NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 – Huduma Kenya under the Devolution Ministry has been gifted a global excellence award for its efforts in improving service delivery.
Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was presented with the United Nations accolade in Medellin, Colombia, in South America by Lenni Montiel, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
“The Huduma Kenya Programme implemented by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning was recognized for its outstanding achievements in serving the public interest,” said Waiguru.
Huduma edged out 528 others who had presented submissions under the same category of which 59 were from Africa.
“Huduma Kenya Centres are a symbol of transformational leadership. It is transforming Government service delivery in ways that puts Kenya ahead of some developed and other developing nations,” acknowledged Waiguru after receiving the award.
The award is the most prestigious international award which recognizes excellence in public service delivery and was won by Huduma for its programme which has seen Kenyans have access to over 18 government services under one roof.
“Huduma centers provide the citizen with multiple-channel, single-window access to government services at one-stop citizen service centers, complete with call centers, mobile phone platforms and web portals,” she added.
The award comes barely a month after the same programme won the African Gold Award on Innovative Management from the Association of African Public Administration and Management among a host of others it has grabbed over the years.
The award is a feather in the hat of the embattled Cabinet secretary who will next week appear before the National Assembly Labour and Social Welfare Committee to keep them abreast over the corruption allegations dogging the national Youth Service (NYS) which is under the docket.
The past week, politicians have in equal measure condemned and supported Waiguru following reports that Kenya would have lost over Sh800 million after attempts to hack the institutions financial management system were thwarted.
President Kenyatta commended the Huduma Kenya Programme, saying his Government is committed to serving Kenyans and the one-stop-shop approach to public service delivery adopted by the programme will go a long way towards achieving that goal.
“I am glad that the Huduma Programme is already proving to be a showcase in efficient and effective public service delivery in Africa and beyond,” President Kenyatta said.
The Presidency has been steering the Programme through the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and chairs the Huduma Kenya Service Delivery Summit.
To win in the category Huduma Kenya had to excel in seven areas among them increasing efficiency, providing high-quality service delivery, incorporating citizens’ feed-back, improving access and promoting equity, promoting partnerships, transforming administration and the introduction of a new concept.
Aside from this, the government at the same time launched a public awareness initiative to popularize Huduma Centres at the county level.
The initiative covering Meru, Embu, Kirinyaga, Muranga, Kajiado, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Mombasa and Kwale will educate residents on the services available and encourage them to make use of the facilities.
The centers were launched by the government two years ago to ease access to its services for instance registration of birth, acquisition of identity cards, application and issuance of Kenyan passports among others.
“The number of days it takes for one to get a National ID has since been expedited to 18 days within Nairobi and 38 days in other areas. The process of application and issuing of Kenyan passports has been made easier. This was only previously possible at 7 main towns,” read a statement released by the institution.
11 centers have since been rolled out with a further 19 expected to be opened this year this in a bid to meet the target of having a center in each of the 47 counties.
600 additional officers have also been trained to meet the increasing demand by Kenyans seeking the services.
The awareness campaign will also be carried out in at least ten other counties.