Participatory Budgeting Makueni

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Definition

Participatory Budgeting (PB), is the process of directly involving local people in making decisions on the priorities and spending for a defined amount of the public budget. This means engaging residents and community group representatives of all sections of the community to discuss and vote on spending priorities, as well as giving citizens a role in the scrutiny and monitoring of the public spending and budget implementation.

Benefits of PB

  1. An increased role for the citizens, their participation in the qualitative issues of local importance;

  2. Improved living standards of the citizens in each locality;

  3. Improved efficiency in public funding administration in the counties and the country as a whole;

  4. Making counties more attractive to investors with a clearer and more dependable budgeting process.

  5. Efficiency in implementing development projects

  6. Improved communication

  7. Increased approval rating by the public

  8. Empowerment of the local community

Background of Makueni County

Makueni County – Located in South Eastern side

of Kenya

  • Population - projected at 959,022 at year 2016.

  • Area - 8,008.8 Km2

  • Wards – 30 & 17 Nominated MCA’s

  • Governor – Prof. Kivutha Kibwana

  • Deputy Governor – Adelina Mwau

Mechanism Developed by The County to Ensure Involvement of Citizens in All Development Processes

  • Planning & Budgeting – consultative forums

  • Project designs and preparation – community identified Project Management Committees (PMCs)

  • Project Implementation – PMCs actively involved; community contribution in development (monetary or non-financial)

  • Participatory Monitoring - the community capacity on monitoring has been strengthened. PMC involvement in payment of all contractors and suppliers.

  • Participatory Evaluation – Community forums and evaluation of the projects and programmes

The PB Ten Steps in Makueni

Step 1: General Strategy

Key elements of the approach

  • A continuation with the past tendencies, in line with provisions in the legal framework and perfecting them.

  • Introduction of meetings at village level, (one level below sub- ward) and selection and validation of projects at both sub-county and county levels.

  • Identification of needs and possible solutions for various thematic groups: youth, women, persons with disabilities, orphans and vulnerable children, Persons Living with HIV/AIDs and the small scale traders.

  • PB applied to 12% of entire county budget (32% of development budget)

Central Goals and underlying values for prioritizing citizen engagement

  • Improve accountability and integrity –reinforces credibility of government.

  • Inclusiveness - access the villager who has never left his/her immediate environment, except to go the market place and never proposed a project).

  • Equity and fairness - equal resource allocations to each ward.

  • Promote civism - to meet the Constitutional requirement to engage citizens in decision

  • making.

  • Responsiveness – to ensure that services are better tailored to local circumstances and targeted to meet local needs.

Step 2: Organizational Model

  • Existing logo: “Andu Mbee” which means people first.

  • Strapline: “O Kila Nyumba Kalila”, which means every household will have equal opportunity for the shared resources.

  • The County introduced a mission, its rallying call being “Our County, our Future,”

  • Participation process is based on a model that uses sub-territories.

  • The County has organized structures in place to facilitate public participation. This is a joint process between the Country Treasury and County Department of Devolution and Public Administration.

  • Under the Department of Devolution, there are officers in place to conduct civic education and public participation (Civic Education and Public Participation –CEPPS officers). The CEPPs were trained on the new elements of the PB process before implementation.

  • The county conducts civic education through training of trainers’ process. After CEPPs are trained, they train 30 interlocutors from each of the 30 wards. In total there are 900 interlocutors who conduct civic education in the county.

  • A civic education handbook has been developed and is used during trainings.

Step 3: Mobilization

Channels of mobilizing citizens:

  • A public advertisement, as required by law, was placed in the major dailies by the County Treasury, detailing dates, venues & timings for the meetings. It targeted

  • meetings from the ward levels upwards. It also provided for written submissions to be made to the finance official via email.

  • Local radio: Talk shows and radio announcements were used to inform the public about the scheduled public forums. This had the greatest outreach and impact

  • Announcements were made at public gatherings such as church meetings and local administrative barazas. This was also very effective.

  • Ward administrators mobilized citizens through the village leaders and opinion leaders.

  • The governor’s office, other county officials and local leaders utilized social media, telephone calls and sms to reach the public. They also leveraged Whatsapp groups, Facebook and twitter handles.

Step 4-8: Public Forums, Selection of Projects, Priority Lists, Technical Evaluations

Public Forums

  • To create an enabling environment for citizens to participate in the development of policies and budgets, the county has developed a public participation framework.

  • The framework is in line with section 14 of the fourth schedule of the Constitution, which requires Counties to enable participation at the lowest possible level.

  • The framework aims to reduce/eliminate gatekeepers to the participation process and

  • ensure unrestricted access to community members to hear their voices.

Selection of Projects & Priority Lists

Deliberation and selection of projects took place at every administrative level.

Mapping of the ward was undertaken by citizens to guide the selection of projects.

From each of the levels, 11 people were selected as the development committee to

represent the community at the next administrative level.

Priority lists of projects captured and presented at the next level for deliberation and

selection. A final priority list was validated at the County Forum.

Technical Evaluations

  • Technical input from the departmental staff can change a project given the limited technical knowledge of the citizens when identifying a project.

  • In the preparation of the budget for financial year 2016/17 technical evaluation was conducted after the citizens selected the projects.

  • In the next phase for the budget 2017/18, the county will be looking towards introducing technical input earlier so that citizens prioritize and make final decisions on projects based on technical assessments

Step 9: Approval of Budget by Assembly

  • The ward development proposals presented by the citizens were captured in the final executive budget presented to the County Assembly in May 2016.

  • County Assembly public participation forums were held in the first to second week of June 2016 to ascertain the development proposals from citizens.

  • According to a new legislation, the County Assembly can only make amendments to a ceiling of 10% of the entire budget.

Step 10: Monitoring Project Implementation

  • The uniqueness of Makueni’s participation model is that it involves citizens in the implementation of projects.

  • This process is managed through the Project Management Committee (PMC). This ensures accountability as the community members provide checks and oversight alongside the County Assembly.

  • To form the PMCs, the departments responsible for the implementation of the project, in collaboration with the Public Participation Officers and Ward Administrators, mobilize communities for a public forum.

  • During the forum the officials provide feedback on the approved projects and respective budget allocated and the implementation plan for the projects. The community members elect the PMC members to provide oversight throughout the project implementation.

Sector: Finance
County: Makueni
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