Digital Transformation

5 min

Digital Transformation in the Parliament of Kenya: A Case Study

Parliament of Kenya

Written on January, 2023

Strategic Partners



In the contemporary world, the incorporation of digital technology into all facets of an institution is recognised as a significant shift. This shift, known as digital transformation, alters the very fabric of an organisation’s operations, modernising how it delivers value to its stakeholders and reshaping its overall functionality. The transition, while beneficial, necessitates a holistic change not limited to technology but also encompassing people and processes.


One compelling example of this transformative journey is provided by the Parliament of Kenya. Their approach to digital transformation offers valuable insights into the strategic planning, implementation challenges, and the profound benefits of integrating digital technologies into legislative processes. As such, this case study will delve deeper into the Kenyan Parliament’s digital transformation, highlighting key milestones, challenges, and achievements.


The Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS) 2021-2024


In spearheading its digital transformation, the Kenyan Parliament adopted a comprehensive strategy spanning 2021 to 2024, hereafter referred to as the Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS). This plan encompassed various aspects of ICT acquisition, adoption, and usage within the parliamentary framework, aiming to streamline legislative processes and improve overall efficiency.


The DTS was approved by the Parliamentary Service Commission, thus securing budgetary allocation for its implementation. This initial step was crucial, demonstrating the importance of institutional support and resource allocation in driving digital transformation.


The DTS outlined several key projects aimed at digitising different elements of parliamentary operations. For instance, the e-Pal Kenya paperless solution was launched, enabling the preparation of parliamentary documents in digital formats such as PDF. These documents could then be accessed on digital devices, such as tablets, in various locations, including meeting rooms and the parliamentary chambers.


Another critical component of the DTS was the establishment of the Broadcasting Service, which enabled the live streaming of parliamentary proceedings on platforms like YouTube and other social media pages. This advancement not only improved transparency but also allowed citizens to observe legislative processes in real time, fostering a sense of engagement and accountability.


Moreover, the DTS also focused on automating administrative tasks, such as payroll management, using the Integrated Financial Management System. This digitalisation eliminated the need for printing payslips, enabling parliamentarians to access their payslips online, thus enhancing convenience and reducing paper waste.


The Impact and Value of Digital Transformation


The implementation of the DTS in the Kenyan Parliament has significantly improved operational efficiency. As an institution with over 50 years of history, the Parliament had been heavily reliant on manual processes and paperwork. The digital transformation strategy has managed to reduce this dependency substantially, streamlining operations and making them more effective.


From the public’s perspective, the digitalisation of the Parliament has enhanced the accessibility of information. The citizens can now easily access reports, house activities, and other parliamentary affairs, fostering a greater sense of transparency and accountability among the legislators.


Moreover, the digital transformation has improved collaboration and communication within various users, including parliament members, staff, government departments, and even citizens. This improvement has fostered a more conducive working environment, enabling swift and efficient sharing of information. Furthermore, the digitalisation has also created a platform for innovation within the parliamentary sphere, offering new avenues for problem-solving and decision-making.


Challenges and Solutions in Digital Transformation


Like any transformation process, the digital transition of the Kenyan Parliament was not without challenges. Funding constraints, resistance to change, and technical difficulties were among the key hurdles encountered.


Addressing these issues required strategic solutions. For instance, lobbying for more resources and collaborating with development partners helped overcome funding challenges. Moreover, to deal with resistance to change, especially from long-serving parliamentarians accustomed to traditional ways of doing things, comprehensive training and support were provided. This approach ensured that all members were equipped with the necessary digital skills, thereby facilitating the transition from manual to digital systems. Additionally, compatibility issues with legacy systems were tackled by employing technical experts and adopting newer, more compatible software solutions.


The Role of Training and Support


Recognising that a successful digital transformation extends beyond just technological change, the Kenyan Parliament emphasised the importance of training and support for both members and staff. As a significant number of parliament members were not entirely digitally savvy, a dedicated team was organised at the onset of the transformation to train the members and induct them into the new digital systems. This included training on electronic voting, accessing online reports, and utilising various digital tools effectively.


Similarly, staff were trained to provide the necessary support to parliament members, ensuring a seamless transition to the digital environment. This included offering real-time assistance during parliamentary sittings and providing guidelines on various digital procedures.


Digital Transformation in the Face of COVID-19


The global COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for digital adoption in many sectors, and the Parliament of Kenya was no exception. To comply with social distancing guidelines and to ensure continuity of legislative processes, the Parliament swiftly adopted a hybrid system. This allowed some members to participate in the chamber, while others could follow proceedings on-screen or via YouTube.


The pandemic also accelerated the adoption of ICT tools, leading to changes in rules that allowed for remote voting. Members could participate in decision-making processes from any location, underlining the flexibility and adaptability offered by digital systems.




In conclusion, the digital transformation journey of the Parliament of Kenya illuminates the potential benefits of integrating digital technologies into legislative procedures. Despite challenges, the strategic implementation of the DTS has resulted in increased operational efficiency, improved transparency, and enhanced collaboration among parliament members, staff, and citizens. The digital transformation journey, while ongoing, has already proven transformative for the Kenyan Parliament, offering a roadmap for other legislative bodies worldwide considering a similar transition.

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