The government wants NGOs based in Kenya to undertake projects in line with the Big Four agenda as it has emerged that in 2018 alone, they implemented projects worth Sh153 billion.
Mutuma Nkanata, Executive Director of the NGOs Coordination Board, discussed the matter on Thursday with eight county representatives of non-governmental organisations.
Mr Nkanata acknowledged that the projects are of great importance to the counties but said they must be pegged on achievement of the Big Four agenda for food security, universal health coverage, manufacturing and affordable housing.
“One of the board’s mandates is to advise NGOs to align their projects and programmes to the national development plan of our country. I am happy to note that you have started to align your programmes [with the Big Four agenda],” he said.
He met representatives of Baringo, Bomet, Kajiado, Kericho, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok and Samburu counties.
In the last financial year, 1,140 NGOs reported receiving a total of Sh16.8 billion to implement projects in South and Central Rift counties.
The projects were implemented in Baringo (90), Bomet (63) Kericho (95) Laikipia (100), Nakuru (321), Narok (133) and Samburu (64).
“Overall, a total of 2,776 NGOs which filed their reports with us indicated having spent a total of Sh153 billion on projects in the entire country,” said Mr Nkanata.
The report by the NGOs board indicated that a total of Sh 9.6 billion was spent by the 1,140 NGOs on projects in the Big Four areas in the South and Central Rift counties.
“This amount represents 26 per cent of the Sh37.8billion spent by the 2,776 NGOs on Big Four projects. Therefore, the board is keen on providing necessary support to all NGOs to complement the government’s development efforts."
The executive director further said the board and partners will evaluate the impact of the programmes to communities around the country.
Regarding employment opportunities, Mr Nkanata noted that 1,140 NGOs in the seven counties had employed a total of 10,663 people.
“[According to] the financial report of 2017/18, this is 16 per cent of the 67,363 employed by the 2,776 NGOs. Many more people have been indirectly employed by these organisations,” he said.
He added that another 123 out of the 295 NGOs registered between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 had started programmes in the eight counties.
“Many more have been registered since then and in fact, we have registered more than 200 new NGOs this week to operate in various parts of our country,” he said.
Last year, the board began consultations with NGOs and the government with a view to resolving issues that have delayed operationalisation of the Public Benefit Organisations Act.
At the meeting, Mr Nkanata assured that the government was committed to the law.
"I therefore urge the sector to prepare itself to implement the Act once it is operationalised. The board is engaging various partners to support the transition from NGOs Co-ordination Act to the PBO," he said.
The official also noted collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to conduct a countrywide non-profit institutions (NPIs) survey later this year.
The survey will enable the board to quantify the contribution of NPIs to the economy, he said.
Mr Nkanata furthe said the board intends to conduct a county analysis survey on NGO programmes at county level in collaboration with the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Analysis and Research (KIPPRA).
"The survey is aimed at establishing the extent to which NGOs have aligned their programmes with the needs of the counties they operate in and to assess the impact of these projects,” he said.
The board will also continue to work with stakeholders to improve the regulatory and policy environment for NGOs to improve service delivery and develop the capacity for them to respond to community needs.