Mombasa 18 January 2019 (ECA) - After three days of brainstorming in Mombasa, stakeholders and partners of Kenya’s public service delivery systems have reached a consensus on the communication and advocacy strategy for the Honest Public Service Campaign, dubbed Huduma Halisi in Kiswahili.
“We spent the last three days trying to define Huduma Halisi, its aspirations, target audience, and core messages,” said Elizabeth Adongo, a senior policy adviser from Kenya’s Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs.
More importantly, she added, “we’ve had the opportunity to look at the role of each partner. Some will have an oversight role, some will do content development, and some will help in the implementation.”
The Honest Public Service Campaign is an initiative by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), resulting from the African Union’s (AU) 2018 call for continent-wide actions to win the fight against corruption as “a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation.”
It was launched on the margins of AU’s Heads of State and Government Summit in Mauritania, June 2018, with plans to roll it out in all AU member states. Kenya was then selected by ECA to host the first country-level rollout.
During the three-day expert group meeting organized in Mombasa on 16-18 January by ECA in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, the principal administrative secretary at the State Department of Public Service (Kenya) , Mary Kimonye, thanked ECA for having chosen Kenya as the first country for the campaign. In a message delivered on her behalf, she stated:
“H.E President Uhuru is committed to making this campaign a success in Kenya, especially as it aligns with the president’s ongoing efforts to fight corruption and instill accountability and transparency in Kenya’s public service.”
In his presentation on the Huduma Halisi Communication Approach, Professor Kimani Njogu, Director of Twaweza Communications, emphasized the need to “position the Huduma Halisi brand as a way of life in the Kenyan public service.”
Mr. Njogu gave an overview of the various target groups and messages that can drive the campaign, pointing out that “ a critical part of this campaign is that citizens fully get engaged in terms of demanding good quality and corruption-free services.”
For Shiela Masinde, Programs Manager at Transparency International Kenya, “ there have been complaints about the responsiveness of public service and the way in which it is delivered.” She noted, therefore, that with a successful Huduma Halisi, many more Kenyans - especially women, youth, and persons with disabilities - will have access to some critical services such as health and education.
Participants at the meeting included representatives from ECA, Kenya’s Ministry of Public Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AU Desk), Office of the Controller of Budget (Kenya) , Kenya’s Commission on Administrative Justice (Kenya), Twaweza Communications, Huduma Kenya, the Public Service Commission of Kenya, One Campaign, Ford Foundation, Transparency International, Youth Motion and Go Sheng Services
As part of the campaign, various platforms will be put in place for citizens to provide feedback on honesty in public service delivery. These will include social media and a short code.
An event to officially kickstart the rollout out of Huduma Halisi in Kenya is scheduled for 22 January 2019 in Nairobi.
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