DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTY SOCIAL PROTECTION POLICY – ISIOLO
The development of this county’s social protection policy for Isiolo County was informed by the need to address a variety of social and economic challenges faced by the county and its inhabitants dawn from diverse ethnic groups including; the Borana, Somali, Turkana, and Meru communities.
The social protection policy aims to establish a robust and integrated social protection system that enhances social welfare, improves livelihoods, and empowers its citizens to overcome poverty and inequality.
Some of the objectives of the developed policy include;
- Contribute to the reduction of incidences of Poverty and Vulnerability: The policy aims to reduce poverty and vulnerability by providing mechanisms for targeting support to individuals and households facing economic hardships. This includes creating provisions for the design and implementation of effective social safety nets, cash transfer programs, and income-generating initiatives that promote economic empowerment, amongst other interventions.
- Promote Inclusive Growth: The policy focuses on fostering inclusive economic growth and reducing inequalities within Isiolo County. It further strives to create an enabling environment that enables marginalized groups, such as women, youth, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and marginalized populations to actively participate in and benefit from development processes.
- Improve Food Security and Nutrition: Recognizing the significance of agriculture and livestock rearing in Isiolo's economy, the policy seeks to leverage interventions that improve food security and enhance nutrition outcomes. This means integrating social assistance with programs/interventions that promote sustainable agricultural practices, access to quality seeds and fertilizers, and the establishment of market linkages for vulnerable farmer and pastoralist households. Integration is also be explored with health and education sectors, and other social services.
- Strengthen Disaster Preparedness and Response: Given Isiolo County’s vulnerability to droughts and floods, the policy outlines proactive measures to guide the expansion/scale-up of social assistance programs in the occurrence of droughts and floods. The existing social assistance programs will need to be shock responsive and clear mechanisms/procedures for financing humanitarian scale-ups are outlined in the policy. The policy further takes cognizance of ongoing Disaster Risk Reduction such as; early warning systems, risk reduction strategies, community resilience building, and post-disaster recovery efforts – and creates points of linkage to social protection.
- Foster Social Cohesion and Empowerment: The policy framework then places a strong emphasis on social cohesion and community empowerment. The presence of a clear social protection framework is expected to contribute to an inclusive society that respects diversity, promotes peaceful coexistence, and enables the active participation of citizens in decision-making processes through civic education and the strengthening of community-based organizations.