Brief Background and Historical Profile of NCAPD

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Population issues as a concern to development planning were first highlighted in Sessional Paper No. 10 of 1965 on African Socialism and Its Application to Planning in Kenya. The paper noted a link between the country’s population growth rate and its impact on socioeconomic development of the country. This awareness prompted the Government to adopt an official population policy in 1967 that culminated to the formation of national family planning action programmes under the auspices of the Ministry of Health. The programmes laid greater emphasis on the reduction of family size and spacing of children, which was expected to contribute to reducing the population growth rate.

To facilitate better population management, the Government established the National
Council for Population and Development (NCPD) in 1982, as a department in the Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Home Affairs, to advise on matters pertaining to population and development. The role and mandate of NCPD was contained in Sessional Paper No. 4 of 1984 on Population Policy Guidelines. This policy paper was later revised and formed the backbone of Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2000 on National Population Policy for Sustainable Development (NPPSD). NCAPD was established in 2004 through Legal Notice No. 120 contained in the Kenya Gazette supplement No. 68 dated 20 October 2004.

Under the coordinating role of NCAPD’s predecessor, NCPD, Kenya’s population programme registered considerable achievements that could be viewed from the two broad perspectives of policy and programme. NCPD spearheaded the updating of the 1967 National Family Planning Policy and formulated Sessional Paper No. 4 of 1984 on Population Policy Guidelines.

It subsequently reviewed Sessional Paper No. 4 of 1984 to incorporate the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and came up with Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2000 on National Population Policy for Sustainable Development (NPPSD), which is expected to guide the implementation of the population and development agenda up to 2010 and beyond. NCPD also developed the National Plan of Action to implement the NPPSD; developed district specific plans to implement NPPSD; and facilitated the development of national policies on adolescent reproductive health, the youth, gender and elderly persons.

On the programme front, NCAPD attributes the attainment of the following targets to its activities: decline of population growth rate from 3.8% per annum in 1979 to 3.3% in 1989 and to 2.5% in 1999; decline in total fertility rate from 7.7 children in 1979 to 6.7 in 1989, 5.4 in1993 and 4.9 in 2003; and decline in ideal family size among married women from 4.4 children to 3.8 in 1998 and 3.7 in 2003. Furthermore, the maternal mortality rate declined from 590 in 1998 to 414 in 2000, but remains relatively high; and the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) increased from 27% (1989) to 33% (1993) and then to 39% (1998) for all married women.

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