Kitui County in Kenya allocated US $161,529 for family planning in its 2015/16 budget. This is the first time the county has included a specific budget line for family planning. Advance Family Planning (AFP) partner Jhpiego Kenya and Kyeni Foundation, an Opportunity Fund recipient, led the advocacy to allocate funding for family planning, working with the county’s family planning technical working group. The Opportunity Fund, managed by PAI with funding from AFP, is a small grants program that helps advocates seize opportunities to accelerate Family Planning 2020’s success at district, state, national, and regional levels.
Jhpiego worked with the Kitui County Health Management Team and family planning stakeholders to facilitate the development of the Kitui County Family Planning Costed Strategic Plan 2014-2018. This plan provided the basis and much-needed momentum to allocate resources that would support operationalization of the strategy.
The entry of Kyeni Foundation, a local nongovernmental organization associated with Edith Mawia, the Kitui County First Lady, played a pivotal role in eliciting political goodwill and commitment by the office of the County Governor and the executive team towards a budget allocation for family planning. Jhpiego supported Kyeni Foundation by not only working together, but providing guidance and orientation to the AFP SMART advocacy approach.
Meetings were held with Ruth Isika, County Minister for Health and her technical team about the need to earmark funds for family planning in the departmental 2015/16 budget. Subsequent advocacy meetings were held with the Governor and select members of the County Assembly. The advocacy efforts resulted in the executive arm of Kitui County Government making a budget proposal to the County Assembly that included a specific budget for family planning.
The County Assembly did not disappoint: It voted an allocation of $161,529 to family planning in June 2015. This was $14,000 less the total family planning budget proposed by the executive. The difference will be acquired through a supplementary budget proposal to the County Assembly.
Jhpiego, Kyeni Foundation, and the county family planning working group will work with the County Health Management Team to ensure that the allocated budget goes towards implementation of family planning interventions.
Partners in the county family planning working group will also be engaged to leverage public resources earmarked for family planning by providing additional funds for implementation of specific family planning interventions.
Results from a recent ImpactNow and advocacy session in July 2014 co-coordinated with AFP partners Jhpiego and Palladium (formerly Futures Group ) in the county provided the rationale for the benefits of investing in family planning. ImpactNow is a policy model that uses localized data to calculate the near-term health and economic benefits of investing in family planning.
The county family planning working group will use this evidence-based advocacy with the County Health Management Team to ensure that the family planning allocation is spent on appropriately, which will advance operationalization of the Kitui County Costed Family Planning Strategy.
Kitui County is home to 995,267 people and is growing rapidly, largely due to a high fertility rate of 5.1 children per woman. In 2011, about one in five married women who wanted to postpone their next birth or stop childbearing altogether were not using any method of contraception.