Devolution

PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING:CITIZEN SETTING THE AGENDA

The systematic Participatory Budgeting (PB) seven-staged model is a process through which citizens have an unprecedented opportunity to set the agenda, decide on their priorities and monitor the public monetary spending in their communities.

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Which sub-theme question will you be answering and how? Refer to manual for the sub-theme questions :

How can we strengthen the role of citizen participation in planning and budgeting to ensure inclusive and participatory governance?

Through the seven-staged process, PB is a model that seeks to organize and amplify citizens' voices to come up with development priorities in their localities and advocate for the inclusion of these priorities in the county budgets. It also involves the citizens in social auditing of projects by county governments thus promoting transparency and accountability.

Describe the problem that your idea/project wants to address. :

Even with the new Kenya constitution (2010) providing for active citizen participation in various governance processes, this has not been meaningfully achieved according to various sources. The newly created county governments use non participatory means of consultations to get citizens views that lack any form of feedback mechanisms. Access to information on budgetary matters by citizens especially within counties is also a problematic. Most counties lack policies/laws that guide participation.

How does your idea/project engage local, regional or national governments as a means of increasing citizen engagement and/or government responsiveness? :

Through the model, citizens get to identify and prioritize the development needs in their localities and present them to county officials for inclusion in specific financial year budgets.

The project will also engage directly with the National Executive and legislative arms of government in dissemination information on budgets, expenditures and audits to the citizens of counties involved. This in particular involves information that county governments withhold for various reasons.

How does your idea/concept engage with gender equality and/or the rights of disadvantaged groups? :

Provision for inclusion of historically marginalized groups has been incorporated in the project design through; accessibility of information - not relying heavily on the written that necessitates particular levels of education and physical ability; hosting separate citizens assemblies for particular marginalized groups; taking cognizance of the distorted voice of dominant groups and facilitating consensus building processes as a default to solving contentious issues when they are raised.

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Idea No. 175