Policies

 

MIGORI COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Department of Public Service Management

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT

The constitution provides citizens with the right to participate in  the decision making process and other duties of national and county legislative bodies specifically, Article  118(1)(b) and 196(1)(b) directs the national and County legislatures respectively to facilitate public participation in its work.

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines that will inform the Public/Citizens on the Public Participation Process. This Policy will provide important features of public participation in Legislation and development plan formulation, implementation,Monitoring & Evaluation at the County level.

The policy will be instrumental in offering a practical approach to Public participation in various thematic areas and the actual public participation process. It will also lay out the duties and responsibilities of the members of the public in Public participation.

LEGISLATIVE & ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS

Citizen participation is a core part of the constitution; it starts with Article 1 which states that all sovereign power is vested to the people of Kenya. The exercise of this power occurs at the county and National levels either directly through citizen participation or indirectly through democratically elected representatives.

Some of the examples of direct citizen participation include:

  • Contesting for elections.
  • Registering to vote.
  • Becoming informed on issues and policies
  • Scrutinizing candidates and political parties.
  • Maintaining peace during elections .
  • Debating issues.
  • Attending community or civic meetings for sensitization.
  • Being members of Private, Public and voluntary organizations.
  • Paying taxes.
  • Petitioning the Government.
  • Recalling elected members of Parliament & County assemblies.

Article 10(2) indicates that public participation is among the national values and principles of Government.

As per article 174 (C),the objects of devolution are to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance their participation in the exercise of the powers of the state and in making decisions affecting them. Article 174(d) recognizes the rights of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their developments.

Article 184(I) states that national legislation is to provide for the governance and management of urban areas and cities and shall in particular provide for participation by residents in the Governance of Urban areas and cities.

Article 232(1)(d) provides for the involvement of the people in the process of policy making and part(f) provides for transparency and provision to the public of timely and accurate information.

Fourth schedule part 2(14) stipulates that functions and powers of the county are to ensure and coordinate the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level. Counties are also to assist communities to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the function and powers and participation in Governance at the local level.

The public finance management Act under section 207 provides that county governments are to establish structures, mechanisms and guidelines for citizen participation.

The County Government Act sections 94& 95 provide that Counties are to establish mechanisms to facilitate public communication and asses access to information with the widest public outreach using media. Section 100 and 101 of the same act provides that County governments should create an institutional framework for civic education.

Under the urban areas act the overarching theme is participation by the residents in the governance of urban areas and cities. The second schedule of the act provides for the rights of, and participation by residents in affairs of their city or urban areas.

ADMINISTRATIVE FRAMEWORK

The public participation process will be administered by the following county government officers. At the county level the constitution and various statutes assigned responsibilities to coordinate, manage and supervise public participation to certain county officers;

Governor: as per section 30(3)(g) of the county government act ,the governor should promote and facilitate citizen participation in the development of policies and plans and service delivery in the county.

County Executive Committee:section 46(2)(g) of the county government act provides that the county executive committee should bear in mind the need to all participatory decision making .

Sub county Administrators: under section 50(3)(g) of the county government act ,the subcounty administrator is responsible for the coordination ,management & supervision of the general administrative functions in the subcounty including the facilitation and coordination of citizen participation in the development of policies, plans and service delivery.

Ward Administrators: under section 51 (3)(g)of the county governments Act,the Ward Administrator is responsible for the coordination, Management and supervision of the general administrative function in the ward, including the facilitationand coordination of citizen participation in the development of policies ,plans and service delivery.

Village Administrator: Under section 52 (3)(a)(i) of the County Government’s Act,the village administrator is responsible for the Coordination, Management and Supervisor of the general administrative function in the subcounty including ensuring and coordinating the participation of the village unit in governance.

County Assembly: Article 196 of the Constitution provides that the county assembly should facilitate public participation and the involvement in the legislative and other business of the assembly and its committees.

Urban areas and cities: Section 21(1)(g) of the urban areas and cities act empowers boards of cities and municipalities to ensure Public participation of the residents in decision making. Its activities and programmes .Section 22 establishes citizen for where residents of a city, municipality or town may actively be involved in policy and law making plus service deliveries in their respective areas.

County Executive committee member for finance: under section 125 of the public finance management act provides that the county executive committee member finance should ensure that there is public participation in the budget process. The budget process included;

  1. Integrated development planning process which shall include both long term and medium term planning.
  2. Planning and establishing financial and economic priorities for the county over the medium term.
  3. Making an overall estimation of the county Government’s revenue and expenditures.
  4. Adoption of county fiscal strategy paper.
  5. Preparing budget estimates of the county government and submitting estimates to the County Assembly .
  6. Approving of estimates by the County Assembly.
  7. Enacting an appropriation law and any other laws required to implement the County Government budget.
  8. Implementing the County Governments budget
  9. Accounting for and evaluating the governments budgeted revenues.

SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY OF THE POLICY

This policy document will be the regulatory tool on all matters of Public Participation, Social Accountability, Participatory Budgeting, Participatory Monitoring and Financial Transparency for all Migori County Government Stakeholders. The stakeholders will include:

  1. County Government state officers
  2. County Government employees.
  3. Civil societies.
  4. Minority &Marginalized groups.
  5. County residents.
  6. National Government Ministries, Departments & Agencies.

The Citizen Participation shall be based on the following principles of applicability

  1. Timely access to information (County Government Act; section (87),data, documents, and other information relevant or related to policy formulation and implementation;
  2. Reasonable access to the process of formulating and implementing policies laws and regulations, including the approval of development proposals, projects and budgets , the grafting of permits and the establishment of specific of performance standards;

Legal stand Protection and promotion of the interests and rights of minorities, marginalized groups and communities and their access to relevant information to interested or affected persons, Organizations,and where pertinent, Communities, to appeal from or, review decisions, or redress grievances with particular emphasis on persons and traditionally marginalized Communities including women, the youth , and the disadvantaged communities

  1. Reasonable balance in the role and obligation of county Governments, and non -state actors in decision making processes to promote shared responsibilities and partnership, and to provide complementary authority and oversight;
  2. Promotion of public private partnership, such as joint committees, technical teams and citizen commissions, to encourage direct dialogue and concerted action on sustainable development; and
  3. Recognition and promotion of the reciprocal roles of non- state actors’ participation and Governmental facilitation and oversight.

DEFINATION OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

Public participation for purposed of this policy is the community based process, where people organize themselves and their goals at the grass root level and work together through Governmental and Non governmental community organizations to influence decision making process in policy, legislation, service delivery, oversight   and development matters.when done correctly ,citizen participation can bring the government closer to its citizens, produce more transparent public policies and decisions and enable citizens to hold government leaders more accountable.in order for democratic government to function properly,  citizen need to participate actively in decision making, policy formation, and service delivery. citizens also need to understand their rights and ways to use them effectively.

 FORMS OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS.

The public participation process entails the following;

Step 1:Situation analysis

Defining the subject matter and identifying conditions necessary for successful public participation.

Step 2:Targeting and informing.

Establishing the stake holders profile for the public participation and sharing all relavant information.

Step 3: Planning

Selecting relevant tools/methods of engagement.

Step 4:Consulting

Convening the identified public to solicit input .

Step 5: Management

Examining outcome and choosing cause of action.

Step 6: Feed back/Evaluation

Relaying information to public. 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION MANAGEMENT.

Administrative structures:

The constitution,legislation and county assembly standing orders clearly demarcate the roles of the county executives and the county assembly on matters relating to public participation and civic education.

The county assembly and the county executive will not merge their constitutional roles and hence will engage the public on different platforms.

However it is important to note that the county assembly and the county executive deal with the same county or subcounty institutions, electorates and have to share the same resources on these matters. therefore the county government might consider having a coordinated administrative approach in manageing public participation and civic education.

Two options exist for the county government when setting up administrative structures.

Option one: The county government appoints a county public administrative coordinator whoaacts as the administrative head for public administration and civic education. The coordinator works with the county executive, county assembly and administrators in the county unit. This structure would be effective where the county assembly and the county executive work together.Here the county government will have one  pool of resources including funds and synchronized timetables for public participation and civic education. Further the county government would work with the national government coordinators at the county to mobilize the public and provide security to public participation forums. This is the most practical approach to public participation.

The figure below illustrates an organogram where a county resolves to adopt an intergarted administrative approach to public participation.

Option two: The County Assembly and the County Executive put in place independent and administrative structures for their public par

ticipation and civic education.

The figure below organogram where the county resolves to have a non-intergarted approach to public participation management.

County Assembly:

County Executive:

FINANCING PUBLIC PARTICIPTION ,CIVIC EDUCATION AND CAPACITY BUILDING.

Every financial year, a certain percentage of the total county budget is to be allocated to public participation and civic education.

Civic education in the county for both the county executive and the county assembly.the budgetary allocation should be equitably distributed in all the villages,  wards and sub counties. Officers in charge of county,subcounty,village and ward should submit financial proposal for public participation and civic education in their respective jurisdiction every financial year.

Civic education should take place regularly alongside independent of public participation, the general objectives of civic education are:

  • To ensure sustained citizen engagement in the implementation of the constitution.
  • To improve understanding,appreciation and engagement in the operationalization of the county system of government.
  • To institutionalize a culture of constitutionalism.
  • To ensure people acquire knowledge of Kenya’s transformed political system, context and implications.
  • To enhance knowledge and understanding of Electoral systems and procedures.
  • To heighten demand by citizen for service delivery by institutions of governance at the county level.
  • To ensure knowledge on the principal economic,social,and political issues facing county administrations and their form,structure and procedures.
  • To encourage appreciation for the diversity of Kenyan communities as building blocks for national cohesion and integration.
  • To help people understand the roles,rights,and responsibilities of citizens.
  • To help people acquire the ability to explain,Analyze, Interact, Evaluate,defend a position and monitor processes and outcomes.
  • To help citizens use knowledge acquired for informed participation in civic and political processes.

Regularly, the sub county administrators,ward administrators,village administrators and the county assembly should conduct civic education session toinform county residents on issues that may come up for public participation.Themes that may inform civic education include:

  • County policy making.
  • Law making processes.
  • Public finance management processes.
  • Development planning process.
  • Monitoring and evaluating county budget implementation.
  • Evaluating periodic county reports.
  • Evaluating county service delivery.

Civic education forms are to be designed in such a way that county residents full comprehend county policy making,legislative and development planning process and are empowered to ably participate in county processes.

CIVIC EDUCATION PROVIDERS.

The county should map out potential civic education providers and develop guidelines and code of ethics on how civic education may be carried out within the county.

There are three basic steps for comprehensive civic education to take place.

Step 1:

To inform the public of the civic education process including ensuring access to information.Communication on venues times and dates and an agenda of the process.

Step 2:

To actively engage the public on policy legislation and development processes at the county.

Step 3:

To listen to the public to assess their understanding of the public participation content.

Step 4;

Developing consensus on the basics discussed on a particular policy,legislation or development plan process.

CAPACITY BUILDING FOR COUNTY OFFICES.

The county government should ensure its officers have good understanding of public participation process, civic education and issues for discussion during public participation sessions. Hence, county government should have periodic capacity building session for its officers. capacity building may extend to key stakeholders that work with the counties and civic education providers .capacity building for county officers is best done through county departments,sectoral units or per specific technical expertise of the county officers.

STAKEHOLDERS MAPPING.

For a comprehensive public participation process, sector based stake holders should be involved in the process. Essentially these are individuals/groups of people that will be directly affected by proposed policies, law or development plan hence the County Government should set up a stake holders register based on the various sectors in the county. The register would be used as a reference point to invite stake holders relevant to a specific proposed policy ,legislation or development plan. This register would include the following information:

  • The name of the stakeholders group
  • The sector they represent and their perceived role.
  • Their legal identities
  • The nature and extent of their membership.
  • Their target constituencies including which ward they work in.
  • Their office bearers and contact details.
  • Location of the stakeholder group.

EXCLUSIVITY In all public participation processes,there should be conscious initiative to ensure that minorities  and  historically marginalized groups are involved.the constitution defines a marginalized community to be that because of its relatively small population or for any other reason has been unable to fully participate in the integrated social and economic life as a whole or a traditional community that,out of a need or desire to preserve its unique culture and the identity from assimilation,has remained outside the integrated social  economic life of Kenya as a whole or an indigenous community that has retained and maintained a traditional lifestyle and livelihood based on a hunter or gatherer economy and pastoral communities,culturally economically and marginalized groups also include the youth ,persons with disability ,women and older members of the society.

The county will integrate minorities and marginalized individuals in the mainstream public participation process by holding focus group meetings specifically targeting the attendance of mapped out minorities and historically marginalized individuals.

COMMUNICATION AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Access to information for Kenyan citizens is guaranteed by Article 35 of the constitution,on communication  section 93 of county government act provides  that public communication and access to information shall be integrated in all the development activities while observing professionalism ,media ethics and standards. Public communication aims at :

  1. Creating awareness on devolution and governance.
  2. Promoting citizen understanding for purposed of peace and national cohesion and
  3. Undertaking advocacy on core development issues at the county.

Strategic communication is essential to the county government.This means that communication efforts by the county should be inline with the policy legislative and development agenda set for  specific period.the county government should be in constant communication with its residents.the county should communicate in a language the residents should understand and at the very least in English and Kiswahili. There is need to identify the most effective medium of communication in terms of cost and reach ,such medium may include;

  • Television stations
  • Brochures
  • Newsletters
  • Information communication technology
  • Mass mailing
  • Websites
  • Social media(Facebook,twitter,linked-in
  • Community radio station
  • Public meetings
  • Traditional media and
  • Notices in county ,sub county,ward and village offices,place of worship,markets,schools,libraries,social clubs,medical facilities and national government offices.

Communication should also be tailored to meet the needs of persons with disability,older members of the society,the marginalized and the less educated residents of the county .To meet such needs,the county should consider communication in the following forms

  • Publication for persons with hearing impairments
  • Braille
  • Local language publication
  • Popular versions or
  • Large print publications.

Communication on public participation and civic education process shall contain:

  • A brief on the relevant draft policy,legislation or development plan
  • Information about how to access all relevant public documents needed for public participation.
  • County organs holding the public participation.
  • The venue for public participation.
  • Dates for public participation.
  • Channels through which citizens may give input on issues for discussion and
  • Contact details for persons or departments in charge.

MEDIA APPEARANCES BY COUNTY OFFICERS.

In order to expand the audience for public participation and civic education, the county government will use community radio and television shows. The county government will use these shows to give a brief of county policies legislation and development plans. Since most radio and television shows offer an interactive session with the audience ,the county will use the feedback to enrich the public participation process, however media appearances will not always be used as an alternative to other forms of public participation.

E-PARTICIPATION PLATFORM

A good part of our county population is constantly accessing information from the internet.Bearing in mind that many residents of the County  are not in a position to physically take part in Public participation forum.It is important that the county develop an elaborate E-participation platform for this  critical mass.The county there fore may need an officer specifically tasked with monitoring and regulating the

E-platform.

E-PLATFORM PRINCIPLES

The basic guiding principles for E-participation will include:

Transparency-

The E-participants should be aware of each initiative goals,potential outcome ,targeted participants,processes and tools.to clearly state the goals and potential outcomes will act as an incentive to the contribution.

Respect

The E-participation initiative shall promote civil behavior by means of constructive discussion and active listening.

Trust

Within this context trust involves confidence in the E-participation initiative and its results in commitment from the E-participants.

Creativity

A creative approach to build awareness contributes to attract participation it is important to be dynamic and continually evolve the participation process, taking advantage of the available tools and adapting them to the existent social cultural context and trends.

Inclusion

Refers to the extent to which e participation contributes to equalize and promote a participation system, providing initiatives to the largest possible number of people, empowering citizens and acting as key factors to achieve legitimacy.

Accountability

It flows from transparency and openness and it includes clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in the decision making process.

Productivity

The E-participation should be result oriented, seeking a tangible impact on participation policy making.

Responsiveness

The implemented process shall envisage a process for a decision maker or institutional representative, in order to ensure that participants’inputs are taken seriously and properly considered.

E-participation methods

E-petition: an online portal here anyone may fill a form in support or opposition of an issue within the county government.

Newsletters- the county may develop newsletters laying down what is happening within the county.

Websites- The County will have a website station.

SMS / MMS- Short message service and multimedia messaging service represents both the service as well as the pure text and multimedia short message themselves

Telephone/ call centres – the telephone enables simultaneous communication between two individuals ( or several individuals in case of telephone conference). The answering of calls and/or the active establishment of contact per telephone unbounded in call centres which is adequately staffed by several employees.

Social media- The County will have a Facebook, twitter, linked etc accounts. Such accounts between the public and the County. It is also possible for the County to gather much information through on platform at a very short time.

COUNTY INFORMATION RESOURCE CENTRES

The County Government will have resource centres where the public may access information held by the County Government.  These Centres will be inform of Public Libraries or resource centres at County Assembly and County Executive Offices.  The County Government will ensure that there is a Resource Centre in at least each Ward which may be situated at the ward Administrator’s Offices. Information is to be made available both hard and electronic form.

GETTING INFORMATION FROM THE PUBLIC

The County Government will have a data collection and Management system for the information it collects from the public. Information will be collected from a written submission oral submission, surveys, social media,focus group discussion,interviews,public meetings, workshops,seminars,conferences and opinion polls. The County Government will determine the most suitable, inclusive and cost effective, and information gathering process with the widest reach.

Written Memorandum Form

Date:
Personal Details:Name,contactdetals,if necessary
Policy/ Statute/Development planup for public participation:
Specific Proposal to draft policy/legislation/development plan:

DATA COLLECTION,COLLATION AND ANALYSIS

For effective public participation and civic education to take place,The county will collect, collate and analyse data processes. Data will befrom county initiatives and external sources. For qualitity data management the county will analyse data as part of their staff. This data wil inform monitoring and evaluation plus the policy, legislative and development planning processes. Professional data will also ensure that data has;

  • Validity: data measure what they are intended to measure.
  • Reliability: data are measured consistently according to standard definitions and methodologies, the results are the same when measurements are repeated.
  • Completeness: all data elements are included (as per the definitions and methodologies specified).
  • Precision: data has sufficient detail.
  • Integrity: data are protected from deliberate bias or manipulation from political or personal reasons.
  • Timelines: data are upto date (current) and information is available on time.

PUBLIC FORUMS

Venues: public participation meetings will be held in early accessible venues and at times convenient to county residents. They will be of size. County Officer in charge of Public Participation appropriate and Civic Education will ensure that the venue comfortable, have the necessary seating, ventilation, lighting, acoustic and facilities. The venue should be centrally placed and make provision for persons with disabilities, senior citizens, be politically, religious and socially neutral.

Forums: public participation forums will be directed in a structured way. County Administrators will employ the services of facilitators who will be generally be well versed with the policy, legislation or development policy up for discussion.

Facilitators of public participation session will ensure that all participants have equal opportunity to air their views bearing in mind age, gender, disability and merginalised persons and that any conflict arising out of the discussion is mitigated.

At the opening of each public participation session, the county officer in charge will lay out the agenda of the meeting, ground rules and give a brief on the proposed policy, legislation or development planning that is to be discussed. During the programme time allocation will be structured to give participants most time to air their views.

Data collection at public participation forums will be done as follows:

  • Availability of information to the public.
  • Number of residents accessing information.
  • Form and number of communication made to county residents.
  • Number of public participation forums held.
  • Number of people attending public participation forum.
  • Number of people participating in public forums.
  • Diversity of people participating in public forums.
  • Diversity of people attending public participation forums.
  • Accessibility to venues.
  • Number of experts used in public forums including their names and qualifications, and
  • Number of written submissions made.

PETITION

Section 15 and 88 of County Government Act states that citizens have a right to petition County Assembly to consider any matter within its authority including enacting, amending or repealing any of its legislation. The public may petition through village committees, ward, sub-county and county committees and the issues should affect a group of people.

A county government will indicate the manner and the form in which a petition will be done. Information that the petition will include are:

  • Be addressed to the County Executive Committee or County Assembly.
  • Have its subject matter indicated on every sheet if it consists of more than one sheet.
  • Confirm that efforts have been made to have the matter addressed by relevant body and that there has been a response on the matter from the relevant body or that the response has not been satisfactory.
  • Confirm that the issues in respect of which the petition is made are not pending before any court or other constitutional or legal body.
  • Conclude with a clear, proper and respectful request, reciting the definite object of the petitioner or petitioners in regard to the matter to which it relates.
  • Contain the names, addresses, identification numbers, signatures or a thump impression of the petitioner or every petitioner, where there is more than one petitioner; and
  • Contain only signatures or thump impressions, as the case may be, and addresses and identification numbers written directly onto the petition and not pested thereon or otherwise transferred to it.

The county government will indicate to the petitioner the period and manner the petition will be replied to. This also means that the county will keep a register of the petitions that will be available for public scrutiny.

REFERENDUM

Section 70 of the County Government Act provides that a County Government may conduct a local referendum on among other local issues, county laws and petitions or planning and investment decisions affecting the county for which a petition has been raised and duly signed by at least 25 per cent of registered voters where the referendum is to take place.

COMPLAINTS MECHANISM

Residents of a county will at times be dissatisfied with service delivery. A platform and mechanisms will be put in place by the county government. Either using an e-platform or physical complaints mechanism, the county will offer redress for members of the public with complaints against the county government. This means that, one, there will be a complaints mechanism and two, a mechanism to address the complaints from the public.

POST PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESSES

Feedback to the public: after collecting views, the county government will inform the public on the outcome of public participation on an issue. This will be done through a report or media briefing outlining the nature and number of views received, the number of views taken on board, the number of views not taken into consideration and the process for each. Such reports will instill confidence among the public that their views on county government matters are not taken for granted and that the county government actually listens.

Monitoring and Evaluation: the County Government will regularly develop a monitoring and evaluation framework for the purpose of public participation and conduct an evaluation of all public participation sessions in the county to advice on how to improve on next financial year’s session. All the monitoring and evaluation reports are to be made available to the public.

REPORTING

Section 92(2) of the County Government Act provides that the Governor will submit an annual report to the County Assembly on citizen participation in the affairs of the county government. To ensure that the provision is fulfilled, the county government may use the key performance indicators and the output that will be realized by the framework as set out. However, the report will be brief, direct and simple for the public to understand and analyse. The report will be made available to the public as soon as it is launched.

THEMATIC AREAS FOR CITIZEN PARTICIPATION

Public Finance Management

Article 220 of the Constitution requires that the county budgets on the basis of plans. To provide timely information to the public and to facilitate public participation the county will ensure it prepares the following documents within legislative and constitutional timelines:

  • Circular by County Executive of Finance to all county government bodies laying out more details on how the citizens will participate in budget making process. By August 30th

 

(b)County development plan which is tabled in the County Assembly by September 1st and released to the public within seven days.

(c) County fiscal strategy paper that is tabled in the County Assembly by February 28th and released to the public within seven days.

(d)County Debt Management Strategy Paper which is tabled in the County Assembly by February 28th and released to the public as soon as practicable.

(e)County Budget Estimates which is tabled in the County Assembly by April 30th and released to the public as soon as practicable.

(f) County Budget Review and Outlook Paper to be submitted to County Executive Committee by September 30th and released to the public as soon as practicable.

(g) Quarterly implementation report on county budget to be made public within 30 days of end of each quarter.

Through civic education citizens needs to review schedule four of the constitution, which lay out the powers and the functions of the counties and national government, this assist in knowing what kind of provision to expect in the county budget.

Preparation of Budget: Once the county budget estimates is tabled in the County Assembly the County Budget Committee will arrange to hold hearings from the county residents and receive citizen views.

Evaluating the Budget: The citizens will be required to analyse the county budget.

Monitoring the Budget: This starts with enacted budget which is in form of an Appropriation Act approved by the County Assembly. This is available to the public within 21 days of passage by the County Assembly. The county will prepare quarterly implementation report that provides financial and non-financial information on the performance of the county government entity. This report will be prepared and consolidated within a month after the quarter ends (every 3 months) and submitted to both the County Assembly and the public for oversight and monitoring. 

Finance Bill: this is a bill tabled in the County Assembly by the County Executive Member for Finance and should be approved within 90 days of the approval of the County Budget. It stipulates the proposed revenue raising measures and taxes the county intends to impose. The County Committee responsible shall engage the citizens and incorporate their inputs before recommending it for approval. The consultation of the above process will be at the village, ward, sub-county and county level.

County Budget and Economic Forum: Sections 137 of the Public Finance Management Act establish the County Budget and Economic Forums. The forums are composed of the Governor of the county, other members of County Executive Committee and a number of representatives, not being public officers, equal to the number of Executive Committee Members appointed by the Governor from persons nominated by organizations representing professionals, business, labour issues, women, persons with disabilities, the elder and faith based groups at the county level. The purpose of the forum is to provide a means for consultation by the county government on-

  • Preparation of the County Plan, the County Fiscal Strategy Paper and the Budget Review and Outlook Paper for the county; and
  • Matters relating to budgeting, the economy and financial management at the county level.

The County Budget and Economic Forum will ensure that there is public participation when carrying out its mandate under Public Finance Management Act.

SERVICE DELIVERY PLANNING AND OVERSIGHT

The County Government Act provides for the county planning. Citizen participation in the county planning process is mandatory and is facilitated through provision of public of clear and unambiguous information on any matter under consideration in the planning process including:

  1. Clear strategic environmental assessment.
  2. Clear environmental impact assessment reports.
  3. Expected development outcome.
  4. Development options and their cost implications.

A county shall have a planning unit which will be responsible for which will be responsible for:-

  1. Coordinating Integrated Development Plan within the county.
  2. Ensuring integrated planning within the county.
  3. Ensuring linkages between county plans and the national planning framework.
  4. Ensuring meaningful engagement of citizens in the planning process.
  5. Ensuring establishment of AGIS based data base system.

Section 107 of the County Government Act dictates that county plans shall be the basis for all budgeting and spending in a county. Hence, the public finance management and processes at the county level should be guided by these plans. The county planning unit shall ensure that the county has the following plans and that the public participation has been undertaken in the development process.

County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP): this is a five year integrated development plan which outlines the goals, objectives, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and institutional framework for internal transformation. The plan covers all sectors in devolved functions. Citizen participation will be at the village, ward, sub-county and county levels.

County Sectoral Plan: This is a ten years a sectoral  plan which is a programme based. It provides basis for budgeting and performance management and will be reviewed every five years and updated annually. Citizen participation will be at the village, ward, sub-county and county levels.

Spatial Pan: This is a ten years land use plan it is multi-sectoral and should involve all sectors including national and county government ministries, educational institutions and hospitals. It is a GIS based system and provides social and economic development programmes of the county. Given the sensitive nature of land it will require wider consultation. Citizen participation will be at the village, ward, sub-county and the county levels.

Cities and Urban Areas Plan: This will stipulate land use, building and zoning plans, recreation and public facilities.

COUNTY PROJECTS/DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Identification of Priority Needs: Identification and prioritization of community needs shall be accorded sufficient time.

Project Identification: Projects shall be identified that will address the priority needs. Prioritized projects shall be forwarded from the Ward Citizen Forums to the Sub-County Citizen Forums for consensus building.

Project Design and Costing: Projects identified in consultative meetings and agreed upon shall be designed and cost estimates done by the County Technical Committee.

Project Implementation: The objective of implementation is to deliver the projects and activities prioritized by citizens and to meet the needs identified during consultation process. The county government shall delegate implementation powers and responsibilities to sub-county and ward levels. Project Committees will be elected from the community who will be volunteers. The county shall assign an officer at the ward level known as the Community Development Officer. This shall be the officer responsible for ward level planning, implementation and monitoring.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation: Monitoring is defined as the process of collecting and analyzing data to measure the actual performance of the programme, the process or activity against the expected results. The purpose is to identify whether implementation is undertaken according to project plans and design. The county will undertake its monitoring and evaluation through:

  1. The County Budget and Economic Forum.
  2. Project Technical Committee.
  • Project Committee.
  1. Citizens.

Social Audit: Each ward forum shall establish Ward Public Audit Sub-Committee to audit implementation of sector or ward projects. Its mandate shall be to ensure transparency and accountability particularly in procurement of goods and services.

RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The following are some of the rights, duties and responsibilities of members of the public in ensuring effective public participation takes place in the county:

Right to Access Information: Article 35 of the Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to access information held by the state. This includes information required for effective public participation to take place.

Freedom of Expression: Article 33 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression including freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas. Hence every person should feel constitutionally empowered to share information and ideas during public participation processes.

Equality: Article 27 of the Constitution provides that the state shall not discriminate directly of indirectly on any ground. This guarantees equal participation in decision making process at the county.

Planning: the public will be involved in the mapping, prioritization and codification of issues that may be subjected to public participation be the draft policies, legislation or development plans. Members of the public have the duty from the onset to ensure that what is documented annually represent issues that are crucial at the most basic units of the county. After mapping, prioritization and codification of issues, members of the public should be clear on who the issues are to be addressed to, the county department involved, statutory period for civic education and form of participation.

Organization: Members of the public may participate in decision making process as individuals or representative groups. It is for the county residents to use discernment to determine the most effective grouping they should use to engage the county government. Such organizations may be in form of youth groups, women groups, SACCOs, chamber of commerce, civil societies or religious groups.

Participation: The public have a duty to fully participate in county processes when need be or on their own initiative. These include participating in county civic education initiatives.

Monitoring and Evaluation: Public has a duty to monitor and evaluate not only the public participation and civic education processes but also the implementation of policies, legislations and development plans.

For More Information See “CITIZEN PARTICIPATORY POLICY