Budget Brief No. 32 – Kenya: How Much Does it Cost to Run a County?

The question of how to manage the costs of government is a hot topic in Kenya, and there have been numerous debates on the affordability of the state structure created by the 2010 constitution. However, it is not entirely clear what the basic costs of running the government are. Among the many new offices and new costs, perhaps none is more important to understand than the costs of running a county government.

This brief estimates the total cost of running Kenyan counties in FY 2015/16. It details how we estimate the costs for core personnel and administration/operations, points out areas where we lack complete or reliable data, and discusses the implications of these findings for calculating the “basic equal share” of the budget given to each county in Kenya.

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Budget Brief 32 Pamphlet.pdf

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Budget Brief 32 Kenya How Much Does it Cost to Run a County.pdf

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Budget Brief 32 County Costs Summary.xlsx

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Authors

John Kinuthia

Senior Program Officer, IBP Kenya, International Budget Partnership

John is a Senior Program Officer at the International Budget Partnership Kenya (IBPK). He joined IBP in October 2012 just as Kenya’s ambitious devolution program was taking off. John leads IBPK’s research and analytical work in Kenya, and he is part of the team that works to promote budget transparency and to improve public engagement on how the government raises and spends public resources.

He has done extensive research on Kenya’s public finance system for evidence generation that IBP uses to provide technical support to civil society organizations and, in some cases, government agencies. John’s research focuses on equitable revenue sharing mechanisms, equity in government expenditure, social protection, budget credibility, public participation in budgets, sub-national budget transparency, among other areas. His role also includes supporting capacity building and the publication of guides and tools that IBPK uses to improve community engagement with national and sub-national government budgets. John also plays a role in coordinating IBP’s programmatic work in Kenya, including supporting fundraising and administrative tasks.

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), an MBA in Strategic Management from the Kenya Methodist University, and a professional award on Decentralization and Local Governance from SOAS University of London.

Before joining IBP, John worked with Twaweza East Africa as an Associate Analyst, where he helped to build the Kenya Budget Explorer, a centralized budget portal, to improve citizens’ access to budget information.  He is a big data enthusiast, a happy bee farmer, and a part-time historian.

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