Devolution Working Paper 3: Participation In Kenyas Local Development Funds

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Publisher World Bank Centre for Devolution Studies (CDS) Kenya School of Government (KSG)
Year of Publication 2015
Category Report
County All/General
Description OBJECTIVE: This paper reviews Kenya's past experiences on public participation in local service delivery to highlight practical lessons that county governments can draw from as they design participation mechanisms.

Kenyas new Constitution mandates a new era of public participation in government, particularly within the devolved government structure. Kenya has a long history with decentralization and transfers from the central to local government. By the 2009/2010 fiscal year, at least Ksh 73 billion, or Ksh 350 million on average per constituency, went towards decentralized spending. The 47 new county governments are expected to share information on budgets and spending while enabling effective citizen participation in establishing service delivery priorities and monitoring performance and oversight.

The new devolved structures can benefit from reviewing the countrys prior experience with participation in decentralized funds. The Kenyan government and citizens gained extensive experience in local participatory development through decentralized programs and funds, in particular the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This paper focuses on the two development funds because participatory initiatives both by the government and the civil society were centred around them. The government developed guidelines, legislation, systems and procedures for engaging citizens. Similarly civil society initiatives focused on awareness creation and mobilization of citizens to participate in the implementation and monitoring of the funds.

This note summarizes options for strengthening participation under devolution, based on Kenyas experiences with citizen participation in local development funds.This note summarizes findings from several sources including: (i) Social Accountability in Kenyas Decentralized Funds Perceptions from Civil Society a background report that reviews 19 civil society monitoring reports to understand the perspective of Kenya CSOs, (ii) Six Case Studies of Local Participation in Kenya, a published set of World Bank case studies reviewing citizen participation in devolved funds, (iii) Citizens Voices: Citizen Participation in Devolved Government a World Bank-commissioned consultations in eight counties on how citizen voices can be enhanced within the devolved structure, and (iv) a literature review of 19 CSO reports as well as government reports.
Tags 2e865a412e5e21fb579a09fa64964350, Counties / General


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