Construction Workers in Embu, 2017, Photo: Mugambi Muriuki, WikiCmmons, License Attribution Sharealike 4.0 International

Where is the Labour Data for Kenya???

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On the eve of International Labour Day, we at RoGGKenya have consulted the website of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to find out about the status of labour and labour rights in Kenya.

The result a big disappointment:

  • On the ILO country page for Kenya, the latest statistics were ten years old – and older. For example, it showed as the monthly earnings of employees in Kenya 5,608 KeS only. Well, this was 1997. Link to country page
  • In a great many other statistics, Kenya data was totally missing. Or, let us put it differently: We are still searching for an comparative overview page which entails data from Kenya. For example in the page about the share of the informal sector (where earnings are low, and insecurity high), there is no mentioning of Kenya, and on many other pages (see overview page).
  • From the fact that many other countries are represented with recent data we can draw the conclusion that Kenya is reponsible for not giving its data to the ILO statistics department.

Story Suggestion

On International Labour Day the media may ask those responsible in the country why – due to lack of data – the public is not able to judge how the labour force in Kenya is faring compared to international standards.

Because, after all, goal number 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals is all about labour, earnings and working conditions: “Decent Work and Economic Growth“. Where is Kenya there? We cannot know.

Open Data?

Another aspect: Kenya once has boasted with being committed to Open Data. But this was long ago, and it seems not much has happened since then. Just take a look at http://opendata.go.ke  and judge by yourself about the timeliness and completeness of data that the country could publish.

That data portal, meant to be publishing and publicizing relevant data continuously, has ceased this operation two years ago. And most data are much older and not comprehensive.

By Ulli Schauen