The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other. In 2016, 750 individuals from 76 countries and 320 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.
The launch of Kenya’s Single Registry scheme marks a major step forward in the management and monitoring of social protection in low and middle-income countries. The Registry has enabled the government of Kenya to link together the Management Information Systems (MISs) of five social security schemes (the Old Age Grant, Disability Benefit, Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Cash Transfer, Hunger Safety Net programme, and World Food Programme’s (WFP) Cash for Assets scheme). Furthermore, the Single Registry is linked to the National Registration database, so that programme beneficiaries can be clearly identified by their national ID number.
The Single Registry now enables the National Social Protection Secretariat – based in the Ministry of Labour and East African Affairs – to access information on all households receiving social security. This enables them to monitor: beneficiaries enrolled against the government’s expansion plan for the national social security system, the number and type of programme each household is benefitting from, the accuracy of beneficiary details, timelines of payments, complaints resolved within established time frames, and consolidated programme costs. Importantly, the Single Registry can capture information on schemes that are designed very differently, including the use of distinct targeting mechanisms.
The development of the Single Registry is a core component of the WFP’s Complementarity Initiative in Kenya. Over the past five years, Development Pathways has been contracted by, initially, DFID and subsequently, WFP to work with the National Social Protection Secretariat to build the Single Registry. It has involved:
Kenya’s Single Registry is very different in design when compared to earlier attempts in other countries to develop unified databases. Kenya’s system is essentially a warehouse, holding information on all the beneficiaries of the national social protection system, and is continuously updated as individual programme MISs update their information on beneficiaries. For example, it enables the Social Protection Secretariat to know when households have entered or exited schemes, how much people they have been paid each month, whether there are complaints about the system and, potentially, update any changes in household composition. However, the information produced depends on the quality of the data entered. The next stage in the development of the Single Registry will be to ensure that all programme MISs can be managed at district level – through a web-based system – and that information on beneficiaries can be updated as close to real time as possible. The broader plan is to also bring on board other components of the social protection system such as the National Social Health Insurance scheme and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).