Reasoning About Sharing Public Resources Within Counties in Kenya: How Three Counties Share and Justify Sharing Funds

January 2016 | by Mokeira Nyagaka, IBP Kenya

This paper presents findings of a research project that examined the criteria (or reasons) behind the distribution of development funds across three counties in Kenya: Kisumu, Nakuru, and Elgeyo Marakwet. While there are many factors counties may take into consideration in distributing public revenues equitably, there is no mandated approach in distributing resources across counties. In any case, the rationale behind ward or subcounty resource distribution should be explicit. These justifications should be provided for all major choices by governments. They should be relatively comprehensible to the average citizen, and presented to the public for scrutiny.

In this paper, we explore the criteria used in geographical distribution of resources within counties. The principal focus of the research is to examine whether counties are providing reasons for the choices they make, and whether these justifications are coherent and consistent across the board.

We first scrutinize key budget documents in a bid to find data on the distribution of public spending, particularly how much development expenditure is proposed for each ward/subcounty. We then explore if there are explicit criteria used in the distribution of development funds. After reviewing public documents, we augment with data collected based on visits to the three counties. We conducted interviews with key county government officials and collected other documents that were not publically available from the county governments. We then make recommendations on how to better justify the distribution of resources across counties drawing from the findings of the research.




ibp kenya paper reasoning about sharing public resources within counties 1 2016.pdf

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Mokeira Nyagaka

Capacity Building and Learning Officer,

As the Capacity Building and Learning Officer at IBP Kenya (IBPK), Mokeira leads the team in developing, updating and facilitating training materials on the budget processes, budget analysis and participation in budgeting at the national and sub-national levels. Mokeira coordinates the monitoring and evaluation, learning and reporting of IBP Kenya’s work. She works closely with IBPK’s partners to develop their tools related to the work done in partnership with IBPK.

Prior to employment as full-time staff at IBPK, Mokeira worked as a consultant researching the adequacy of public justifications in budget documents in Kenya county governments. Mokeira transitioned to Research Analyst and Trainer at IBPK, a full-time staff position she held from 2016- 2019. In 2020, her role expanded to Capacity Building and Learning Officer.

Mokeira is passionate about developing content for CSOs, community budget champions, and the communities they support to improve their engagement with budgets. She is keen on content development that can be utilized by various audiences.

Mokeira is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She graduated with an LL. B and LL.M (public finance) from the University of Nairobi.


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