The first phase of Huduma Kenya Programme is almost complete, as we race to digitalise and transform provision of public service.
Huduma Kenya is a government programme established to enhance the access and delivery of government services to all Kenyans.
In this phase, our strategy was to establish one Huduma Centre in each of the 47 counties. The centres so far established are at GPO Nairobi, City Square, Makadara, Eastleigh, Kibra, GPO Mombasa, Bungoma, Siaya, Kitui, Makueni, Embu, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega, Kajiado, Machakos, Meru, Isiolo, Wajir, Turkana, Nyeri, Kwale, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyamira, Kiambu and Thika, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Taita-Taveta, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Garissa and Kericho, Tharaka Nithi and Marsabit.
Those on the list to be opened soon include Kirinyaga, Narok, Murang’a, Samburu, Lamu, Nandi, Baringo, Kilifi, Homa Bay and Migori.
In this phase, Huduma Centres have been serving up to 30,000 people daily and have collected Sh12 billion for government ministries, departments and agencies through the Posta Pay System during the last financial year.
Huduma centres offer the same services regardless of the locations where customers seek services from.
However, it should be clear to customers that delays may sometimes occur in regional centres arising from documents that require further clarifications. But solutions to such issues should be promptly followed so as to deliver results in good time. Similarly, where the services sought are yet to be available on the Huduma Kenya Programme, affected customers are referred to the relevant ministries or departmental offices.
However, Huduma staff are obliged to make follow-ups to ensure the services are provided as quickly as possible.
Huduma Kenya Programme uses the concept of integrated service delivery (ISD) in a one-stop shop, something that has not been conceived or utilised before, even in some of the more developed nations of the world.
ISD is now a globally accepted standard for public service innovation in service delivery and has been adopted by a number of developed and developing countries such as Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Australia, Brazil and India.
The delivery of the second phase of Huduma Kenya Programme will soon commence with a concentration in the area of re-engineering, automation, integration and roll-out of digital services.
When fully optimised, the Huduma Kenya one-stop shop service delivery programme will provide different channels for integrated government services to the public. It will provide even more opportunities for the customers seeking Huduma Kenya Services in various convenient ways.
Apart from the physical Huduma Centres, there shall be online ‘e-Huduma’ portal to provide integrated government services 24hrs a day from a computer anywhere in the country.
Further, the organisation will offer mobile phone or ‘m-Huduma’ platform for M-government services to citizens from the convenience of their mobile phones and Huduma Contact Centre customer service using a single dialling prefix that citizens can use for service enquiries.
In a few days’ time, I will launch a unified and integrated multi-channel payment gateway, Huduma Card, to facilitate easy receipt and payment of government services.
The citizen-centric Huduma Kenya programme is already benchmarking against world-class best practice in service delivery. Huduma Kenya Programme has won many firsts global awards, all in one financial year —2014/2015.
The success of the Huduma Centres is adding jet propulsion to the Vision 2030 aim of achieving a people-centred, transparent and accountable public service that responds to public needs and provides public services that meet global standards and best practice in the early 21st Century.
Sicily Kariuki is the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs