The mandate of the State Department for Planning (SDP) has continued changing from time to time due to different placings. The State Department movement has also continued to expand its mandate over time. The origin of the State Department for Planning pre-dates back to Kenya’s independence where it was once the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vison 2030.
The State Department for Planning is currently placed under, – ‘The National Treasury and Planning’ docket of the Government Structure.
Its history can be traced to the Oliver Little Constitution of 1954, when the Ministry of Finance and Development was created. On attainment of independence on 12th December 1963, it was renamed the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, with three divisions or units that included, Administration, Statistics, and Planning. Since then, the Ministry has existed either as a fully-fledged Ministry or a division of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
Despite the perennial inconsistencies in the placement of the State Department, the core functions have remained basically the same. The successive revisions to the mandates have not only been made necessary due to the various emerging development issues, but also due to important regional and international collaborative arrangements. Similarly, changes in political administration and dispensation have equally necessitated changes in the mandate in order to conform to the development aspirations of the government of the day.
As part of these developments, SDP now serves as a parent host to several Semi-Autonomous Agencies of Government (SAGAs), and one liaison office for a Pan African body-the ‘NEPAD’. The SDP is also poised to facilitate the co-ordination of the implementation of Kenya Vision 2030, through the newly established Vision Delivery Secretariat (VDS).
The many years of development planning have yielded several crucial lessons in policy formulation and management in Kenya as below;
- The realization that macroeconomic stability is an essential prerequisite for achieving the kind of growth needed for development.
- The benefits of growth do not instantaneously trickle down or spread across regions, and as such, development must therefore address human needs more directly. This means that development requires targeting, in order to achieve desirable results.
- The realization that no single policy will trigger development and therefore, a multifaceted planning approach is needed.
- The primacy of institutions and which are now considered as key agents of effective development.
- The monitoring and evaluation functions are also critical for development. Yet, perhaps, the single most important lesson during the implementation of the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) has been that the government as a whole needs to be focused in order achieve desired goals, with other players, such as the Private Sector also being roped in to provide the necessary support.