Kenya Threshold Program

  • Grant Total: $12,700,000
  • Signed: March 23, 2007
  • Completed: December 31, 2010

The Kenya Threshold Program targeted policy areas measured by MCC’s Control of Corruption selection indicator. When originally selected as eligible for a threshold program, Kenya did not meet MCC criteria in the Ruling Justly category. Recognizing that corruption constrains private investment and good governance, the Government of Kenya proposed reducing corruption and improving the efficiency of government institutions.

To achieve these objectives, Kenya’s threshold program was composed of three activities that focused on reforming the country’s public procurement systems, improving health service and delivery, and improving the monitoring capacity of government and civil society organizations.

Program Achievements

Kenya’s Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) was able to increase capacity and better fulfill its mandate by reforming its procurement system. This contributed to the overall goal of increasing transparency in public procurement. Monitoring and enforcement of procurement law was strengthened, and PPOA staff and potential bidders were trained on the law and procurement practices. The establishment of a process to post procurement reviews of the highest spending government entities on a public website was a major achievement towards increasing transparency.

The program also supported improvements to health care procurement and delivery. Surveys of the public health supply chain found that Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA)—a key government entity providing basic health services—was relatively efficient in procuring medical commodities at lower prices. An audit of KEMSA’s procurement, warehouse and distribution systems noted that the absence of an audit committee compromised its internal audit function. Trainings and forums for more than 700 public health professionals in rural health facilities were held throughout Kenya on new KEMSA inventory tracking and audit procedures. The inventory management system was also overhauled to ensure the timely update of records and improved internal tracking.

The objective of the activity to improve monitoring capacity was to create demand among civil society and the public for procurement reform by equipping civil society organizations with the expertise and tools to champion proper procurement practice. Although some progress was made in improving government and external monitoring by creating public procurement watchdogs, the overall objective of increased monitoring was not achieved. Transparency International-Kenya trained “Public Watchers” to monitor the advertisement of procurement tenders in their areas, observe tender processes and the execution of projects.

Kenya Threshold Program Implementation

The Kenya Threshold Program agreement was signed by the Government of Kenya and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which was responsible for implementing the program on MCC’s behalf. The program concluded in December 2010. As the program administrator, USAID managed the program operations in Kenya and oversaw the program implementing partners: Associates in Rural Development, Inc., Management Sciences for Health/Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis in association with Africa Youth Trust, and PACT-Kenya. 

Improve Monitoring Capacity

Objective

Improve government and external monitoring capacity. 

Activities

  • Used internal monitoring and evaluation by the PPOA, Ministry of Health and KEMSA to measure threshold program progress, including baseline studies and auditing of program activities.
  • Supported external monitoring and evaluation by non-state actors, including civil society and private sector groups, to ensure transparency and accountability and report on progress, results and impacts.
Improve Health Care Procurement and Delivery

Objective

Improve health procurement and delivery by strengthening KEMSA’s procurement capacity and accountability, reducing leakages and waste in public resources, and strengthening supervision capacity to monitor medical supplies in rural health facilities. 

Activities

  • Strengthened KEMSA’s procurement capacity and accountability by providing software development technical assistance and training for relevant stakeholders on procurement processes. 
  • Improved supply chain management of public health resources through the implementation of a warehouse management system, a pilot “pull” system for commodity distribution, and a logistics management information system.
  • Built capability within the Ministry of Health to monitor KEMSA’s procurement function and assess compliance through a quality surveillance system and a countrywide price survey.
  • Strengthened the supervision, storage, and usage of medical supplies delivered to rural health facilities, and developed a distribution schedule and KEMSA price list on the Ministry of Health website.
Reform the Public Procurement System

Objective

Reduce public corruption in procurement by improving transparency and reducing opportunities for corruption in procurement processes. 

Activities

  • Strengthened the capacity of the newly created Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) to create greater transparency in the procurement process, provide the public with more procurement related information, and introduce more structured  and efficient procurement decision-making processes.
  • Developed and piloted an electronic procurement system in the five largest government procuring entities – the Office of the President, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Roads and Public Works, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of Health.
  • Developed and implemented new procurement regulations and guidelines.
  • Instituted proper records management protocols for public entities.