper presented at a Social Protection Conference, Bitengo said ESR will guide the government and other sector players in the identification of beneficiaries of social protection programmes, including the Inua Jamii cash transfer scheme.
ESR will provide integrated and harmonized data that promotes the effective delivery of social protection programmes and informs universal social protection policies, the paper indicated.
“The updated enhanced single registry will improve efficiency and support of growth of social protection measures that cushion the vulnerable populations,” Bitengo said.
The ESR, she said, will provide information about the beneficiaries of cash transfer programmes that include Inua Jamii, Nutrition Improvement through Cash transfers and Health Education Education (NICHE), and Hunger Safety Net Programme.
Bitengo said the information system will provide real-time data that will improve access to accurate data by government agencies and development partners.
“As social protection coverage grows, efficiency gains can be achieved by integrating and harmonizing data collection efforts,” she said.
So far, data is available for households in Baringo, Kilifi, Kisii, Kitui, Kwale, Laikipia, Lamu, Makueni, Migori, Murang’a, Narok, Taita Taveta, Tharaka, Vihiga, and West Pokot.
Others are Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir and Turkana, Isiolo, Tana River, Samburu, and Garissa counties.
Sh22 billion social inclusion plan
Bitengo pointed out that for social registries to be effective, they need to take into consideration the country’s social protection context and landscape.
Another key consideration is structures that will support the social registries, which include legal systems, citizen interface, and user programme.
The ESR is part of the Sh22 billion Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project (KSEIP), implemented with support from the World Bank, which has been running since 2019.
The KSEIP is designed to complement and build on the Government’s flagship National Safety Net Programme which brings together Kenya’s four main cash transfer programs focused on older persons, persons with severe disability, orphans, and vulnerable children and households.
KSEIP aims to strengthen the safety net delivery systems and helps the government to move beyond cash transfers to an integrated social protection system to enhance social and economic inclusion services and shock-responsive safety nets for poor and vulnerable households.
The Single Registry System for all social assistance programmes is therefore to increase efficiency in the administration of social protection programmes in line with the National Social Protection Policy and Vision 2030, according to official Government documents.
Additionally, the ESR will consolidate information from the different management information systems for the cash transfer programmes that are currently operated independently by different departments and ministries.
The registry will also bring on board potential beneficiaries for social protection but also establish linkages with other components of the social protection system such as the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund, and all public private social assistance programmes.
Currently, there are 1,072,226 beneficiaries enrolled in Inua Jamii programmes.