Highlighted results

Contributed to higher ranking in the ease of doing business index from position 80 to 61

Improved service delivery for women through the digitisation of Family Division court processes (serving women and children)

Improvements were made to include PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism) analysis in new programmes with the aim of addressing the potential root causes of radicalisation in vulnerable groups.

The Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi took the lead on issues pertaining to civic space, which resulted in international community engagement, petitioning of parliament by NGOs, high-level political discussions and the unprecedented re-engagement of the NGO

Additional sources

Factsheet Multiannual Country Strategy Kenya

Factsheet on the efforts of The Netherlands from 2019 to 2022


Overview of projects in Kenya


In Kenya, the Netherlands is pursuing an aid-to-trade policy agenda befitting a lower middle-income country, in which the focus has gradually shifted from traditional development projects to private sector development as a vehicle to attain development goals. At the same time, the Netherlands supports humanitarian and development organisations in their efforts to assist refugees and host communities. In addition, the Netherlands supports a number of public-private partnerships in the area of social progress, human rights, food and nutrition security and water.

There was significant political attention in the Netherlands for Kenya. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation visited Kenya for the ICPD+25 conference in 2019. So did the Director General of the Ministry of Health, the Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Director General of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water. These visits succeeded in boosting the bilateral co-operation between Kenya and the Netherlands and helped to strengthen the policy dialogue with Kenyan counterparts.

Results 2019

The programmes on Food and Nutrition Security focused on the reduction of food losses, improvement of food safety and opening up markets to farmers. A start was made on identifying activities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and on increased integration of climate resilience.

The Kenyan Judiciary was supported in digitising court processes in the Family Division, resolving the problem of misplaced court files. ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) led to a reduction in the time taken to resolve a family dispute from 46 months to 69 days. Complementary to this was the use of technology to provide legal aid.

The Netherlands supported Kenya in improving its Ease of Doing Business ranking, which resulted in more Dutch companies showing an increased interest in Kenya.

Co-operation with the National Counter Terrorism Centre led to an improved monitoring system for the Kenyan government. Support began for the reduction of opportunities for terrorist financing and enhancing the capacity of government actors. Civil society partners were supported in focusing on youth at community level to prevent and counter violent extremism, as was capacity building for the implementation/monitoring of certain County Action Plans to prevent and counter violent extremism.

Results by theme

Women’s rights and gender equality Security and rule of Law Civil society Food security Private sector development Water

Featured project Kenya

Haki Yetu Jukumu Letu! (CREAW)

Women-led groups organising themselves to demand accountability.

This project focused on strengthening a movement of women-led groups contributing to advancing the agenda for social transformation, as well as preventing, mitigating and responding to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). The aim was to promote the protection of women and girls in Kilifi and Meru counties and their ability to exercise their rights to life, health, dignity, non-discrimination and education, as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Dorothy Mwanyika, an activist in Kilifi, reflects on how the training offered by the Haki Yetu Jukumu Letu project on Gender Based Violence (GBV), laws and social accountability has helped to mobilise other women and educate the community to take action, address GBV and embrace the inclusion of women in all aspects of life and development.

Read more about the projects on the CREAW website.

Women’s movements transforming communities; one family at a time.

Dorothy Mwanyika, an activist in Kilifi, reflects on how the training offered by the Haki Yetu Jukumu Letu project on Gender Based Violence (GBV), laws and social accountability has helped to mobilise other women and educate the community to adress GBV.

Women’s rights and gender equality

The results in context

Preventing violence against women

Gender Based Violence (GBV) is one of the most widespread and socially tolerated forms of human rights violations, cutting across nationality, race, class, ethnicity and religion. It is a major source of inequality in Kenya today. It has a profound social and economic impact on families and communities. Kenya has robust policies and laws that seek to prevent and respond to GBV and is also a signatory to international and regional human rights frameworks that aim to prevent and respond to GBV. Through its international policy on women’s rights and gender equality, the Netherlands contributes to achieving the sustainable development goal (SDG 5) on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in particular. In 2018 - 2019, the Netherlands worked on women’s rights and gender equality through the Accountability Fund-supported Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) and United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK), focusing mainly on preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls and improving economic conditions for women.

There has been increased gender sensitivity, responsiveness and co-ordination of GBV services by public authorities in Kilifi and Meru counties. Meru County adopted a county-level policy on sexual and gender-based violence, while a similar policy has been developed in Kilifi that is pending legislation before the county assembly. Gender departments have now been established, with the counties adopting a multi-sectoral operational framework for co-ordination, prevention of and response to Gender Based Violence. A total of 226 women and organisations were trained on policy advocacy and budget tracking. The women-led groups and community-based organisations played a key role in spearheading county gender mainstreaming and championing socio-economic empowerment.

Capacity strengthening of the Judiciary and Office of the Department of Public Prosecution (ODPP) has led to an improvement in access to justice and in courts delivering justice in sexual violence cases. Such cases are now being handled more expeditiously, adjournments have been reduced and processes between the prosecutors and investigating officers on producing evidence and securing witnesses is better co-ordinated. Interventions in the education sector have resulted in the strengthening of the capacity of 121 school administrators in targeted schools in Meru and Kilifi counties, to establish confidential reporting mechanisms that are safe and easily accessible. This enables teachers to report abuse.

Women taking advantage of economic influence opportunities

Through Amplifying Voices Of Women With Disabilities and United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK), the capacity of 22 existing Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) has been enhanced by strengthening their organisational capacity. As a result, 1,842 women with disabilities were reached. The Netherlands also supported the promotion of enterprise development and economic empowerment for women and groups of people with disabilities, through the provision of funds for micro-saving ventures, with 20 grants being issued to 20 women’s DPOs. The allocated funds are geared towards the social and economic empowerment of women at the grassroots in the counties of the women’s accountability groups.

Security and rule of Law

The results in context

Rule of law in Kenya has been discussed, in particular with the government, and in some cases court orders and the rulings of the judiciary and judges were challenged. Advice from state agencies, citizen rights organisations and NGOs has also been scrutinised.

Court cases were handled noticeably quicker, particularly cases in which fundamental rights and freedoms were at risk of being undermined. Progressive rulings were made in cases challenging the excesses of the government, as well as rulings that protected the constitution. One of the key results achieved was the application of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and informal justice systems. Safeguards were built in to ensure that human rights were upheld, and the rights of women and girls in particular. Through ADR, the Judiciary achieved a 23% reduction in case backlogs and a sharp reduction in the time taken to conclude family disputes, from an average of 46 months to 69 days.

KNCHR (Kenya National Commission on Human Rights) was supported in its ability to implement activities under its mandate. Of 3,852 cases handled by KNCHR, 201 were SGBV cases instituted against police officers. NGOs lobbied for accountability of (state) organisations accused of corruption and human rights violations. They also provided legal aid and information to citizens, leading to increased participation/engagement and demand for their rights.

Good progress, albeit slow, was therefore made in strengthening the rule of law in Kenya by making institutions more independent and accountable, and citizens more aware and engaged.

Civil society

The results in context

The Netherlands supports civil society organisations in Kenya in defending the rights and interests of a wide range of groups in society, covering topics like social accountability and SGBV (Sexual and Gender Based Violence). This involved defending the rights of people with disabilities and refugees, land rights and creating an enabling environment for civil society organisations (CSOs) to effectively operate and strengthen inclusive and sustainable development.

In 2018-2019, 92 lobbying and advocacy initiatives were carried out and most implementations at county level were led by Community Based Organisations (CBOs), women-led groups and Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs). The aim was to better inform and sensitise people, influence agenda formation and engage in dialogues with relevant government authorities and duty bearers. As a result, 35 CSOs have increased capacity and citizens are able to demand services from both the national and county governments, participate in policy-making and budget-setting processes, and take action to safeguard their rights.

The Shule Yangu campaign, implemented by Transparency International Kenya, which seeks to ensure the protection of schools against illegal land grabs while supporting the government, has also achieved significant milestones. More than 9,998 public schools have benefited and land audits have been completed in all 47 counties.

As a result of lobbying and advocacy, public authorities have increased resources and have delivered more efficient GBV services. Major strides have been made in developing policy frameworks on GBV response, prevention and the co-ordination of GBV services in Meru and Kilifi counties. By influencing county fiscal plans in Kilifi county in 2018/2019, the county allocated close to EUR 50,000 for programmes in the gender department. In Meru county, lobbying resulted in the Kenyan First Lady launching a programme called ‘Twaweza’, which focuses on women’s empowerment and gender equality. In addition, Meru allocated almost EUR 87,000 to the gender department in the fiscal plan 2018/2019 and a further KES 12 million in the period 2019/2020. Also in Meru, the NATIONAL GOVERNMENT AFFIRMATION ACTION FUND (NGAAF) allocated almost EUR 173,000 for the construction of a rescue centre for GBV survivors to support GBV prevention efforts in the county.

Food security

The results in context

Embassy funded activities in the area of food security have contributed to addressing challenges concerning food safety, post-harvest losses and market access. This in turn contributed towards the strengthening of an enabling environment for improved food security in Kenya. The beneficiaries of these activities include producers (small- and medium-scale farmers), agribusiness companies (input and service providers), financial institutions and local governments, as well as knowledge/research institutions. Food security activities in the three main value chains (horticulture, including the potato value chain, dairy and aquaculture) build capacity for others types of farming business, for example, by improving awareness about input quality, strengthening agronomic practices and enhancing access to markets. Furthermore, these activities aim to promote increased research and innovation development to address food security challenges in the country. The goal is to increase knowledge and adopt improved technology that is locally available and affordable. Entrepreneurs and the private sector are key drivers of innovative solutions and, at the same time, address job creation ambitions, especially for youths and women.

In addition, the outcomes of these interventions have led to increased resilience to climate change and the ability to respond to population pressure. The interventions implemented complement the ambitions of the recently launched ten-year strategy by the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, aimed at sustainable agricultural transformation and food security. This strategy outlines the priority areas that will drive transformation and aspirations in the sector with the overall goal of creating a vibrant, commercial and modern agriculture sector that sustainably supports Kenya's development towards 100% food security and the realisation of SDG commitments.

Private sector development

The results in context

In Kenya, Private Sector Development (PSD) is a tool for sustainable development. In recent years, Kenya achieved lower middle-income status, which means that ODA (official development assistance) will gradually decrease. This makes the role of the private sector (job creation, income generation, source of taxation, etc.) more important in achieving the SDGs. The shift in the Netherlands’ policy towards Kenya from aid to trade has focused interventions by the Embassy on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to develop in key areas that have traditionally been supported by ODA.

The health sector, for example, has suffered from many years of underfunding and neglect. It is against this background that the role of the private sector in financing and investing in the health sector is important. The SDG Platform (funded by the Dutch government, among others) was formed to mobilise resources and public-private sector partnerships in addressing the health challenge. The platform was able to mobilise EUR 5,270,000 from various partners - multilateral, bilateral, philanthropic and private sector (including Philips) - both in kind and financially, specifically for primary health care.

In agriculture, private sector investments have increased innovation and the adoption of appropriate technologies in the areas of storage, mechanisation, crop protection and other suitable technologies in the potato value chain. These are the key drivers for addressing the challenges of food security.

The Embassy also invested in strengthening public institutions that directly or indirectly affect the business climate. The commercial justice arm of the Judiciary was supported in partnership with the IDLO (International Development Law Organisation). The interventions targeted include the following policies, guidelines, strategy documents that were developed for the judiciary: Standard Operating Procedures for training and Knowledge management; guidelines for a uniform citation system in e-filing; communication strategy for the Commercial/Tax Division; document management system, e-filing module and e-payment module. This led to increased transparency and efficiency in commercial justice, which in turn led to an improvement in Kenya’s standing in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Indicators and ranking.


The results in context

Almost 80% of Kenya’s surface area is classified as arid to semi-arid and this is further aggravated by climate change. However, changing weather patterns over the past year have also shown that droughts and floods are occurring more frequently and are more intense. The Kenya National Water master plan estimates that annual investment of more than USD 2 billion is needed over the coming years to address water supply and water resource management issues. The government budget alone cannot cover these investments. Kenya has therefore been at the forefront of innovative financing of infrastructure for water, including blending various public and private sources.

In this context, the Kenya Innovative Financing Facility in the Water Sector (KIFFWA) acts as a co-developer of water initiatives by providing financial support and technical advice to initiatives in the Kenyan water sector.

KIFFWA is developing 17 initiatives in the field of drinking water, hydro power, irrigation, water management, aquaculture and sanitation and hygiene. The selected projects have a combined value of EUR 2,260 million. Development to arrive at bankable projects has taken longer than was originally foreseen and none of the projects has yet reached a financial conclusion. The results will therefore be incorporated in future reports.

Background and future Kenya


Whilst moving away from the traditional project-led development approach and focusing on aid to trade, the Netherlands has supported private sector development and Public-Private Partnerships through smaller funds. The current approach is geared towards innovative initiatives that, if successful, can be scaled up. Building on the goodwill and experience gained during decades of development co-operation, these programmes predominantly focus on Food and Nutrition Security, Water and Private Sector Development. The shift from aid to trade has also changed the character of support to the justice sector, in that reform programmes improving the efficiency of commercial courts have received particular attention. Complementary to this, support was provided through the IFC (International Finance Corporation) to improve ‘ease of doing business’. Support for human rights issues has continued and the Netherlands contributed towards access to justice through dispute resolution initiatives and digitisation. Humanitarian and economic support to refugees and their host communities was increased.

Glimpse into the future

How do we view the future in light of the work and results achieved in 2018-2019? What should we do differently, what improvements can be made?

The policy note ‘Investing in Global Prospects (2018)’ mentions Kenya as part of the Horn of Africa focus region. The Multi-Annual Country Strategy (MACS) guides the work of both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague and the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi. The strategy aligns with Kenya’s priorities as well as the European Joint Programming Strategy. Because of various aid flows from partnerships, the EU, the UN and the World Bank, the total aid volume to Kenya remains more or less the same. For the period 2019-2022, the Netherlands will pursue a policy of an integrated approach in which the various funding channels and programmes are better co-ordinated in order to achieve maximum synergy. The strategy will focus on private sector development, climate change, security, migration and food security. These issues are all interrelated in the Horn of Africa. As the prevention of violent extremism is a cross-cutting priority, this will be addressed in co-operation with the Kenyan government and civil society partners focusing on youth at community level.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is most likely severe. The extent to which this affects our current and future projects is still unknown.

Additional sources

You can find how the budget was allocated in 2019 and which projects were funded on the budget website.

  1. Visit the website
    Programme budget Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  2. Select financial year 2019
Facebook page

Follow the Embassy of Kenia Facebook

Results Women’s rights and gender equality

Download PDF with results for Women’s rights and gender equality in Kenya

Results Security and rule of Law

Download PDF with results for Security and rule of Law in Kenya

Results Civil society

Download PDF with results for Civil society in Kenya

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Kenya

Results Private sector development

Download PDF with results for Private sector development in Kenya

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in Kenya

Expenditure Embassy by channel


Expenditure Embassy by theme


The budget in this figure is for the year 2019 and does not completely correspond with the results on this page, which have been collected between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019. More information on this can be found on the 'About the results report' page.