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Deliberating Budgets in Kenya: Tools and Examples

Deliberating Budgets in Kenya: Tools and Examples

September 2017 | By International Budget Partnership Kenya

In May 2017, IBP Kenya began to investigate what the concept of budget deliberation would mean in practice by organizing budget deliberation demonstrations in Isiolo, Mombasa, and Nakuru counties. In each demonstration, participants were asked to deliberate on allocations to the national budget sectors (health, education, etc.). Participants first learned about the sectors using IBP Kenya’s citizen-friendly Information Package on National Government Sectors, then deliberated, and then decided on an allocation.

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This Information Package helps readers think about how to make tradeoffs between sectors by presenting nine factors that should be taken into account when deciding on sector allocations. It can be useful to Kenyan citizens interested in engaging in sector debate at the national level, and to think about the type of information that is needed to have budget sector discussions at the county level.

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These videos capture highlights of the deliberation demonstrations, including information on how to facilitate them, how to help people think about budget tradeoffs, a synthesis of all three sessions, and key lessons learned. Watch the videos below, or click here to watch on YouTube.


This video provides a synthesis of budget deliberation demonstrations in Isiolo, Mombasa, and Nakuru counties. Watch the video below, or click here to watch on YouTube.


The following videos capture highlights of budget deliberation demonstrations in Isiolo, Mombasa, and Nakuru counties. Click on an image to watch a video, or view the playlist on YouTube.

Nakuru County:
Mombasa County:
Isiolo County:

The following videos capture information on how to facilitate budget deliberation demonstrations. Click on an image to watch a video, or view the playlist on YouTube.

How to Facilitate Deliberations Around the Budget Effectively
How Do We Decide on Sector Allocations in the Budget?
What We Have Learned About Deliberating Budgets?

Further Reading

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Deliberating Budgets: An Example from Nairobi County, Kenya

Deliberating Budgets: An Example from Nairobi County, Kenya

February 2017 | By International Budget Partnership Kenya

In 2016, IBP Kenya began promoting a new approach to public engagement with budgets termed “deliberating budgets.” The approach is rooted in theories of deliberative democracy, which emphasizes the importance of giving and debating reasons for the choices we make. In the context of budget-making, deliberation occurs particularly around the reasons for the trade-offs — giving more to particular areas and less to others.

What does deliberation about the budget actually look like? One answer emerges from Nairobi County, Kenya. In February 2017, IBP Kenya helped to facilitate a session of the County Budget and Economic Forum (CBEF) to discuss the 2017/18 budget. Members of government departments were invited to discuss their budget proposals with members of the CBEF and some members of civil society. What emerged was a robust discussion about the choices the government was proposing to make in 2017/18, the reasons for those choices, and the concerns of public representatives about those reasons.


This video captures highlights of these deliberations and can be used to stimulate further discussion among the wider public about the upcoming budget and the reasoning behind major government proposals. Watch the video below, or click here to watch on YouTube.


In addition, the following videos capture sector-specific budget deliberations from the forum. Click on an image to watch a video, or view the playlist on YouTube.

Finance Sector:
Youth Affairs:
Transport Sector:
The Office of the Governor:
Health
Sector:
County Environment Sector:
Education Sector:

 

 


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Kenya: Are Sector Working Groups an Effective Mechanism for Public Participation?

Kenya: Are Sector Working Groups an Effective Mechanism for Public Participation?

December 2016 | By International Budget Partnership Kenya

Kenya National Budget Sector Working GroupsThe logic of Kenya’s budget process is to begin by distributing the budget at the sector level and then move to finalize allocations at the ministry, program, and sub-program levels. The process begins with a proposed sector distribution in the Budget Review and Outlook Paper (BROP) which is later finalized in the Budget Policy Statement (BPS). Between the BROP and the BPS, the process of reviewing and adjusting sector proposals is carried out by Sector Working Groups that are meant to facilitate government coordination around the budget and to be the main mechanism for engagement with the public on sector priorities.

But are Sector Working Groups an effective means for the public to influence sector budget allocations? This brief assesses Kenya’s 2017 BPS to see whether the public’s priorities have had an impact on sector allocations and what reasons the government provided for including or excluding them. The authors conclude that there is scant information provided in the BPS on the impact of public views in sector allocations and that it is not possible to tell whether public views were taken into account in most cases, though in some cases it seems clear that they were not. Where public views were not included, the explanations for excluding them are inadequate.

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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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Palestine: Teaching Active Citizenship Through Social Audits

Palestine: Teaching Active Citizenship Through Social Audits

February 2016 | By Belal Fallah, Department of Economics and Financial Sciences, Palestine Polytechnic University

IBP Case Study Palestine Social AuditsIn much of the West Bank, particularly in areas such as Awarta and Nablus, there are rampant problems in the funding and delivery of government services and infrastructure projects. These problems range from general mismanagement of funds to outright corruption. In response, the Teacher Creativity Centre (TCC) launched a project to mobilize students to conduct social audits of public services. Integrity Action, a nonprofit organization registered in the United Kingdom, supported TCC through funding for the campaign activities, help in shaping the audit tools used by students, and by providing guidance on monitoring.

Over a period of four months, the TCC mobilized groups of students from 58 secondary schools, exposing a host of problems and advocating for their solutions. Some groups significantly improved infrastructure in their communities. Others were less successful — a lack of information and concerns about exposing too much undermined the potential of their work culminate in change.

This case study was commissioned by IBP’s Learning Program in cooperation with Integrity Action. It demonstrates the challenges and benefits of involving students in strategies for social accountability.

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