In May 2017, Kenya’s Machakos county approved a first-time budget allocation of 20 million Kenyan Shillings (US $200,000) for family planning in the 2017/2018 fiscal year[i]. This significant investment accomplishes one of the five objectives laid out in Machakos’s family planning costed implementation plan, launched in March.
World Provision Centre (WPC), Advance Family Planning’s Fostering Locally-Driven Advocacy for Family Planning workshop participant and Opportunity Fund recipient, worked alongside the newly-established county family planning technical working group and the county assembly health committee to secure the new budget and allocation.
The working group and WPC will continue to track the budget to ensure funds are released on time and spent as intended, as well as push for sustained funding during the next budget cycle. A SMART strategy session incorporating the ImpactNow tool from Advance Family Planning partner Palladium’s Health Policy Plus program, scheduled for September, will help policymakers better understand the return on family planning investment.
Neighboring Kajiado county quickly followed in Machakos county’s path. On June 6th, the Kajiado County Assembly approved a first-time budget allocation of two million Kenyan shillings ($19,000) for family planning services in the 2017/2018 health budget. This advocacy win follows a series of accomplishments: in late March, after less than four months of advocacy, Kajiado established a family planning technical working group. Together, they drafted and secured County Assembly approval for Kajiado’s family planning costed implementation plan (2017-2022) by early June.
Kajiado’s family planning costed implementation plan outlines seven strategic objectives to address gaps around service provision and access, commodity security, trained health workforce, and financing. It also draws special attention to the family planning and reproductive health needs of young people. Slightly more than 60% of Kajiado’s population is under the age of 24 (compared with 50% nationally) and 20% of 15-19 year olds in Kajiado have begun childbearing.[ii]
Opportunity Fund partner Ewang'an Nadede Advocacy Initiative (ENAI) collaborated closely with the county health management team—particularly the Reproductive Health Coordinator. They found it vital to involve members of the County Assembly Health Committee very early in their advocacy, due to a fast-tracked budgeting process for August national elections. ENAI is now planning a SMART strategy session for the technical working group—combined with an ImpactNow assessment—to develop an advocacy workplan that prioritizes adolescents and youth, and ensure that the allocation is spent effectively and efficiently.
The Opportunity Fund, managed by PAI with funding from Advance Family Planning (AFP), is a small grants program that helps advocates seize opportunities to accelerate Family Planning 2020’s success at district, state, national, and regional levels. Both WPC and ENAI found the Opportunity Fund through AFP local partner, Jhpiego Kenya, and continue to benefit from the Jhpiego team’s SMART advocacy coaching.
[i] Ministry of Health and Emergency Services budget estimates for FY 2017/2018, which were approved by the County Assembly per the Kenya Gazette Supplement, Machakos County Approriation Act 2017, dated 13 June 2017
[ii] Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014