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ICTs aiding public participation in Kenyan Counties

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ICTs aiding public participation in Kenyan Counties

Devolution in Kenya has become the cornerstone for the realization of vision 2030 and other development goals. The country is about to celebrate 5 years since the Constitution of Kenya 2010 was promulgated. Among the far-reaching gains that are enshrined in this constitution is meaningful public participation on governance and public affairs issues.  Articles 201 (a), 196 (b) 184 (c), 174 (c), 124 (b), 118, 35, 34, 10-2 (a) provide for access to information and public participation in the decision making processes.

 

Recognizing the need to breach governance and service delivery processes, International Center for Policy and Conflict in partnership with Tachicom-Kenya embarked on integration of ICTs for enhanced devolution implementation in Kenya. Consequently, an online portal (Kenya Devolution Portal) and mobile sms system has been established aimed at: empowering citizens` capacity to network and effectively increase interaction with devolved governments through content creation and publishing on issues affecting them, information sharing, and application in targeting, advocacy and mobilization. Further the project aims at building trust in the devolved unit (s) by engaging their subjects (taxpayers) on issues thus increasing accountability, citizen participation and ultimately effective public service delivery.

Kenya Devolution portal

This is a web-based, one stop shop tool on devolved unit information in Kenya (or a county in Kenya); citizen participation forums, budget money flows into the counties, parliamentary proceedings, key decisions-(policy and development), events and bulk messaging. It will therefore help the citizens, actors, donors, government, private sectors easily access the county information by bridging the gap between sources, general public, domain experts and decision makers from multiple, geographically distributed regions.

Fact Finding Mission

On a fact finding mission to the counties of Laikipia, Makueni, Nakuru, and Taita Taveta held on the month of March 2015; a team from ICPC and Tachicom-Kenya found out that Low awareness on Public policy and public participation was affecting citizens’ involvement. This was further contributed to by a inadequate information; Inadequate monitoring and evaluation of projects as well as poor accountability mechanisms.

On addressing the challenges; the team is planning to work with community information centers and experts for translation and simplification of messages. ICPC further is seeking partnership with devolution stakeholders through constant engagement with county governments, local leaderships, advocacy groups and the communities for effective action and response to citizen governance/policy issues.

 

Article by; Jacob Otachi.

Read 9651 times. Last modified on Thursday, 16 April 2015 14:57.
Published in: Tachicom Initiatives
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