Frequently Asked Questions

National Council for Population and Development is a semi-autonomous government agency under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. In the 1980s NCPD operated as a department but eventually evolved to be a semi-autonomous agency as the government found the need to reposition population issues for national department. There was need to address population as a stand-alone issue since it cuts across all sectors. If population is not managed it will negatively impact on sectors such as housing, social amenities, education and health services among others. The mandate of NCPD therefore is to develop population policies and coordinate all sectors implementing population programs.
The biggest achievement is the development of the National population Policy for National Development, which gives a national blue print for all the different sectors. We continue advocating for family planning; because as a nation we need to manage the population to facilitate development. Through intensive advocacy and lobbying, the government of Kenya took it upon itself to buy contraceptives for its citizens becoming one of the first countries to do so in the Su governments as they develop their –Saharan Africa. NCPD is supporting county governments as they develop their county Integrated Development Plans in order to include population and development issues. We conduct successful surveys like the Kenya Demographic and health survey, the Male involvement in FP/RH survey among others in collaboration with the Kenya Bureau of Statistics. These surveys provide data on some key health indicators and help different stakeholders in their programming.
Women empowerment is one of the biggest achievements of the constitution of Kenya 2010. NCPD being a government organ participated in its preparation. The bill of rights is crucial to women empowerment and especially the clause on the right /. reproductive health services. NCPD implements policies relating to ensuring that women are availed not less than 30% of opportunities in management and leadership positions.
Nationally we have the population policy for national development 2012 which is a sessional paper, meaning that it was debated in parliament and agreed upon as the blue print to be used to manage population in the country. Using this blue print we collaborate with different sectors of government who are doing different aspects of population. For instance we are working with the Ministry of Health and our role as NCPD is to support matters regarding Family Planning which requires a lot of advocacy. Many Kenyans misunderstand family planning for birth control, which is not the case. Family planning implies having the desired number of children at the right time.

The current fertility rate is 4.6 children per woman which translates to about 5 children per woman, a number that is not really manageable even at the family level. Managing 5 kids and meeting their basic needs is quite a challenge even for a couple with significant resources. The target is 3.5 children per woman by 2015, 2.6 children by 2030 and replacement level of 2.1 children by 2050.

We are therefore working very closely with the Ministry of Health in planning in an effort to raise awareness and advocacy on the same. We have put in place national as well as county consultative forums.

We also work with other government bodies such as the Ministry of Education, Gender Directorate, Anti FGM Board among others; especially in advocating the girl child to get good and quality education, which keeps them in school and empowers them to make informed choices in the future.

We also collaborate with NGOs and other partners in population working in Kenya. The world is a global village and we in Kenya are thus implementing the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD-PoA), which is an international commitment that was signed by most countries in 1994, to ensure that population issues are incorporated into the lives and well-being of people, and that the people’s quality of life is improved.

NCPD is working with relevant ministries, NGOs and other partners to implement the Adolescent Reproductive Health Policy which has strategies which need to be applied. Availing the right information to teenagers is crucial to enable them make informed choices on their sexuality and empower them as they navigate the harsh reality of growing up. We are working with Youth Directorate of Ministry of Devolution and Planning and Ministry of Health to actualize youth Empowerment Centres to provide the youth with friendly services and information. We are also working with Ministry of Education in curriculum review to avail targeted age appropriate reproductive health information to youth in schools.
Climate Change is here with us and this can be attributed to environmental degradation, especially reduction in forest cover. More people are encroaching on forests in search of agricultural land and shelter. Unless we manage population there will always be human encroachment on our forests. Environmental degradation happens when people destroy forests in order to etch a living. In the urban areas many people live in slums due to shortage in housing, sometimes with no sanitation facilities leading to environmental pollution. If we manage the numbers and give our people the opportunity to be empowered economically, they can live in better conditions and reduce environmental degradation.
The problems we have in Kenya are very similar to those in other African countries. They include high populations, low rate of contraceptive use and lack of land for expansion for farming. The management of conflict between people and the environment in the region is wanting and there is need for more concerted efforts to tackle this. The African Union has however come up with strategies on how this can be done. Kenya may be better off in terms of our economic capacity, and policies especially the constitution which is really proactive and if implemented as envisioned, can help us tackle some of the challenges we are facing as a nation. Good governance and good leadership is key to economic development of any nation.
The government has put in place policies and programmes to empower the rural communities. The issue is not to have people moving from one place to another in search for better livelihoods. They should be able to have good livelihoods wherever they are in Kenya. The rural electrification programme for instance has opened up many rural areas and created opportunities for people to set up businesses.