Paper

Reasoning About Sharing County Water Funds in Kenya: Assessing the Quality of Justifications For Distribution

January 2016 | by Mokeira Nyagaka, IBP Kenya

One of the principal drivers of constitutional reform in Kenya, leading up to the approval of the 2010 constitution, has been a desire to ensure that every Kenyan has access to basic services, including the provisions of clean and safe water. The law is clear that public resources should be distributed equitably across the country. While the national government uses a formula in its distribution of revenue to counties, county budgets have been distributing resources without reference to any principles or policies on distribution. This undermines deliberation and accountability in the budgeting process.

This paper looks at the distribution of county revenues to the water (sub) sector across Kenya’s 47 counties. It begins by asking whether how much is allocated to each ward or subcounty can be determined by looking at the various budget documents in the formulation stage of the budget cycle. We focus on County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs), Annual Development Plans (ADPs), and Budget Estimates prepared between 2013 and 2016. We then seek to isolate reasons or criteria for spatial distribution that are expressly given in these key budget documents.

This paper concludes with a discussion of findings that indicate a lack of explicit criteria in determining equitable distribution of public resources across counties, and some recommendations for county governments to improve transparency by making such information readily available.

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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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