Corruption affects almost every sector and public service institution in Kenya. In the 2012 – 2017 period, TI-Kenya has prioritised addressing corruption in the water sector, the education sector, humanitarian aid, climate finance governance, the police and the extractive industry.
Water sector governance
Governance in the water sector is particularly important, not only ability to rise out of poverty, but also neglect in service provision can result in devastating declines in social and economic welfare. Lack of access to portable water has a direct impact on the health of people and nations. Improving governance in the sector must therefore first be anchored on a strong policy and legal framework that entrenches transparency, accountability and participation.
While there have been credible attempts to legislate in favour of transparency and accountability, there are still laws and practices in the sector that need to be strengthened to actualize integrity in the water sector. Currently efforts by the government, donors and civil society organizations to improve different aspects of governance in water services have generally been carried out in an ad hoc manner. As a result, well intentioned interventions have not been well linked and the focus has tended to be on processes with little attention paid to the desired outcomes. Furthermore the linkages between sectoral performance and the wider governance context are frequently overlooked.
To promote good governance in the water sector and provide a unified framework for activity at different levels of the governance agenda, efforts must go beyond processes and provide for tracking of the outcomes of these processes.
Education sector governance
The education sector is by all means one of the most important sectors, mainly because it has a direct relation to all other sectors, and therefore risks that compromise its quality have direct implications on the quality of service that other sectors provide.
With the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 the education sector has to reform and adjust to the demands of the constitution. On devolution the sector will require institutional capacity development in order to effectively manage institutional and county resources. Along with strengthening governance at the county level, it will be important for TI-Kenya to monitor sector resource mobilization and utilization both at the national and county level.
TI-Kenya also has an opportunity to advance the war against corruption by engaging with the youth in schools and other learning institutions to promote and develop integrity and ethical values.
The most damaging impact of corruption is the diversion of basic resources from the poor. Diversion of humanitarian aid is the worst since it deprives victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts of essential life-saving resources.
Kenya has been regularly affected by humanitarian crises, mainly as a result of droughts and floods in the Arid and Semi-Arid lands (ASALs) of the country. Nairobi is the main hub for humanitarian organizations responding to crises in the Horn and Eastern parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the coming years Humanitarian operations are likely to remain significantly important and frequent in the Horn of Africa due to the combination of climate change (with increasing weather hazards leading to droughts, floods, etc.) as well as political instability and conflicts (next general elections in Kenya, conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan, etc.).
TI-Kenya will build on the Food Assistance Integrity Study completed in 2012 and its partnerships with humanitarian organizations to improve internal and external accountability in the implementation of humanitarian operations and to enhance capacities of beneficiaries to monitor aid delivered to communities and report suspected cases of corruption.
Climate Finance Governance
Climate change has been identified as the worst disaster facing the world today. Kenya is among developing countries worst hit by its effects. In the international climate change negotiations, developed countries have committed to jointly mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 for the climate mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries. However, this money is flowing through untested systems and no centralized system for tracking all relevant climate financial flows.
In addition, deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading cause of global warming, responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which makes the loss and depletion of forests a major issue for climate change. REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and from Degradation) mechanism is to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Kenya is currently preparing a climate change action plan and a REDD+ preparedness plan in readiness for climate finance and REDD+ money.
TI-Kenya will continue to work with public institutions involved in climate finance with the aim of putting in place stronger governance systems and enhancing transparency and accountability in processes addressing climate change.
The Kenya Police has for many years been ranked (by TI-Kenya, EACC and other opinion polls) as one of the most bribe prone public institution. The ongoing institutional reforms of the police force present a good platform for TI-Kenya to combine efforts with other actors in promoting integrity and enhancing a good public image of the police force. TI -Kenya will push for and seize opportunities to undertake specialized analysis of integrity challenges in the police service and make recommendations. TI-Kenya will also make available its expertise in research to assist institutions involved in police reform in diagnosis and addressing integrity gaps within the institution.
The extractive industry includes the development and exploitation of natural resources including renewable (water, forestry, wildlife, and fisheries) and non-renewable natural resources (coal, oil, gas and minerals). In Kenya there are significant efforts aimed at enhancing the governance and management of renewable resources. On the other hand, non-renewable resources have not received much attention probably because the existence and abundance is not very well understood. The government has commissioned a lot of exploration activities in the country. Recent discoveries of commercially viable petroleum, coal and other mineral deposits have been reported.
How these resources are accessed and developed will present either a blessing or a curse to the country. The greatest gainers or losers will be the host communities in the regions where these resources are found. Strengthening governance is the proactive way of ensuring that the host communities and the country as a whole benefit from revenue that accrue from these resources. TI-Kenya will target streamlining governance in the natural resources sector by supporting and influencing development of effective policies and legislation, strengthening governance in relevant public institutions and promoting civic and private sector engagement.
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