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The Annual Conference on Democracy And Human Rights
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The Annual Conference on Democracy And Human Rights

The County Governance Status Report  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_CJ8v0vf9g5WklVekQteExucXM/view

ANNUAL CONFERENCE FOR DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOVERNANCE AND LAUNCH OF THE COUNTY GOVERNANCE STATUS REPORT

The 2016 annual conference on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance is organized by Civil Society and Faith Based Organizations in Kenya coordinated by Diakonia Sweden and Forum Syd with the support of the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi. The 40 organizations are implementing ongoing projects that aim at strengthening Democracy, Human Rights and Gender Equality in Kenya, covering a total of 28 Counties. 

The theme for the 2016 conference is “Haki na uongozi bora, ni Wajibu Wetu!”.  It provides an opportunity for stakeholders in Democracy, Governance and Human Rights to take stock of achievements, challenges and lessons learnt in the implementation of Kenya’s Constitution.             

The highlight of this year’s conference is the launch of The County Governance Status Report conducted by Transparency International Kenya. The study aimed to assess the status of governance based on levels of transparency and accountability, integrity, service delivery and public participation. The assessment focused on the potential for, existence or extent of weaknesses within the county government’s systems that would pose a challenge to integrity, transparency and accountability and hamper service delivery to citizens

The survey interviewed a total of 7,632 respondents drawn from the 47 counties. Additionally, 45 county executive officials (County Secretaries, County Executive Committee members, Chiefs of Staff and Chief Officers) from 36 county governments and 233 officials (Members of County Assembly, Speakers and Clerks) from 46 county assemblies were also interviewed.

 KEY FINDINGS

Role of elected leaders: There were low public levels on awareness of the roles of elected leaders among citizens as 20% reported not knowing the role of the Governor, 22% did not know the role of the Member of County assembly, 21% did not know the role of the Member of Parliament, 38% did not know the role of the Women’s Representative and 50% did not know the role of the Senator. Performance of elected leaders:  Senators and women’s representatives’ performance was rated as poor while that of Governors, Members of County Assembly and Members of Parliament was rated as average. This rating was based in a scale of 1 to 5 , where 1 means very poor and 5 means very good.

Likelihood of re-electing leaders: A majority of citizens reported that they were very unlikely /unlikely to re-elect their Women’s Representative (72%), Senators (68%), MCAs (55%) while 49% were unlikely to re-elect their MPs and 45% who were unlikely to re-elect their Governors.

How citizens contacted their county governments: About a third of the respondents said they would personally go to the Governor’s / County offices, followed by 17% who did not know  and 13%  who identified  National Government officials (chief, county commissioner) as one of the ways they could contact their county government. Cumulatively only 8% would contact the county government via phone call, email, website or social media accounts.

  • Communication channels used by county governments:

The survey noted that all County Governments (Executive) had websites. Further, 32 of these websites provided a general email address and 31 provided a general phone number to reach the County Governments. Additionally, 45 County Governments had Facebook pages and 38 had twitter handles.

  • Citizens’ access to information:

When asked if they had received/seen/heard any news from the County Government, majority (58%) of the respondents had not.  Of the 42% that reported receiving information, 35% had heard about County projects, 24% about bursaries and other social development initiatives 14% about employment opportunities. Only 8% had heard about County budgets and 2% about taxation and land rates. 

  • Citizen participation in meetings convened by the County Government:  

Thirty five percent of respondents reported having knowledge of a meeting convened by the County Government with half of them reporting attendance of the meetings. Six out of ten respondents that did not attend the meetings reported they were not available at the time followed by 7% who noted that the notification was late and the venue of the meeting was far.

 Structures of public participation at the County Governments: Twenty three counties reported having policies/legislation to guide public participation, 17 had policies/legislation on access to information while 29 reported having an office / officer to ensure public participation and access to information. The Controller of Budget also noted that 20 counties had established the County Budget and Economic Forum (CBEF) in line with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act. 

 

Most critical services at county level:

From the 14 devolved services respondents were asked to identify services they considered to be the biggest priority in their counties. Overall, County health services, education, agriculture, county transport and trade development and regulation emerged as the top five services that were seen as most critical  by respondents.

Rating of service delivery in the counties: Generally, a large proportion of citizens rated most services as average or poor. However, services such as pre-primary education had the highest proportion of respondents (37%)  rating it as good followed  by health at 27%, trade regulation at 25%  and County transport at 22%

Most pressing problem that the county governments should address: Twenty one percent of respondents identified roads as the most pressing problem to be addressed by the county government. This was followed by unemployment, and water and sanitation, both rated at 14%.

Challenges experienced by the County Executive in service delivery:

The most common challenge faced by the county executives was reported as limited financial resources (61%). This was followed distantly by the establishment of appropriate structures and systems to deliver services to the public (16%) and delayed disbursement of funds (12%).

  • Level of corruption in the counties:  

Sixty two percent of the respondents described the level of corruption in their counties as high followed by 20% who described it as average. Only 6% described the level of corruption as low while 12% did not know. 

 Most trusted institution to tackle corruption: Respondents were asked to identify the institution they trusted most to drive the anti-corruption agenda within their counties in the next 12 months.  Twenty one percent of respondents did not know which institution to trust with the task, 21% did not trust any institution and another 21% felt that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) would get the job done.

  • Biggest success of devolution:  

A quarter of Citizens observed that the biggest success of devolution was ease of access to services /improved service delivery while 61% of MCAs, 44% of Speakers/Clerks and 48% of the Executive  observed that funds and services are now closer to the people.

  • Biggest failure of devolution:

Forty two percent of Citizens noted that there was increased corruption/funds embezzlement while a third of MCAs noted that there was misuse of funds and poor implementation of projects. Forty percent of Speakers/Clerks also noted that corruption had increased and there was lack of proper accountability. A quarter of the Executive felt that the national government had not released devolved functions fully.

 One thing to change about devolution: A quarter of Citizens recommended that the number of elected leaders be reduced. About a third of MCAs and the Executive recommended that financial resources allocated to counties be increased while 28% of Speakers /Clerks recommended that accountability mechanisms be strengthened so as to protect Devolution.

SUMMARY RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. There is need for awareness on the role of leaders and functions of county governments amongst the citizens as increased public understanding on their roles will enable citizens to demand more accountability and engage them appropriately.
  2. The County Governments to enhance public participation mechanisms and encourage participation of women simplify key county documents and schedule county engagements on appropriate days and times for the public.
  3. County Governments to explore better communication mechanisms including technological innovations to enhance their reach by citizens.  
  4. There is need for charters on services offered by the various County Governments to relay key information on available services, delivery timelines and the cost of such services

County governments should enhance their capacity to collect revenue. Further, Counties should exercise prudence in public expenditure.

  1. There is need to support initiatives aimed at curbing corruption within the county systems. Counties should fast-track the establishment of internal audit committees to fulfil the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.

 

NEXT STEPS

  1. TI-Kenya will ensure dissemination of these findings and recommendations to all the relevant stakeholders to generate awareness on the status of devolution
  2. TI-Kenya will also hold targeted meetings with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Council of Governors and County Assembly Forum to discuss the best approaches to employ in sealing the gaps identified.
  3. A number of counties have requested for specific reports focusing on their counties; TI-Kenya will work towards producing county specific data for County Governments’ action
  4. TI-Kenya urges every stakeholder to take up a role, based on their mandates, in ensuring that these findings are taken forward.

For queries;

  1. 1.About report contact- Mercy Gachengo -0705 870 053
  2. 2.About conference- Peter -Achar 0722 446 959

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THE 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
WEDNESDAY 7th TO THURSDAY 8th DECEMBER 2016
“Haki na uongozi bora, ni Wajibu Wetu!”

The 2016 annual conference on Democracy and Human Rights is organized by over 30 Civil Society and Faith Based Organizations in Kenya, coordinated by Diakonia Sweden and Forum Syd with the support of the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi. The organizations are implementing Democracy, Human Rights and Gender Equality projects in a total of 28 Counties in Kenya.

The Constitution provides for citizen’s engagement in county governance through public participation mechanisms to demand and enhance transparency and accountability amongst the various leaders.

TI-Kenya conducted a research to assess the status of governance based on these indicators. Data collection was conducted between the 22ndof June and 2ndSeptember 2016 interviews using questionnaires that were administered through face to face interviews.

The survey interviewed a total of 7,632 respondents drawn from the 47 counties. Additionally, 45 county executive officials (County secretaries, County Executive Committee members, chief of staff and chief officers ) from 36 county governments and 233 officials(Members of County Assembly, Speakers and clerks) from 46 county assemblies were also interviewed. Goal 16 of the Sustainable development goals targets to substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms, develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels and ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. 

Click on the link below for more information.

http://bit.ly/2gYrhQZ