Tuesday, 07 July 2020
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Policy vs Practice: Two modes that reflect decision-making in the Kenyan health system

July 16, 2020, 9:30 a.m. EST / 3:30 p.m. CEST (Geneva)



Join JSI and Sonder Design Collective for a third in a series of mini 30-minute webinars sharing their initial findings from the Vx Data Insights research in Kenya. This Human-Centered Design study is a joint effort between the two organizations and the Ministry of Health in Kenya, aimed at understanding the challenges around collecting and using data for decision-making in delivering immunization services. 

In this webinar, the team will take you through their learnings about the two modes of decision-making in the Kenyan health system. Through key insights and illustrative examples, they will describe the 2 decision-making modes used for decision making: extensive planning and budgeting activities that closely follow policy versus the reactive, rapid and informal nature of how decisions are often made on the ground to respond to urgent and unmet needs . For more information about the work, you can download the initial Kenya findings report.


  • Isaac Mugoya, Senior Technical Officer, Kenya - Immunization Center, JSI. Isaac has been working in immunization for more than three decades, supporting the Kenyan Ministry of Health in monitoring immunization programs, introducing new vaccines, and applying best practices. 
  • Emilia Klimiuk, Project Lead, Sonder Design Collective. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Emilia is a designer and researcher specializing in applying Human-Centered Design methods to the health, microfinance, and agriculture sectors in low resource settings. 
  • Sarah Hassanen, Kenya Lead, Sonder Design Collective. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Sarah practices Human-Centred Design with a focus on health across multiple continents including Africa, Europe and the Middle East
  • Wendy Prosser, Senior Technical Officer - Supply Chain, Immunization Center, JSI. Wendy provides technical assistance and strategic guidance on the immunization supply chain across JSI’s country teams to improve the design and management of the supply chain, create processes for data use for decision making, and apply global best practices to the country context.


3 years ago

Hi, all.

Thank you to those who participated in today's webinar. I hope you found it useful. There were a few questions from the Q&A that we didn't get a chance to respond to so have continued the discussion here.

Were there any pathways identified for better operations at the national or policy level (particularly related to budgets not getting fully allocated or disbursed in a timely manner)?In Kenya, financial decisions usually fall under a different department of the government. While overall budgets get approved for MOH activities by this department, it usually gets aggregated up along the chain of command (i.e. from facility upwards). Consequently, details of what each facility or Sub-County needs gets lost along the way by which time a total amount is approved per County or Sub-County. This amount is usually less than what they asked for because the larger budget that was ultimately received was also lacking. This amount is not known until after budgeting activities have been conducted down through the different levels. This leaves an opportunity for the system to plan based on what you are expecting to get instead of what you are hoping to get. 

Is that what you mean by “negotiating” data? Policy versus practice could be considered negotiating data or negotiating actions that are based on data,  and then adjusting those actions based on reality.

Is there a difference between rural and urban, urban slum? We did not notice any particular difference in the policy versus practice aspect between rural and urban areas.

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