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Kenya Design Report 2018-2020

To develop Kenya’s third action plan, the country increased participation of CSOs, however, without deepening their involvement to share the decision-making power and increasing the ambition of the plan. It contains three notable reforms to carry forward on addressing beneficial ownership, open contracting and public participation. Moving forward, Kenya could consider expanding the scope of commitments to include other relevant national priorities like improving civic space.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since: 2011

Action plan under review: Third

Report type: Design

Number of commitments: 6

Action plan development

Is there a Multistakeholder forum:  Yes

Level of public influence:  Consult

Acted contrary to OGP process:  Yes

Action plan design

Commitments relevant to OGP values:    6 (100%)

Transformative commitments:                 0

Potentially starred:                                  0

Action plan implementation

Starred commitments: N/A

Completed commitments: N/A

Commitments with Major DIOG*: N/A

Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: N/A


*DIOG: Did it Open Government

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Kenya joined OGP in 2011. Since, Kenya has implemented two action plans. This report evaluates the design of Kenya’s 3rd action plan.

General overview of action plan

Aiming to become a regional reference, Kenya has taken concrete steps to enhance transparency and access to information through legislative changes and with the use of technology, for example with the 2018 Executive Order on procurement transparency and the Bribery Act of 2016. Nevertheless, the country continues to grapple with concerns around enhanced state surveillance and a shrinking civic space. The implementation of this action plan represents an opportunity to consolidate gains on beneficial ownership, open contracting and public participation, and to prepare the grounds for a future action plan that could expand its focus to address other salient national priorities.

With each NAP cycle, Kenya has increased participation of civil society actors to drive the OGP agenda forward. However, while there were multiple instances for the public to provide inputs and comment on the draft version of the action plan, there is no evidence available to demonstrate that the government published its reasoning behind how civil society and public input was considered. Future consultation processes should deepen participation from groups and experts outside the limited traditional circle of actors to ensure stronger collaboration between more civil society representatives and government implementing agencies.

Kenya’s third national action plan outlines six commitments relating to enhancing access to information, civic participation and OGP resiliency. The commitments primarily reflected the OGP values of access to information, civic participation and technology and innovation for openness and accountability and less emphasis given to public accountability across the board. Kenya’s OGP Steering Committee members should consider carrying forward the three notable commitments on increasing transparency of beneficial owners, access to information in contracting processes and enhancing public participation.

 Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle.
Commitment 1: Beneficial Ownership

“We will publish a central public register of company beneficial ownership information operating in the Republic of Kenya”

Consider specifying the frequency and focus of the risk assessment to include specific areas such as money laundering, terrorist financing or legal persons. Also, the IRM suggests creating the link between the asset declaration of public officials and the BO register, reintroduce the audit or verification of the register and develop a module that allows the public to provide comments or feedback. Note: this will be assed at the end of action plan cycle.
Commitment 2: Open Contracting

“We will implement the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), to improve transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption by enhancing openness and accessibility of the Public Procurement Information Portal.”

Expand the scope of the commitment to establish a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework to accompany implementation of the OCDS, enhance buy-in of the National Treasury and Procurement Regulatory Authority, strengthen accountability with feedback or appeal mechanisms for disadvantaged groups and ensure the adequate capacitation of citizens and civil society to use AGPO and monitor its allocations. Note: this will be assed at the end of action plan cycle.



The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.

Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations

1 Deepen civil society participation in the co-creation process and provide clear feedback on how their input influenced the development of commitments and its milestones.
2 Improve the design of commitments within the NAP by increasing specificity on the expected outcomes and results of its milestones and activities.
3 Expand the scope of commitments beyond the publication of data to ensure public participation and the effective use of the data published.
4 Carry out multistakeholder discussions on the inclusion of commitments or milestones to improve civic space.
5 Address sustainability and resilience of Kenya’s open government agenda.



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