To strengthen resilience and continuity among businesses and organisations, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has approved two new standards on management practices to boost businesses’ capacity to respond to the COVID-19 protocols.
Kenya Standards KS ISO 22301:2019 and KS ISO 22392:2020 aim to enhance organisations’ ability to recognise disruptive changes in an environment and adjust to them. The standards come on the backdrop of the COVID 19 pandemic which has had a negative economic impact on the economy and businesses, with 1.7 million people rendered jobless according to the Kenya National Bureau Statistics (KNBS).
“These standards will help organisations recognise the opportunities and threats that arise from both sudden or gradual internal as well as external changes and react to them as has been the case with COVID-19 pandemic,” says Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, KEBS.
Business continuity has become even more important this year as organisations look for strategies to ensure a quick resumption of service in the event of a major disruption, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has affected several sectors of the Kenyan economy such as tourism, trade, transport, real estate and financial services.
“The standards outline requirements in that an organisation is able to implement, maintain and improve the Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS) to reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of disruptions, how to prepare for, respond to and recover from them when they arise,’’ adds Mr Njiraini.
According to a World Bank report on the Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 in Kenya on Firms, close to 65 percent of businesses are experiencing a decline in demand, cash flow, and available finance. As the pandemic persists, firms expect sales to continue declining in the coming months. The implementation of these standards will help businesses withstand the unintended shocks of disruptions, adapt to change and overcome crises and disruptions.