The 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) adopted in 2015 at the United Nations embodies the development blueprint for the world. For Kenya, the SDGs Agenda is significant given the pivotal role it played during the Open Working Group that guided the transition from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Notably, there is synergy between the SDGs and Kenya’s own Vision 2030 – with similar deadlines and development aspirations.

The SDGs Kenya Forum, since its adoption in 2016 March, has continued to mobilize and convene Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for joint action towards sustainable development leaving no one behind. As current co- chair of the Interagency Technical Working Committee (chaired by the State Department of Planning, National Treasury), the highest SDGs Coordinating Organ in Kenya, the SDGs Forum continues to ensure that CSOs voices and perspectives shape the SDGs agenda in Kenya.

The 2030 Agenda has led CSOs worldwide to think business unusual to ensure the ambitious development agenda is achieved by inspiring action, as well as holding duty bearers accountable. In this regard, Kenyan CSOs under the SDGs Forum have embraced new methodologies of implementation that have resulted to partnerships and production of data that prioritizes on making citizen voices heard and count.

This second CSOs Voluntary National Review (VNR), covers the progress of Implementation of the 17 SDGs since the first VNR issued in 2017. Moreover, last year, an SDGs Progress Report was also issued; it provided an opportunity for CSOs to be better prepared for the 2020 VNR process. CSOs under the SDGs Kenya Forum continue to acquire skills to better their SDGs alignment, implementation and review. This report exhibits a deep commitment by Kenyan CSOs towards accelerating sustainable development particularly as the world ushers in the decade of action in the midst of the COVID 19 global crisis that has not hindered solidarity and commitment of CSOs to ensure citizen voices are well captured in the 2020 VNR process.

The SDGs Kenya Forum Secretariat, would like to express gratitude to all members who made submissions to this report and the goal group leads for their continued mobilization and leadership across the 17 SDGs. The secretariat also recognizes the critical role played by the Co - Chairs; AMREF Kenya, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Kenya, The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) and our fiscal sponsor Development Initiatives (DI) for the overall leadership and technical support offered. The secretariat highly appreciates support offered by BMGF and GIZ Kenya for compilation of the report and convening of members that ensured an inclusive process.

In conclusion, the Co-Chairs and the Secretariat sincerely hopes that the persistent challenges highlighted in this report will be addressed under the principle of common but differentiated responsibility by all stakeholders. Secondly, opportunities and best practices captured are key to accelerate the demands posed in line with the Decade of Action; “ensure ending inequalities and alleviating poverty in Kenya and globally by 2030”.

Country Coordinator

The report was developed by the SDG Kenya Forum through a three-step approach:

  1. 1 A two-day writing workshop was held by goal leads and goal members on 19th and 20th of February 2020. A total of 100 organisations participated in the writing workshop to provide their inputs using an online survey.
  2. 2 All other CSOs that could not make it to the writing workshop, but who desired to provide an input were contacted to report on their contributions to implementation of SDGs in 2019.
  3. 3 Once the first draft was produced, the report was shared with the contributing CSOs for validation and further refinement.

The Process

The third Progress Report is an improvement over the previous progress reports. This year, the Kenyan civil society reported on all SDGs, except SDG 9. This is a great improvement from the Second Progress Report and the First Progress Report from the Kenyan CSOs where initially only 12 goals and 8 goals were reported, respectively. Another improvement is, unlike the previous reports, this year’s submission from the Kenyan CSOs attempted to report by goal indicators, instead of goal targets. It is noted, however, that many organisations still struggle to report by indicators. New sections introduced in this report include areas that civil society organisations require further support and their plans for 2020 to further contribute to the implementation of the SDGs.

The report has been developed through an inclusive approach and it covers all goals, except SDG 9. Note that the report focuses MOSTLY on activities and results that 1) have been achieved by organizations that have participated in the VNR process 2) are heavily drawn from robust research that has been undertaken. The CSO VNR report and incorporation of the People’s score card was consolidated from submissions by 103 and subsequently a further 30 CSOs respectively through a three-step-approach.

The first step was to organise a two-day writing workshop for CSOs, drawn from the membership of the SDGs Kenya Forum (hereafter the Forum) and beyond using an online survey, to key-in their inputs. For inclusivity, this was followed by further contacting all other CSOs that could not make it to the writing workshop, but who desired to provide an input. The last step involved validating the reports (organized into the 17 goals) by contributing CSOs.

There has been an attempt to report against indicators in this VNR; and indeed, it is the best attempt so far. However, it is still an area CSOs are grappling with - to consolidate their results into outcomes and map them onto the SDGs – especially CSOs working across multiple sectors. A high number of CSOs (73%) have indicated that SDG’s reporting is an area they require capacity building. Table 1 below summaries the reporting by Target and indicator.

Where CSOs Work

In this VNR, 65% of the CSOs indicated that they are working at the national level while 35% of them are working at the county level. Figure 1 below breaks down the counties where the CSOs work. Most of the CSOs (39%) work in Nairobi County. However, only 2% of the CSOs work in Kericho and Trans Nzoia Counties.

For the 2020 CSO VNR, 17% of the participating organizations work on Goal 5 and only 1% work on Goal 7 and Goal 14 (Figure 2). Indeed, information on clean/renewable energy (Goal 7) and marine life (Goal 14) is very limited with the most reliable data often being provided by government ministries, agencies and departments.