Paper

In Search of Adequate Public Reasons in Kenya’s Budget Documents

January 2017 | by Jason Lakin, Ph.D. and Mokeira Nyagaka, IBP Kenya

Public reasoning is an important part of budget making, but the reasons given by governments for their preferred policies are often inadequate. At the same time, there is no recognized standard for assessing the adequacy of reasons. This brief presents a set of nine criteria that can be used to assess the adequacy of reasons given to justify budget decisions. Along with the criteria, the authors present examples drawn from Kenya national budget documents published between July and December 2016.

The criteria and examples provided are designed to help government convince the public that the decisions it makes are founded on reasons that are adequate – a critical step in improving the quality of debate about public finances.

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Authors

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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