Kenya: Data Strategy and Capacity Building

Apr 28, 2016

Kenya has undertaken much work to date on data and knowledge issues, and has advanced this through the Kenya Data Forum—a national initiative managed by the Deputy President's office that aims to develop and implement a long term sustainable local data strategy. Kenya, however, lacks an organized framework for collecting reliable and comparable data on philanthropy in the country; to help meet this need, the Philanthropy Sector in Kenya has come together over the decades through the creation of the East Africa Association of Grantmakers (EAAG) and more recently the Kenya Philanthropy Forum (KPF) and its Data Sub-group. In June 2015 the KPF organized a Philanthropy Data Management convening that brought together over 30 foundations and trusts to explore opportunities for strengthening data collection, management, and sharing data in the philanthropy forum for greater impact and influence on national development efforts in Kenya. As a result, certain outcomes and aspirations were agreed upon. They included:

  1. Establishing the principles for data management for philanthropy.
  2. Expanding the forum so that participation reflects the size and diversity of existing forms of philanthropy.
  3. Developing a standardized tool for data collection.
  4. Actively engaging in the existing philanthropy data initiative.
  5. Partnering with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to establish data sets that effectively capture the contribution of philanthropy in Kenya's development.

The June 2015 meeting highlighted the urgent need for philanthropic data and that "Kenya lacks an organized framework for collecting reliable and comparable data on philanthropy in the country." To begin systematically addressing these recommendations, Foundation Center (a philanthropic support organisation based in New York) designed a multi-stage Data Strategy and Capacity Building Program, working in partnership with KPF, EAAG, Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF), and the Sustainable Development Goals Philanthropy Platform (SDGPP). This initiative was kicked off at a special "Data Scoping Meeting" of the KPF on 28 April 2016, attended by a total of 51 participants representing across section of Kenyan foundations, trusts, and support organisations. As reflected in the meeting agenda (see Appendix A), the objectives of the Data Scoping Meeting were as follows:

1. Establish principles for collaborative data and knowledge management

2. Understand the core data needs of philanthropy in Kenya

3. Leverage available technologies for collecting and sharing data and knowledge

4. Leverage global knowledge for local purposes

5. Identify data challenges and set local goals

This report summarizes the outcomes of the Data Scoping Meeting and outlines next steps in preparation for a follow-up meeting on Data Capacity Building in the coming months.

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