Citizens Voices: Citizens Participation In Devolved Government Final Report

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Publisher World Bank
Year of Publication 2013
Category Report
County All/General
Description With the promulgation of the CoK 2010, Kenyans see themselves as sovereign citizens enjoying a rich and broadened Bill of Rights, but more specifically as free people shaping their destinies in a manner that resonates richly with their democratic will and social development needs. According to the 2011 Report of the Task Force on Devolved Government (TFDG), Kenyans perceive the main aim of devolution as bringing public services closer to the people. It is against this background that public participation in governance has been received with near euphoric optimism and, by that same token, acquired a high level of prominence.  
Scholars however concur that devolution is not without its risks and does not necessarily lead to improved governance and economic performance. As an example, while both decentralization and devolution strive for efficiency, there exists very high and ambitious expectation regarding the pace, scope and magnitude of the anticipated political and administrative changes. This poses potential risks of disappointment and/or backlash if not well managed. Such risks could arise for instance from service delivery disruption, leakage of public resources, and general inability to meet the formidable expectations of citizens about what devolution will deliver (World Bank, 2004).   
It is thus recognised that building strong governance systems backed up with genuine and effective citizens participation in the new counties will be essential, both for realizing expectations and reducing risks in devolution. The World Bank is desirous of supporting the said governance strengthening of the counties by building on existing governance initiatives and supporting the implementation of the CoK 2010. This support will include working with civil society and the Government to outline priority steps to productively involve citizens in county governance.   
The main aim of this assignment was to generate practical, innovative and sustainable ideas, informed by the Kenyan citizens, on how to enhance citizens voices within the devolved Government systems to be established under the new constitutional dispensation. The study entailed a series of consultations with citizens in selected counties, to hear from them how they would like to engage with devolved government institutions and processes, before and after devolution formally takes place. 
Tags Counties / General


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