Launch of the Third Generation Decent Work Country Program (2021 – 2024).
Kenya has had two previous Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs). The first generation
DWCP was implemented in 2007-2011. The second-generation DWCP was for the period 2013-
2016 but its implementation was extended to 2017. Both DWCPs focused on enhancing social
protection; promoting employment creation and employability; and promoting tripartism and
A Country Programme Review (CPR) of the DWCP II was done in December
2016. The CPR identified the potential of the DWCP to leverage national resources by aligning
its priorities and outcomes to national priorities and demands so as to increase its relevance,
coherence, and strategic fit. It also identified the need for active participation of tripartite-plus
partners in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of DWCP; and enhancing
effectiveness of the DWCP through establishment and maintenance of a strong coordination
mechanism between partners and other actors. This is envisaged to be necessary for promoting
the creation and exploitation of synergy, and the sharing and learning from good practices.
Kenya’s economic, social and political aspirations are founded on the Kenya Vision 2030. The
broad policy framework seeks to transform the country into an industrialized upper-middle-income economy offering a high quality of life to all its citizens by the year 2030. The Kenya Vision 2030 is being implemented through successive five-year Medium Term Plans (MTPs). The first MTP covered the period 2008-2012 and the second covered 2013-2017. The third MTP III (2018-2022) builds on achievements of the first and second MTPs but also prioritizes implementation of the “Big Four” Agenda.
The MTP III (2018-2022) aims to achieve accelerated, high, inclusive, broad-based, and
sustainable economic growth. It seeks to provide every Kenyan with decent and gainful
employment and widen social protection coverage. Specifically, the MTP III (2018-2022)
targets to create 1.3 million new jobs annually in 2018-2022, and to increase the ratio of formal
sector employment from 13 percent in 2017 to 40 percent by 2022. It also focuses on promoting
equity in access, control, and participation in resource distribution for improved livelihoods of
women, youth, and vulnerable groups. The MTP III (2018-2022) also emphasizes the promotion of
gender equality. This is to be achieved through equal access to economic and social
opportunities, prevention and response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV), elimination of female
genital mutilation (FGM), and gender mainstreaming, among other interventions.
The Big Four Agenda is anchored on broad-based inclusive sustainable economic growth, foster
job creation, and reduction of poverty and inequality. It puts a premium on increasing
the manufacturing share of the gross domestic product (GDP) from 9.2 percent to 15 percent by 2022 and increasing the share of agro-processing to at least 50 percent of total agricultural output by2022. It also focuses on providing affordable housing by building 500,000 low-cost houses across the country in five years; enhancing food and nutrition security, and achieving 100 percent universal Health Coverage (UHC) 1
Both the MTP III (2018-2022) and Big Four Agenda are aligned to global and regional
development frameworks. These include the United Nations Development Assistance Framework(UNDAF, 2018-2022), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the African Union Commission Agenda 2063 particularly the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan (2014-2023).
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and its constituent partners in Kenya, namely
Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MoL& SP), Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), and Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU-K) embarked on the development of the third generation DWCP in 2018. The DWCP III (2021-2024) builds on achievements and lessons
learned from the implementation of the first and second DWCPs. It seeks to integrate the DWCP III
(2021-2024) priorities and outcomes to national, regional, and global development priorities such
as the UNDAF, SDGs, and African Union Commission Agenda 2063. The DWCP III (2021-
2024) also strikes a conscious linkage with Kenya Common Country Assessment (CCA) to
ensure that the country context is in sync with the national development aspirations.
The DWCP III (2021-2024) country priorities inclusive of the country programs are in sync
with the eight policy outcomes in the ILO’s Programme and Budget for the Biennium 2020-
2021 3 . It is also consistent with the Programme and Budget Proposals for 2022-2023. The
country priorities and outcomes are also aligned to the seven strategic outcomes of the Abidjan
Declaration Advancing Social Justice: Shaping the future of work in Africa 4.The DWCP III
(2021-2024) also takes cognizance of the devastating effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019
(COVID-19) on the world of work.
In keeping with the UNDAF (2018-2022) and cognizance of the ILO’s normative and standard-setting roles, the DWCP (2021-2024) has three country priorities areas. These are Human Capital
Development; Sustainable Economic Growth; and Social Dialogue and Tripartism.
The implementation period for Kenya’s UNDAF (2018-2022) ends in 2022 while the DWCP III
period goes to 2024. Consequently, a mid-term review of the DWCP III (2021-2024) well done at
the end of 2022 to inform adjustment and alignment of the DWCP III (2021-2024) to the new
United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for Kenya.
The DWCP III (2021-2024) is the outcome of a highly participatory, consultative, and inclusive
tripartite-plus stakeholder process. Development of the DWCP III (2021-2024) was spearheaded
by the MoL& SP with active involvement and participation of FKE, COTU-K, ILO, and other stakeholders. It also benefitted from consultations and engagement with the United Nations ‘Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT).
The DWCP III (2021-2024) consultations started in 2018/2019 and were preceded by
the engagement of the tripartite partners at institutional levels to assess the need for decent work
programming, and identification of DWCP priorities and country Programme outcomes. The partners were also presented with the CPR for the DWCP II to help concretize achievements and
lessons learned from its implementation. Priority areas and country Programme outcomes
proposed by the tripartite partners were consolidated and harmonized by a tripartite-based
Technical Working Group (TWG), which also oversaw the entire DWCP III development