Kenya, like many other countries, has boldly embraced Social Protection in its bid to fight poverty and vulnerability amongst its citizens,

and as a way of promoting equity and social inclusion. The right to social security has been enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution (2010) in Article 43 (3), and the creation of the State Department for Social Protection (SDSP) under the MEACL&SP in 2013 was a bold step to firmly establish the Social Protection sector in the country.

Social Protection in Kenya, according to the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP), is structured along three main pillars of Social Assistance, Social Security and Health Insurance.  Programs across the three pillars have been implemented by different agencies, both State and non-State actors across the different sectors of the Country. Prominent amongst these programmes is National Safety Net Programmes (NSNP) under the Social Assistance pillar which consists of 5 Cash Transfer Programmes.

The Social Protection Sector in Kenya has grown very rapidly especially after the introduction of the Cash Transfer programmes on 2004. This has not only been in terms of increase in the number of beneficiaries and actors in the sector, but also in terms of knowledge, skills and growth in capacity. This is spurred by the fact that the Social Protection sector, at both local and global level, is very dynamic and prone to the development of new ideas and concepts that shape and continue to influence the design and implementation of Social Protection interventions.

To keep in sync with these new developments and changing dimensions, the Government of Kenya (GOK) has invested heavily in training and capacity building of its staff at both local and international levels for the efficient delivery of the Social Protection goals and objectives. This in return has created a pool of skilled Social Protection practitioners who are specialists in various aspects of Social Protection implementation such as Designing of SP programmes, MIS development, M & E, payments and targeting.

Despite all these achievements, there are critical gaps in linkages and synergy across programmes and sectors with no formal interaction platforms in the Country that bring together these various skills and specialties – and which could proactively harness and build onto existing wealth of knowledge.

In view of the above therefore, the Government of Kenya through the National Social Protection Secretariat (SPS), has set out to establish a Community of Practitioners (CoP) for the Social Protection actors in Kenya.  A Community of Practice is formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavour, it consists of a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly[1]. The main objective of this group will be to provide a forum for sharing of knowledge and skills, exchange of information, mentorship and sharing of best practices in Social Protection. It is possible that such level of interaction will help in enhancing coordination and building efficiency and visibility in the sector.

In developing the Community of Practice, it is necessary to define the domain, organize the community and establish the practice.  This technical design document describes the various elements of the Community of Practice, as arrived at by consensus of the key sector players.

the specific Objectives of the CoP will be;

  • Improve management of knowledge, encourage learning and promote innovation within the SP sector in Kenya
  • Strengthen existing linkages and diversify partnerships at both levels of government, and with actors across all the pillars of social protection
  • Contribute to the growth of Social Protection Policy Instruments/ provide an invaluable opportunity to collate the collective results and use emerging evidence as justification for changes in SP strategy or policy.
  • Improve the quality of social protection services through the promotion of standards and guidelines in the implementation of social protection programs.

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