What we did: We organized consultative meetings with elected members of county assemblies, senior officers from the county executive, ward and subcounty-level administrators, officers representing the County Senator’s office, and political and civic actors.
What we achieved: The Uasin Gishu and Kakamega county governments committed to improve their practices and decision-making processes to be more transparent, inclusive, responsive and accountable to all citizens, by reviewing their public participation strategies and their legal frameworks.
Who we did it with: The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Centre for Multiparty Democracy in Kenya (CMD-Kenya), county assemblies and county executive governments
Impact area: Political Participation and Representation
Project name: Supporting Accountable Democratic Governance and Active Citizenry in Kenya
Donor: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Award period: 27 months
Boundary partners: CMD-Kenya and Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP)
Consultative meetings were organized by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy in Kenya (CMD-Kenya) with support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through International IDEA. The meetings were part of a two-year project seeking to strengthen accountable democratic governance and active citizenry in Kenya.
The meetings were attended by 25 elected members of county assemblies, 12 senior officers from the county executive, 40 ward and subcounty-level administrators, four officers representing the County Senator’s office, and 30 political and civic actors.
Participants emphasized the need to reduce elite interests and influence in public policy priorities of the county governments.
The 2010 Constitution puts citizens at the centre of governance, by requiring public participation and citizen engagement in all aspects of governance. However, effective public participation continues to be a challenge as the process undertaken by county executives and legislatures remains largely a formality with the County Senator’s office, which plays a critical role in oversight of devolved functions, often sidelined due to parochial politics.
The lack of coordination between the legislature and executive on the one hand, and the political rivalries between governors and senators on the other, has led to disinterest by the public in local governance issues.
Participants observed that the consultative meetings were a first of a kind in bringing together the policymakers, implementers and beneficiaries for a holistic conversation on public participation and civic engagement.
After attending the meetings, the Uasin Gishu and Kakamega county governments committed to improve their practices and decision-making to be more transparent, inclusive, responsive and accountable to all citizens. They are to review their public participation strategies and their legal frameworks.