Advocacy Country Spotlight: Kenya

Issue: Historically, 70% of political incumbents do not secure re-election in Kenya. Given this trend, a strategy to renew political will and investments in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) and family planning after elections is necessary to preserve previous gains and sustain progress-making momentum. This was particularly true in Nakuru and Mombasa counties, where general elections for Members of the County Assembly (MCA) occurred in 2017. In addition to securing the importance of investing in RMNCAH and family planning (FP), strengthened county youth structures could help enforce the accountability of elected leaders to pre-election RMNCAH/FP commitments.

Action: With the support of FP2020’s Rapid Response Mechanism, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW) trained 24 youth champions from Nakuru County and 20 youth champions from Mombasa County on delegation, budgeting, and advocacy for family planning. In Mombasa, DSW convened a meeting between five political parties to review party manifestos and ensure the realization of their reproductive health and FP commitments. In Nakuru county, DSW conducted 3 dialogue sessions with 3 MCAs and 3 ward administrators from Molo, Njoro, and Rongai sub-counties on how they can increase investment in FP and sexual and reproductive health. DSW also consulted with the Mombasa County Reproductive Health team on the integration of youth voices into decision-making.

Impact: Because of DSW efforts, policymakers in both Mombasa and Nakuru counties committed to ensuring greater investments in adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH). Mombasa county’s majority party, the Orange Democratic Movement, included reproductive health as a funded priority in its party manifesto and the county’s Reproductive Health Team agreed to host one youth champion in its family planning technical working group. In Nakuru County, MCAs resolved to meet with the county assembly health committee to further discuss AYSRH issues, showing a willingness to work with both youth champions and the county health department.