Voluntary National Review 2020

Kenya’s long-term development blueprint Vision 2030 is implemented through five-year Medium Term Plans (MTPs). The current and third MTP 2018 -2022 that aim to achieve accelerated, high, inclusive, broad based, sustainable economic growth, social economic transformation and development mainstreamed the SDGs and Africa Union Agenda 2063. Further, mainstreaming of SDGs in performance contracting, actions plans and sub-national County Integrated Development Plans, 2018 -2022, position Kenya to better implement the SDGs and Agenda 2063.


  • A policy gaps analysis in 2018 assessed the country’s preparedness to implement the 2030 Agenda by elaborating how SDGs targets align with the national planning frameworks. It recommended enhancement of national policy framework, which informed the need to review the existing and development of new policies.
  • Government and partners use targeted awareness creation and sensitization strategies through focus group discussions, sensitization forums, workshops and discussion panels. Similarly, social media communication platforms are continuously used to disseminate SDGs to the public. The 2017 VNR identified low level of awareness on SDGs and a countrywide assessment was undertaken in 2019. This informs awareness campaign strategies, development and distribution of targeted IEC materials including translating SDGs into local languages.
  • The multi-stakeholder Inter Agency Technical Committee set up in 2016 and chaired by the government to coordinate SDGs activities is now co-chaired by government, Private sector and the CSO and a subcommittee established as the secretariat. Sub national governments have appointed and trained SDGs Champions to steer SDGs process.
  • Kenya follows “whole of government” and “whole of society” approach and has institutionalized stakeholder engagement in implementation, monitoring and awareness through their umbrella bodies. These are Parliamentary Caucus on SDGs and Business, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Council of Governors for the sub national governments and National Youth Council. A multi-stakeholder engagement framework developed through consultation strengthens engagements, institutional and coordination mechanisms for the 2030 Agenda.
  • To continuously strengthen capacities to mainstream SDGs in policies, planning, budgeting, implementation and review, training of trainers and 150 officers at national and sub national level respectively has been undertaken. SDGs curriculum has been developed in collaboration with Kenya School of Government for use during training sessions in their institution.
  • To empower the vulnerable, policies and strategies focusing on education, health, employment, social protection, financial inclusion, gender, agricultural productivity, special funds for youth, women and persons with disabilities are in place. Regional disparities are addressed through targeted funds from national government to regions being left behind.
  • Kenya prioritized Special Needs Education by increasing financial allocation to learners in special and integrated schools.
  • High level political commitment to eliminate FGM by 2022. Kenya signed Regional Declaration and costed action plan on ending cross border FGM in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Somalia.
  • Kenya through Water Sector Trust Fund was awarded prestigious 2019 United Nations Public Service Awards for Up-scaling Basic Sanitation for the Urban Poor programme under the “Delivering Inclusive and Equitable Services to Leave No one Behind” category being the only institution from Africa.
  • Services to plastic recycling plants including machinery and equipment used in construction are exempted from VAT to promote plastic waste management.
  • Mobile money has led to near complete financial inclusions across the country, increased credit availability to small traders further facilitating business across distant physical locations.
  • Government prioritized the “Big 4 Agenda” focusing on Food and Nutrition Security, Healthcare ,Manufacturing and Affordable Housing that accelerates SDGs 2,3, 8,and 11.
  • SDGs monitoring is institutionalized with a comprehensive progress report prepared biennially. On pilot basis, five sub national governments (Kwale, Kisumu, Busia, Marsabit and TaitaTaveta) have developed Local Voluntary Reports on SDGs. This will be scaled up.
  • In response to COVID-19 pandemic, the government established National Co-ordination Committee to evaluate the evolving risks, advice on appropriate measures for preparedness, prevention and response. COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for response activities has been established. Some containment measures, includes cancelling public gatherings, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, closing learning institutions and non-essential social spaces; encouraging social distancing and teleworking. The government has earmarked Ksh 40 billion for surveillance, laboratory services, isolation units, equipment, PPEs, supplies, and communication; social protection and cash transfers; food relief; and expediting payments of existing obligations to maintain cash flow for businesses during the crisis. Other measures are in the main report.
  • The VNR report will be disseminated, action plan to address the gaps and challenges developed and SDGs acceleration strategy in line with the decade of action developed.
Voluntary National Review 2017
1.0 Background

Kenya has been a top advocate of Agenda 2030. Kenya was a member of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons who advised the United Nations Secretary General on the global development framework beyond 2015. The Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN Ambassador Macharia Kamau co-chaired the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)mandated to develop a set of sustainable development goals.

In 2015, Kenya was already in the 8th year of implementing its long term Economic blueprint, the Kenya Vision 2030, which is being implemented in 5-year rolling Medium Term Plans (MTP). By the time the SDGs were adopted, the second MTP (2013-2017) was in its third year of implementation. The process of the preparation of the third MTP (2018- 2022) and the second generation County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) is ongoing in which SDGs and Africa Agenda 2063 will be mainstreamed.

Kenya has prepared its first report reviewing the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The review was highly consultative involving Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs); County Governments; Development Partners; Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); special groups including youth and persons with disabilities and the private sector. To ensure wider consultation, umbrella bodies held consultations with their members and prepared reports that were the inputs into the country report.

2.0 Key Milestones

Mapping the SDGs with Vision 2030: Each of the 17 SDGs was mapped with Vision 2030 Second Medium Term Plan (MTP) objectives to ensure the global development framework and its implementation is directly linked towards achieving both Vision 2030 and SDGs.

MDGs End Term Report: A study was carried out covering the period 2000-2015 to assess the progress made in achievements of the MDGs, document the experiences, challenges and lessons learnt during the implementation. The report presents recommendations that greatly provide the foundation for the implementation of the Agenda 2030.

SDGs Road Map: An SDGs Road Map has been prepared with seven broad areas that will guide the transition process in Kenya. The seven areas are: mapping of stakeholders and establishing partnerships, advocacy and sensitization, domestication/localization, mainstreaming and accelerating implementation, resource mobilization, tracking and reporting and capacity building. The launch of the SDGs in Kenya on 14th September 2016 created awareness among stakeholders and rallied them behind implementation.

Institutional framework: The Ministry of Devolution and Planning coordinates the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in Kenya. The SDGs focal point within the Ministry offers technical backstopping for SDGs within government and also among stakeholders. An Inter-Agency Technical Committee drawing membership from the line Ministries, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, National Council for Population and Development, representatives from the civil society organizations, private sector among others has been set up. Mechanism of coordination between the two levels of government has been worked out with the establishment of SDGs Liaison office within the secretariat of the Council of Governors (COG).

Mainstreaming SDGs in policy and planning: The government directed all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to mainstream the SDGs into policy, planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation systems and processes. As a result, all SDGs targets and indicators have been mapped against the mandates of the MDAs and assigned the SDGs to the respective development actors. In addition, the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan guidelines have been reviewed to ensure that the SDGs are mainstreamed in MDAs' Strategic Plans. The SDGs have also been mainstreamed in the Performance Contracting and MDAs submit quarterly progress reports on a quarterly basis.

Capacity Building: The SDGs contact officers in the line ministries and officers in charge of planning and budgeting among others have been trained using a standardized training kit in training institutions. Emphasis is given to the Training of Trainers (TOTs). Data, Monitoring and Reporting: The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has undertaken an indicator mapping and identified 128 indicators out of the 230 global indicators that can be measured with the available data or data that can be produced within 1-2 years with minimum effort.

Advocacy and awareness creation: IEC materials on SDGs have been produced and disseminated. Social media platforms which include Facebook, Twitter, email, WhatsApp are being used to disseminate SDGs messages to the public. Sensitization forums covering different stakeholders have been held. The coalition of civil society on SDGs in collaboration with the government has also been undertaking community outreach programmes on Agenda 2030.

SDGs implementation: Kenya has been implementing policies and strategies geared towards advancing implementation of the SDGs and this has resulted in commendable progress as outlined in the main report. The following is a highlight of some of the innovative initiatives to fast tract the SDGs in the health and water sectors:

  • The Beyond Zero Campaign: An Initiative by H.E. the First Lady, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta to accelerate economic and social development in Kenya through the health facet. Mobile clinics have been delivered to all county referral hospitals. The mobile clinics have been able to treat mothers and children who would otherwise have been obliged to walk miles to seek treatment.
  • Mother waiting home (KIROR): An initiative of West Pokot County Government and is a home outside their home and a home outside the health facility. Expectant mothers move to KIROR near a health facility a few days to their expected day of delivery and are monitored during labour by the health personnel at the health facility thereby reducing congestion at the health facility while at the same time getting prompt services of a qualified personnel during delivery.
  • Commodity exchange programme: The county Government of Embu has introduced the commodity exchange programme. A county commodity security/Exchange team is created on WhatsApp social platform. Sub county pharmacists facilitate the collection of commodities from surplus sites and transfer them to needy sites.
  • Water ATMs: The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company has installed water ATMs enabling city residents living in informal settlements to access quality water cheaply. The ATMs use AQtap technology and the residents pay for water using mobile technology. This has reduced the cost of water to the community as well as improved revenue collection by the company.
  • Social Protection Programmes: These are programmes to address poverty. They include the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF); the Hunger and Safety Net Programme (HSNP); Subsidized Basic Education; Empowerment funds targeting vulnerable groups; preference and reservation of 30% in public procurement to vulnerable groups; Establishment of Huduma centres to facilitate access to various Public Services and information using a One-Stop Shop concept; harnessing digital technologies for financial inclusion (mobile money transfer) and development of Public Participation guidelines.The Revenue Allocation and Equalization Funds targets Counties with high poverty indices.
  • Addressing climate change: The Government is in the process of integrating climate change into the curriculum for primary and secondary levels of education. The Climate Change Act 2016 highlights the climate change response measures and actions, the roles of each of the stakeholders in mitigating effects of climate change and how to engage the public.

3.0 Regional cooperation to address the SDGs

Kenya has participated in Somalia Peace Keeping Missions; signed treaties on cultural exchange programmes with 51 countries hosting Kenya Missions and is the chair of InterCountry Quality Nodes on peace education in Africa. Kenya is currently developing the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project, the largest integrated transformative infrastructure project in Africa. Kenya has already placed a total BAN on plastic bags with effect from August 2017 as per the (EAC) Polythene Materials Control Bill, 2016 proposal.

4.0 Challenges

  • Inadequate disaggregated data
  • High stakeholder expectations
  • Inadequate funding for SDGs

5.0 Next steps

  • Intensified awareness creation and capacity building
  • Mainstreaming of SDGs into the third MTP (MTP III), second generation County
    Integrated Development Plans and public institutions strategic plans;
  • Review the National Statistical System (NSS) in light of the SDGs.
  • Enhancing multi- stakeholder participation in the SDGs process
  • Enhanced Resource mobilization
Focal point
Mr. Bernard O. K'Omudho
Director, National Environment Secretariat

Documents & Reports

National Reports
Report Topics covered Process
National Report - Kenya Rio+20;

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Kenya* is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
19 Jul 2017
17 Jul 2017
7 Jun 2017
20 Jun 2012
13 May 2010
12 May 2010
7 May 2010
6 May 2010
5 May 2010
15 May 2008
11 May 2006
20 Apr 2005
12 Apr 2005
12 Apr 2005
30 Apr 2004
30 Apr 2004
28 Apr 2004
21 Apr 2004
2 Sep 2002
United Nations