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How Do Kenyans Prioritize at the Sector Level? Comparing Public and Government Preferences

How Do Kenyans Prioritize at the Sector Level? Comparing Public and Government Preferences

November 2016 | By Jason Lakin, Ph. D, IBP Kenya

kenya budget priorities In order to determine budget allocations for sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure, the Kenyan government is meant to consider the views of the general public. In reality, however, there has been relatively little discussion with the public about sector priorities. To get better a sense of public opinion, IBP Kenya sponsored a national survey asking citizens from across Kenya’s 47 counties what they thought the sector distribution of the national budget should be, and what they believed the actual allocation to be.

Four key points emerged from comparing the government’s current sector priorities with the public’s:

  1. The public wants less investment in the energy and infrastructure sector than the government.
  2. At the same time, the public wants higher spending on health and agriculture than the government has proposed.
  3. The public wants more spending on the economic and commercial affairs sector, and less in the governance and public administration sector.
  4. The public would also give less to education and more to security, environment, and water and social protection.

In this paper, we offer different perspectives on how to interpret these results. While more research is needed, we believe the survey results suggest the public does have concerns about the government’s priorities, and their preferences should be given weight in the decision-making process.

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Reference

  • Attitudes of Kenyans to The National & County Budget Making Process: Comprehensive Survey Report
    In August 2016, IBP Kenya worked with Infotrak Research & Consulting, a Kenyan survey research firm, to carry out a national survey of Kenyan attitudes on issues related to the national and county budget process. Part of the survey focused on sectors and sector preferences to find out which sectors are most important to Kenyans and how much they know about sector spending. To gather empirical evidence about Kenyan views on principles of equity, the survey also included a set of simple scenarios about sharing resources and questions designed to trigger views of fairness indirectly.

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You Cannot Go it Alone: Learning from Cooperative Relationships in Civil Society Budget Campaigns

You Cannot Go it Alone: Learning from Cooperative Relationships in Civil Society Budget Campaigns

May 2016 | by Jillian Larsen

The International Budget Partnership has spent almost a decade researching how and why civil society campaigns on budget-related issues succeed or fail. Based on the findings of nearly 30 case studies spanning five continents, this paper synthesizes what we have learnt so far. It focuses particularly on the relationships between civil society organizations (CSOs) and both government and non-government stakeholders, establishing a typology of these relationships, and examining how and why they contribute to successful budget campaigns.

The main finding is that, when it comes to budget campaigns, CSOs cannot go it alone. Cooperation from either elite stakeholders, a wider network of non-state actors, or both, is crucial. Campaigns that failed to forge strong cooperative relationships were found to have much weaker outcomes. Those that were able to sustain relationships while adapting to ever changing circumstances exhibited the strongest outcomes.

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The Road to 61: Achieving Sufficient Levels of Budget Transparency

The Road to 61: Achieving Sufficient Levels of Budget Transparency

July 2016 | By Babacar Sarr (IBP Senior Program Officer) and Joel Friedman (IBP Senior Fellow)

Achieving Sufficient Levels of Budget Transparency

Over the last decade, successive rounds of the Open Budget Survey (OBS) have shown that the average level of budget transparency around the world is modestly increasing. This progress has mainly been driven by countries that started from a very low base, as reflected by their low scores on the Open Budget Index (OBI). However, a significant number of countries persist in providing only limited amounts of budget information to the public (scoring between 41 and 60 on the OBI).

Using data from the last four rounds of the OBS (2008, 2010, 2012, and 2015), this paper closely examines these countries whose scores place them in the middle of the OBI. It seeks to answer what these countries can do to increase their OBI scores above 60, a rough benchmark for when a country can be considered to be publishing sufficient budget information to permit informed public discussions on budgetary matters.

Is it a matter of simply publishing more documents? Or must the comprehensiveness of the documents that are published be improved? And how should reforms be sequenced?

The analysis also draws on six case studies of countries that have been in the middle of the OBI for the last four rounds of the OBS and five case studies of countries that had been in the middle category before boosting their scores above 60. By comparing different trajectories and examining different blockages, this paper aims to chart a path for countries to boost their OBI scores and begin to publish sufficient amounts of budget information to allow for informed public debate.

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Further Reading

Open Budget Survey Guidelines on the Public Availability of Budget Documents

Open Budget Survey Guidelines on the Public Availability of Budget Documents

August 2016 | by International Budget Partnership

Guidelines on the public availability of budget documentsInternational good practice on public financial management recommends that governments produce eight key budget documents throughout the budget process.

To be considered publicly available and accepted by the Open Budget Survey, these documents must meet a set of minimum standards on content, availability, and timeliness.

This guide provides direction and additional resources to determine the public availability of the eight key budget documents evaluated in the Open Budget Survey. It also helps in identifying which fiscal years should be included in the Open Budget Survey 2017.

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