November 20, 2019

Kenya: Inclusive Open Contracting

Historically, Kenyans have felt the impact of corruption in many ways, produced mainly by the loss and waste of public resources in flawed procurement processes. According to locals, the political elites have “repurposed the machinery of government into a temporary zone for personalized appropriation”.   

Through the Open Government Partnership, the country is seeking to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda of leaving no one behind and their national values and principles of governance, including “human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and the protection of the marginalized.”

To ensure these opportunities are accessible to underrepresented groups, Kenya has set out to give 30 percent of public procurement opportunities to women, the youth, or people with disabilities at both the national and local level. Through their Open Government Partnership action plan, citizens across the country and in Elgeyo Marakwet County are ensuring the open contracting data standards are implemented effectively and are making sure these opportunities really benefit the targeted group. Additionally, citizens will work with the government to improve the access to procurement opportunities through increased engagement with women’s groups, youth and people with disabilities through consultations, research, trainings, and more. 

Further, to improve public procurement practices and ensure the transparency of open contracting processes, government reformers committed to publishing important contracting information and adopt the Open Contracting Data Standard. This could contribute to reducing opportunities for corruption in public procurement, ensure fair and effective contracting, and create more business opportunities for small and medium sized businesses.