Inaugural of the National Steering Committee (NSC) and the National Technical Committee (NTC) on Knowledge ManagementAntony Gacanja
The Principal Secretary in the State Department for Economic Planning Mr. James Muhati, attended the inaugural retreat for the National Steering Committee (NSC) and the National Technical Committee (NTC) on Knowledge Management (KM), on 4 /9/2023, held in Naivasha. This is the first engagement with NSC since the approval of the Knowledge Management Policy by the Cabinet in May 2022.
The National Development Technical Implementation Committee (NDTIC) mandated the State Department for Economic Planning to formally assume responsibility for developing the Knowledge Management Policy and framework for Kenya in 2019.
Knowledge management is an efficient management of data in an organization. In order to increase productivity and performance, organizations and individuals must be able to recognize, generate, collect, evaluate, store, share, and preserve knowledge. The knowledge-based economy that Kenya Vision 2030 envisions is one in which the production, application, and use of knowledge are essential components of rapid economic progress.
Under the institutional structures for Knowledge Management, NSC is the top policy advising body. The membership is drawn from the National Government, County Government, Civil Society, the Private Sector, Development Partners, and others. The Committee is in charge of reviewing and approving Knowledge Management strategies, standards, and guidelines established by the Technical Committee and the National Secretariat. It is also responsible for providing policy guidance and oversight in the mainstreaming of Knowledge Management at the National and County levels.
The NTC is a technical advisory body that aids in knowledge management activities. The Council of Governors (CoG), senior executives from selected Ministries/State Departments, academia, research centers, and development partners make up the committee. Its duties include, among others; conducting baseline surveys on knowledge management awareness and practices; establishing knowledge management strategies, reports, standards, and guidelines; and preparing and submitting annual progress reports on the status of knowledge management implementation.
Other committees that are involved in Knowledge Management include; the National Secretariat; the Devolution Knowledge Management Inter-Agency Committee; and Knowledge Management Committees which have different responsibilities for Knowledge Management.
Currently, there is a change on knowledge-based economies in the global arena which are driven by technology. A lot of information is generated and shared to the internet. In the Africa’s Agenda 2063, the continent is required to invest in skills specifically in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to drive it’s development agenda.
The Knowledge Management in Africa (KMA) is inspired by the desire to harness and share Africa’s rich knowledge for the benefit of Africans. KMA was launched in 2003 with the main objective of facilitating and harnessing of indigenous knowledge assets to improve the development outcomes in the continent.
Since its launch, it has held 3 biennial conferences for knowledge dissemination and exchange. These conferences took place in the following areas; Johannesburg 2005; Kenya 2007; and Senegal 2009.
KMA-Kenya Chapter was formed in 2009 under the Ministry which was responsible for Economic Planning. The role of KMA-Kenya chapter is institutionalizing Knowledge Management in public sectors. It has already developed two Strategic Plans, carried out capacity development of knowledge management from various Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and Counties (MDACs), developed a Knowledge Management Policy for Kenya, carried out Baseline Survey on Knowledge Management awareness levels in MDACs and identified members to constitute the NSC and the NTC.
In his Speech, the PS stated that, in order to completely institutionalize Knowledge Management in Kenya, the Committee should carry out a number of factors such as constituting the Devolution Knowledge Management Inter-Agency Committee and continue creating awareness on knowledge management.
The broad objective of the workshop was to hold the inaugural meeting for the Knowledge Management-NSC and the Knowledge Management-NTC. Some of the specific objectives were; to discuss and agree on the roles and responsibilities of the committees; to apprise the committees on the Knowledge Management Policy for Kenya 2022, and the Baseline Survey on Knowledge Management Awareness and Practices in the Public Service; and to share and discuss the Medium Term Steps (22/23-27/28) on the implementation of Knowledge Management.
The Workshop in Naivasha is expected to achieve the following deliverables; Knowledge Management Work Plan for 2023/24 Fiscal Year; a 5 Year Plan for implementation of the Knowledge Management, NTC capacity building on Knowledge Management Practices; the Workshop Report, among others.
The Director, Social and Governance Directorate Mr. Ezekiel Manyara took the team through the workshop objectives and the Baseline Survey Report which was undertaken and analysed by the State Department for Economic Planning.
The Baseline Survey on Knowledge Management Awareness and Practices in the Public Service was conducted in 3 phases which took place from 6th June, 2022 to 16th March, 2023, covering a total of 112 MDACs. One of the objectives of this survey was to determine the Knowledge Management awareness levels in the public sector institutions in Kenya.
The following tables illustrate the areas that were surveyed and the levels with the highest responses.
Table 1: Survey Results and Analysis of Findings; Respondent Characteristics
|Age category of respondents||31-40 years|
|Type of institution||Ministry/State Department: 328|
|Level of management of respondents||45% Senior Level Management|
|Level of Education||46% Bachelors Degree and 46% Masters|
Table 2: Survey Results and Analysis of Findings; Knowledge Management Awareness
|Levels of Awareness on Knowledge Management||66% moderately aware|
|Levels of awareness on importance of knowledge management||59% moderately aware|
|Ability of knowledge management to improve profession or expertise||72% strongly agree|
|Importance of knowledge management to the institution||43% agreed|
|First interaction with knowledge management||45% on jobs|
|Knowledge management levels by institution||Most were from Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies|
Table 3: Survey Results and Analysis of Findings; Knowledge Management Practices
|Knowledge Management practices by public sector institutions||Most were from Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies|
|Mentorship and coaching opportunities by institutions||Most were from Constitutional Offices and Commissions|
To conclude, there is need for comprehensive sensitization and training to create awareness and enhance the understanding of knowledge management practices in the public service.
Some of the representatives attending the Workshop are from; the State Department for Economic Planning; State Department for Higher Education; State Department for Public Service; State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action; State Department for Foreign Affairs; State Department for Culture and Heritage; Council of Governors, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA),TVET; the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary; Kenya School of Government; Kenyatta University; Technical University of Kenya; KIPPRA; Phowad Solutions limited; National Research Fund (NRF) among others.