IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Kenya has been a partner of the Government of Kenya in addressing various migration related challenges and concerns. From 27-30 November 2018, IOM in collaboration with the National Registration Bureau (NRB) trained 47 NRB County Registrars, Regional Coordinators and headquarters staff on national identity management. The training was co-facilitated by senior NRB headquarters staff and recently-trained trainers from Kenya School of Government in September 2018. The training was held in Ukunda, Kwale County, and the topics covered were security features of National Identity cards, registration procedures, record management in public service, Citizen Services Delivery Charters and dissemination plan. These topics were identified by the Bureau as crucial to the delivery of their mandate.
The training involved 51 participants (12 female, 39 male). During his keynote speech, Mr. Reuben Kimotho, Director, National Registration Bureau, emphasized that, “it is important for the Government of Kenya to effectively manage identity as it is related to socio-economic and political wellbeing of the country, moreso its nexus to national security and other important national documents including passport.” He appreciated IOM’s support and said that, “it is well timed and addresses the priority need of the bureau, thus it is high time for department to strengthen serious partnership with some interested stakeholders to address key gaps identified within the department”.
The participants were also familiarized with the updated Citizen Service Delivery Charters in English and Kiswahili as well as brochures which will be distributed nationwide by NRB, in partnership with IOM. The revised Charters which will be displayed in areas visible and accessible to all citizen to raise awareness, will have clear new timelines for services, enabling citizens to receive fast and reliable services. For example, the Charter indicates that a citizen in Nairobi should receive his or her identification card for initial registration in 15 days and a replacement after 14 days.
The Assessment Report on National Identity Management was launched on 30 November 2018, the last day of the training. Among key gaps identified in the report are: inadequate laws, policies, and enforcement capabilities to ensure data security, need for public engagement and awareness campaigns to educate on the importance of identity documents and vetting exercises, physical working environment, staff capacity, delayed automation and digitization, and need for policy harmonization. These initiatives are supported under the ongoing IOM project, ‘Strengthening the Capacity of the Government of Kenya to Manage National Identity Programmes’ funded by IOM Development Fund (IDF), in partnership with the National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM), particularly with the National Registration Bureau (NRB).