(June 2007) With hundreds of organizations working throughout Kenya to implement population, health, development, gender, and environment programs, how do you know who is doing what and where? The National Coordinating Agency on Population and Development (NCAPD), with the assistance of the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has developed a national database that provides information on more than 900 organizations that work in population, health development, gender, and the environment in Kenya. The Population and Development Resources Database provides data on governmental, nongovernmental, faith-based, community-based, and private organizations including locations (province, district, constituency), types of services offered, number of staff, estimated budgets, and number of years in service, among other information.
Over the last decade, a burgeoning number of development organizations, including a proliferation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in HIV/AIDS, has led to an inability of the government to effectively plan and coordinate activities. This phenomena has also led to a rise in the so-called “briefcase” NGOs, organizations that have no real base of operations. These groups claim to have programs and services but literally operate out of a briefcase. Other problems frequently cited because of lack of adequate information include inequities in resource distribution, particularly among the poorest segments of society; duplication of effort and inefficiencies in program implementation; and difficulties in allocating funds to programs because of insufficient information on the credibility and effectiveness of these organizations.
The Population and Development Resources database is providing new insights into the operations of organizations across the nation. For example, most have an annual budget of between 750,000 Ksh and 1.85 million Ksh. About one in five operates on less than 380,000 Ksh per year.
Out of the responding organizations, 40 percent had been established in the last seven years and just over 12 percent of organizations have been operating for more than 25 years.
While Internet access is increasing, organizations in some provinces have higher rates of connectivity and access. As expected, eight out of 10 organizations in Nairobi have Internet access. Seven out of every 10 organizations in the Central Province have access, compared to about six out of every 10 in the Nyanza and Coast provinces, and about half of all organization surveyed in the Western and Rift Valley provinces. However, less than 40 percent of organizations in the Eastern and North Eastern provinces have Internet access.
Government ministries, organizations, donors, researchers, and others can use the information in the database for managing and planning programs, assessing whether program resources are equitably distributed in selected areas, and identifying potential partners and networking.
Other information in the database includes:
- Contact details and areas of specialty of organizations.
- Geographical areas of operation (by province, district, and constituency).
- Types of clients that are served, such as out-of-school youth, people living with HIV/AIDS, the elderly, or members of Parliament.
- Number of staff members per agency and percent who are female.
- Whether an organization has a board of directors or a steering committee.
- Mission of an organization.
- Type of organization (nongovernmental organization, community-based organization, faith-based organization, etc.) and type of facilities operated.
- Whether an organization charges a fee for services and for which services.
- Focus areas, such as HIV/AIDS treatment, maternal health, family planning, food security, or water access.
- Which organizations conduct research, policy advocacy, and training.
- Whether an organization has access to computers and the Internet.
- Great achievements and challenges.
- Which organizations receive funding from the government, from religious institutions, from corporations, and from international donors.
- Annual budget range and top donors.
Currently, select reports are available on the NCAPD website. In coming months, a searchable database will be available on the site. For those without Internet access, printed reports and CDs can be requested from NCAPD.
Please visit the Population and Development Resources Database at: www.ncapd-ke.org/population.php. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Sines is a policy analyst at the Population Reference Bureau, and was involved in creating this database.