#FormNiGani initiative kicks off

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The #formnigani University Ideathon contest officially kicked off on Sunday. The purpose is to engage the youth in generating positive solutions towards a positive future for Kenya with contraception as central to the achievement of sustainable and equitable development in Kenya.

The contest is tasking university students to bring their fresh, youthful ideas to help chart the right path for Kenya. Teams are drawn from Kenyatta University, Multimedia University, University of Nairobi, USIU, Strathmore University, African Digital Media Institute (ADMI)and Nairobi of Business Studies (NIBS).

The winner will be selected by a cross-section of diverse experts across technical experts, academics, political leaders, creatives and journalists at a live event in January 2020.

This is off the back of the launch of Kenya in 2030: Young Voices on Future Scenarios and Contraception report by #formnigani. #formnigani is a creative platform for Kenyans to express themselves and have discussions about the critical issues surrounding contraception.

With the building blocks as identified by the Kenya in 2030 report, students through the #formnigani University Ideathon are tasked with the development of creative and innovative solutions that seek to address the need for contraception across all demographics to achieve crucial health and development outcomes.

The solutions will draw from the students’ academic know-how, cutting across various aspects of the economy including food security, health care, education, housing, security, environment, among other societal issues.

In Kenya, 74% of the population is under 35 years of age, according to the National Council for Population and Development. For this reason, the youth bear the biggest brunt of the impact from all policy decisions made which are currently a cause for concern based on a myriad of development indicators – high maternal deaths (6,300 women die annually during pregnancy and childbirth, with unplanned pregnancies being a major contributor), school dropouts from pregnancy rates (13,000 girls), and youth unemployment (80% of unemployed Kenyans are under 35 years of age) – all linked to contraception access.

For these reasons, young Kenyans view access to contraception information and methods as essential for incorporation in the country’s development agenda, at a national, regional, communal household and individual level to unlock a better tomorrow for Kenyans.

“Through the #formnigani Think Tanks, we got to capture what the concerns of young Kenyans with regards to the possible directions that the country could be headed, and against a backdrop of concerning trends there is optimism that things can be turned around. There is an opportunity for young Kenyans to engage and offer solutions on a way forward,” said Andy Awiti, strategy consultant and a participant of the #formnigani Think Tanks.

Drawing from insights and aspirations of young Kenyans and data from prevailing trends, the Kenya in 2030 report analyses a number of key drivers of contraception in Kenya, including socio-economic status, the health system, global influence and the market system to paint a picture of the state of Kenya in 2030 in four plausible scenarios – Upendeleo, Ukaidi, Utegemeo and the optimistic Uwakilishi.

In Uwakilishi, the healthcare, and by effect contraception access system, is cognisant of the impact of unmet needs on women and their livelihoods, as well as their partners’ giving them the ability to decide their futures and plan effectively resources available to them. The Kenya in 2030 report identifies steps towards the achievement of Uwakilishi, primarily the need for harmonisation of existing policy documents and frameworks to allow for a long-term approach to sexual reproductive health and contraception by eliminating ambiguity in roles by stakeholders at national and county levels.

 

Leading Kenyan futures expert Mrs. Katindi Sivi-Njonjo who formulated and facilitated the development of the Kenya in 2030 report said: “Based on our approach to population needs, right from the individual and household level, we stand at a crossroads but with a chance at a better future for our country in 10 years’ time, depending on how we look at the issue of contraception.”

 

The students are expected to make their submissions in the form of a two-minute video or presentation by 31st December 2019, with a grand prize of Ksh 100,000 up for grabs to the winning student teams, and further program development and potential fundraising to implement the top 5 solutions.

 

ABOUT THE SCENARIOS

The scenarios are descriptions, narratives and visions of possible pathways to a vision of a possible future based on the analysis and understanding of current and historic events that are influenced by or affect access to contraception information and methods

Having defined the end state of each future scenario, the scenarios were developed by considering how key drivers of the future would interact as guided by the scenarios framework. The four possible scenarios likely to shape and determine the evolution of contraception throughout to 2030 are described as below:

 

  1. Upendeleo: The Upendeleo (favoritism) scenariois characterised by a healthcare system that is resilient and more efficient in 2030 compared to 2019, but contraception outcomes are very good only for the rich minority. The inaccessibility of contraception commodities and services among the poor and hard-to-reach populations breeds acute inequality between the haves and the have nots.
  2. Ukaidi: The Ukaidi(stubborn) scenario is characterized by the dominance of a conservative influence on government agenda, leading to a rapid population increase, poor quality of life across the general populace, and the manifestation of the adverse effects of climate change on a fragile economy.
  3. Utegemeo: TheUtegemeo (reliance) scenario is characterized by a government that is committed to achieving global milestones but owing to high debt is heavily reliant on donors to fund its initiatives geared at meeting the FP 2020 development marker. This results in a reversal of gains made on contraception when donor financing is diverted to alleviating the impact of unforeseen disasters.
  4. Uwakilishi: The Uwakilishi (representative of the will of the people) scenariois characterized by a system that focuses its contraception service provision from the macro-level demographic objectives to meeting people’s specific contraception needs with all actors responding genuinely and collaboratively. This sees citizens generally take charge of their own lives, including their contraception needs, improving their socio-economic status.

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Chocha Writer is our roving and much read resident writer. He will write on several topics. Contact him on chochakenya@gmail.com or 0772 808 931