Kenya - Government Profile

Kenya National Social Protection Policy

Social protection has been implemented in Kenya in many different forms for many decades, including various programmes created in response to emergencies. The establishment of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in 1965 and 1966 respectively, was part of the Government’s efforts to cushion workers against future vulnerabilities. However, these interventions have tended to be created in a piecemeal and uncoordinated manner. Following a meeting in Livingstone, Zambia in 2006, under the auspices of the African Union, the Government of Kenya began the process of formulating a national social protection framework. This entailed holding national consultation meetings involving representatives from Government ministries, non-state actors (NSAs) such as the private sector, community groups, and voluntary organizations, and development partners as well as exploring international best practices in the provision and financing of social protection. This process has enabled the Government to identify several key comprehensive actions in the areas of social assistance, social security, and health insurance. The consultations also identified several key barriers that were preventing many people from accessing social protection services, including stigma and discrimination on account of gender, disability, age, nationality, area of residence, and poor wellbeing (for instance, having a particular disease).