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Constitution and Reform Education Consortium


Commissioned by:
Constitution & Reform Education Consortium (CRECO)
[Muungano Wa Elimu Ya Katiba]
Matumbato Rd., Off Upperhill Rd,
Gate No. 39 Next To International Guest House
P.O. Box 2231 - 00200, City Square Nairobi Kenya
Tel: 020 2654724, Mobile 0722 209779
Copyright CRECO 2014
ISBN: 978-9966-043-03-0
Design, Layout & Printing by:
Myner Logistics
P.O. Box 9110- 00200 Nairobi
Tel: 020-2211890/1



List of Acronyms..............................................................................................................iv
1. POLICY CONTEXT................................................................................................ 1
The rationale of the Policy Proposal ..........................................................2
Expected Outcome.....................................................................................2
Scope and Application of the Policy...........................................................2
Historical Overview of Public Participation in Kenya...................................3
2. BACKGROUND & CONCEPTS OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION .....................................5
1.1. Basic Assumptions Underlying Public Participation............................................5
1.1.1. Defining Policy ....................................................................................5
1.1.2. Public Participation..............................................................................5
1.1.3. Who is the Public.................................................................................5
1.1.4. Participation as a Constitutional Right.................................................6
1.1.5. Participation of Persons with Disabilities.............................................6
1.1.6. Participation of Marginalised Communities........................................6
1.1.7. Mainstreaming Gender & Youth Issues in County Development .......6
1.1.8. Challenges...........................................................................................7
1.2. Literature Review................................................................................................7
1.2.2. Public Participation in International & Regional Agreements ...........7
1.2.3. National Legislations ..........................................................................9
b) The Tuscan Law............................................................................9
c) Scotland......................................................................................10
d) Canada.......................................................................................10
e) Georgia.......................................................................................10
f) South Africa................................................................................11
1.3. Constitutional and Legal Framework on Public Participation ..........................11
3. THE VALUE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ..............................................................16
3.1. Introduction .......................................................................................................16
3.2. Measurable Gains for a Public participation Policy.............................................17
3.3. Core Values of Public Participation.....................................................................17
3.4. Public Participation Principles............................................................................18
4. POLICY FRAMEWORK .......................................................................................20
4.1 Sectoral Analysis & Emerging Policy Issues...................................................... 20
4.2 Legislative Functions........................................................................................20
4.3 Service Delivery ...............................................................................................21
4.4 Environment.................................................................................................... 21
4.5 Budgeting.........................................................................................................21
4.6 Formulation of IDPs ........................................................................................22
6. STRATEGIES FOR PARTICIPATION.......................................................................32
7. REFERENCES (To be done once the draft has been reviewed).............................39



Community Based Organisations


Constituency Development Fund


County Executive Committee


County Integrated Monitoring Systems


Community Based Monitoring System


Community Strategic Action Plans


District Focus for Rural Development


Faith Based Organisations


Integrated Development Plans


Institute of Economic Affairs


Kenya Human Rights Commission


Local Authorities Service Delivery Plan


Member of County Assembly


Non Governmental Organisations


National Integrated Monitoring Systems


Special Focus Groups


Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO) gratefully acknowledges the
Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) for allowing us to
use their original report titled A proposal for Policy Framework for Effective Public
Participation for Nakuru County Governance and Development as the foundation,
of this model public participation framework. Their lead consultant Mr. Milton Obote
who conducted a thorough research in consideration of both local and international
experiences with regard to public participation in governance and development
processes. We also acknowledge the CEDDG Staff who contributed to the development
of the original report. We also thank UNDP Amkeni Wakenya, for their financial support
in the preparation and production of theoriginal report through CEDGG.
CRECO also wishes to thank its members who went through the report and gave
their feedback and inputs in a plenary meeting organized for that purpose. We also
acknowledge Policy Options Kenya who edited the report factoring the inputs of CRECO
members and added value to make it what it is.
We would also like to sincerely thank all the staff members of CRECO Secretariat namely:
Zipporah Abaki, Joel Mungania, Renee Kamau, Boaz Mugoto, Martha Ndururi, Edna
Change, Moses Bakari and Regina Opondo.
Our sincere thanks also go to the Management Committee: Ms. Rhoda Musyoka
(Chairperson), Mr. Aminer Owino (Vice- Chairperson), Mr. Masese Kemunche
(Secretary), Ms. Lydiah Gaitirira (Treasurer), Ms. Pauline Mbodze (Vice Secretary), Ms.
Asenath Nyamu (Member) and Mr. Peter Gitonga (Member) for guiding the Secretariat
towards excellence.
Our thanks go to Drivers of Accountability Program (DAP) for their support towards
the review of this framework and Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing
Countries (HIVOS) Nairobi Office, for their support towards the re-print of this book.

Regina Opondo
Executive Secretary

Kenyans have deep and longstanding concerns about the ways in which resources have
been distributed throughout the country. Many regions and communities felt that they
had been excluded by a strong central regime. The antidote in the 2010 Constitution is,
on the one hand, devolution of power to lower levels of government and, on the other
hand, an attempt to open up institutions at all levels and increase the opportunities for
public participation, as well as greater checks by new bodies, such as the Controller of
Budget, the County Assemblies and the Senate.
It follows from this that public participation is in part about aligning the needs and
demands of the public more closely with the choices of government officials. This
suggests that public participation must occur at the formulation and approval stages
of the budget and planning, when priorities are being set. At this stage, public
participation will enhance decision making by bringing information about public needs
to the attention of policy makers as they prioritize their spending. This can lead to more
equitable distribution of resources.
At the same time, concerns about corruption and failure to account for resources
during the course of budget implementation suggest that public participation in Kenya
is also important during budget execution and when budget performance is evaluated.
The same can be said about other planning and development processes. The public
has an oversight role to play that complements the County Assembly and other
bodies. Information that the public holds about the effectiveness of public spending
at community level, can help inform the oversight process and improve budget
implementation. Therefore, public participation is essential at all stages of the budget
process and other planning and development processes.
Public participation is also about building the legitimacy and credibility of government.
By engaging robustly with citizens, County government officials can ensure support
for their programs and build confidence in the competence of the administration. This
in turn can encourage citizens to pay taxes, investors to commit funds, and donors
to top up existing sources of revenue. Therefore effective participation will require
transparency and an effective feedback loop in which citizen demands are responded
to and reasons are given for incorporating or not incorporating them. The success of a


public participation program is largely determined by how thoroughly and thoughtfully

it is planned. Successful meetings and events are determined by the degree to which
an agency effectively commits to and prepares for the entire process, especially
creating and providing the information needed by stakeholders and building effective
relationships with key stakeholders.
The need for a county policy framework on citizen participation is anchored on the
Constitution of Kenya 2010 and relevant Acts of parliament particularly the County
Government Act 2012 among others. The main objective of this publication is to
propose a framework for County policies on public participation. This framework can
be adopted by any of the 47 Counties in Kenya. It outlines the six areas that must be
addressed by County governments if effective citizen participation is to be realized.
These include: Policy Context; Background and Concepts of Public Participation;
Value of Public Participation; Policy Framework; Policy Proposals and Implementation
Framework; and Strategies for Participation. The goal of this report is to provide a
template for actualizing viable county specific policies to entrench citizen participation
in governance and development.
Angela Rhoda Musyoka
CRECO Management Committee.



1.1 Introduction
The concept of public participation in administration has been heralded by all
democracies as the backbone of democratic governance. The appropriate role of the
public in administration has been an active and ongoing area of inquiry, experiment
and revolution. The contemporary movement to examine the role of the public in the
process of administrative decision making has come about in response to problems
in the latter half of this century and as a result of concern on the part of the citizens,
administrators and politicians over citizen discouragement and apathy (Box 1996;
Putnam 1995; Timney 1996; Thomas 1995).
Globally, participatory democracy is viewed as essential to ensure a high level of
legitimacy, contribute to empowerment and strengthen democracy. Participation by
all stakeholders especially at local levels of government has come to be viewed as a
necessary condition for promoting good governance.
Through this document we seek to provide a policy framework for public participation
in Kenya. It builds on the commitment of the democratic government to deepen
democracy which is rooted in the constitution, and above all in the in the concept of
communities as a composite of devolution in the County Governments.
The policy seeks to deepen the involvement of local communities in County Governance
by incorporating village forums, ward committees and the other stakeholders in
consultation around key county process like Integrated Development Planning (IDP),
the budget, performance management and service delivery. This shall apply in respect
of implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as planning.
The policy framework advocates for a form of participation which is genuinely
empowering and not token consultation or manipulation. This involves a range
of activities including creating structures at the ward level to support democratic
participation and representation and populating those structures with capacities to
plan, implement and monitor their plans. The human capital to power this approach is
drawn from the local working groups and CBOs.

The Rationale of the Policy Proposal
The main purpose of this policy proposal is to provide for mechanisms by which the
public may participate in the affairs of the counties; openness, transparency and
accountability on the part of the county governments, political structures and its
administration by providing for citizens to exercise their right to public participation
Expected Outcome
It will create awareness and sensitize both county officials and county
citizens on the importance of citizen participation.
It will enable County government fulfill the requisite conditions for
capacitating county citizens to participate in the management of
county, sub-county and local governance and development while
holding duty bearers accountable.
It will enable duty bearers like the county government as well as
relevant NSAs in the county to assess their capacity to deliver a
people centered management of county resources.
It will call upon duty bearers to adapt, develop and implement periodic,
if not continuous participatory capacity building methodologies in
order to involve, enlighten and empower county citizens.
It lays out the template for an effective county i n f o r m at i o n
management which predisposes county citizens toward effective
oversight role in county governance and development.
Scope and Application of the Policy
The policy develops the principles and sets out the ways and means of how they
will be achieved. These principles will be applied on a case by case basis when the
county governments engages the public and other stakeholders in developing county
legislation, policy and strategy, and in implementing , monitoring and evaluating polices
and projects as well as when evaluating the quality of the delivery of services.
This policy will however not apply to public participation processes where national
(sectoral) legislation prescribes the norms and standards to be used for those processes.
Where these legislated norms and standards do not exist and where they are below
those set by this policy, the county government may apply this policy to effectively and
efficiently execute the legislated public participation.

Historical Overview of Public Participation in Kenya
Participatory Development in Kenya like in many other countries was for decades
confined to community development projects which were mainly donor funded and
supervised (Wakwabubi and Shiverenje, 2003).
Kenya attempted to institutionalize decentralized planning and implementation of its
programmes as early as the 1960s through Sessional Papers. The most comprehensive
one was the District Focus for Rural Development (DFRD) Strategy which became
operational in 1983. However, the Strategy emphasized involvement of central
government field workers in planning and implementation of programmes and therefore
ignored indigenous knowledge and experiences. Chitere and Ireri (2004) notes this
is contrary to the conception of the participatory approach. Ideally in participation,
development workers such as civil servants have a role in facilitating the process through
assisting communities to identify and solve their own problems.
The DFRD Strategy also faced challenges in implementation because it lacked statutory
anchorage that could entrench the coordinating committees in the law. The operations
were carried out administratively rather than legally. This has been a characteristic
of decentralized policies in Kenya whereby some funds have been created by Acts of
Parliament and therefore have had legal backing. However, others have been created
through policy pronouncements and consequently have had no guarantee of continuity
(KHRC and SPAN, 2010).
The enactment of the Physical Planning Act in 1996 saw further evolution of participatory
development. The Statute did provide for community participation in the preparation
and implementation of physical and development plans. However, its major shortfall
is the lack of the critical element of community sensitization on their roles. Physical
planning is also centralized in major towns and thus communities residing in remote
areas remained marginalized in participatory planning (Okello, 2008).
Over the past one decade, the LASDAP and CDF have been the main vehicles of
community participation at the local level. The LASDAP was introduced in 2001 through
a ministerial circular whilst the CDF was established in 2003 through the CDF Act (2004).
The LASDAP were a three year rolling plans that are required to have a poverty focus
with priority areas in health, education and infrastructure (Kibua and Oyugi, 2006). The
LASDAP provided opportunities for the local authorities to constructively engage with

local communities on matters of planning, budgeting and development (Ministry of

Local Government, 2009).
The CDF Act on the other hand targets constituency level development projects
particularly those aiming to combat poverty at the Constituency level.
Devolution is widely seen as a mechanism to institutionalize citizen participation in
development planning, increase the opportunities for political participation thereby
enhancing democratic political culture (Ndulo, 2006), and enhance communities sense
of ownership (Oloo, 2006).


2.1. Basic Assumptions Underlying Public Participation
Public participation has been defined in various ways by different people, and for a
variety of reasons. For purposes of this policy, public participation is defined as an open,
accountable process through which individuals and groups within selected communities
can exchange views and influence decision making.
It is further defined as a democratic process of engaging people, deciding, planning and
playing an active part in the development and operation of services that affect their
2.1.1. Defining Policy
Refers in general to a purposive course of action that an individual or group consistently
follow in dealing with a problem (Anderson 2006). It is a standing decision characterized
by behavioral consistency and repetitiveness on the part of both those who make it and
those who abide by it.
2.1.2. Public Participation
IAP2 (2002) defines public participation as the process by which an organisation
consults with interested or affected individuals, organisations and government entities,
before making a decision. In essence, participation gives voice to the voiceless and
agency to attend to the needs of the marginalised, in this way the publics needs
come first through positive development
2.1.3. Who is the Public?
The general public can be treated as one coherent whole only distinguished by different
interests. Michiel S De Vries (2007) offers that the public does not exist as such but that
there are profit organisations, not for profit organisations, religious organisations, the
media and political party groups all which are groups within the public sector and the
public in general.
Citizens can participate as individuals, interest groups or communities more generally.
In Kenya, in the context of public participation, communities are administratively
zoned from the villages to the sub locations up to the national level, with elected
representatives. The lowest cadre of representation is at the ward level where the
ward committees play a central role in bridging the hierarchies of representation. These
ward committees may be made up of technical persons in the different interest groups
from the general public.

2.1.4. Participation as a Constitutional Right

The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution gives counties the power to ensure and
coordinate the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local
level and assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacity for
the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in the governance at
the local level. Conversely, devolution may lead to the translation of national government
bureaucracies, poor utilization of resources, rent seeking and lack of accountability to
the sub-national units. With the foregoing therefore, policies to support new, flexible
approaches to ensuring a greater degree or active participation by citizens are needful
and captured in the constitutional framework below.
2.1.5. Public Participation of Persons with Disabilities
The policy envisaged should re-state its commitment to the concepts of equality and
non-discrimination. Additionally, it should restate an unambiguous commitment to
affirmative action and equal opportunity if participation in governance and development
is to be realized by all individuals and groups of people regardless of bias factors as
ethnicity, race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, or
2.1.6. Public Participation of the Marginalized Communities
The Constitution provides that the marginalized and minorities have the right to fully
participate in the integrated social and economic life of Kenya as a whole and in the
counties in particular. Counties should pass legislation that promotes the interests and
rights of minorities and marginalised communities in county development.
2.1.7. Mainstreaming gender and Youth Issues in County Development
Affirmative action in respect of gender and youth cannot be gainsaid. Its therefore
incumbent upon any government that aspires towards equality, non-discrimination
and inclusivity to frame viable modalities by which gender, youth and children are
factored in every strategic decision. These variables are not just traits of individuals
but are an institutionalized system of social practices. So factoring gender means
how we deal with social system of practices.

2.1.8. Challenges
Policy concerns emanating from the examination of the past and present devolved
structures are:
All of these efforts are piecemeal in nature. Though the law has provided
avenues for engaging, they result in random and uncoordinated engagements
with the public and county structures since they are derived from separate
legislative and policy mandates that are more often on ad hoc basis.
There is no integration and readily available and comprehensible information
on how effective, efficient and responsive the county government structures
are to the public.
The need to create awareness amongst duty bearers and citizens on what public
participation is and its importance.
The need to build the capacity of citizens to enhance their participation in the
management of local affairs and projects, and to hold duty bearers accountable.
Duty bearers also need continuous capacity enhancement on participatory
Poor information management on the part of the duty bearers.
Therefore, through this policy, the County Governments will introduce a coordinated,
managed and evaluated approach to achieving meaningful public participation and
consultation as provided for in the constitution and other enabling statutes.
2.2.1. Public Participation in International and Regional Agreements
International and regional agreements, as well as popular pressure to open up
governmental decision-making processes are spurring governments to take steps to
improve transparency, participation and accountability.
The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) promotes and seeks to
improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments,
institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in nations throughout the
world. The international association for public participation core values includes;
1. Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a
decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
2. Public participation includes the promise that the publics contribution will
influence the decision.

3. Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and

communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision
4. Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially
affected by or interested in a decision.
5. Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they
6. Public participation provides participants with the information they need to
participate in a meaningful way.
7. Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides safeguards to
public participation and they include:
Article 25- Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the
distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions: (a) to take
part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
Article 27- In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons
belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other
members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own
religion, or to use their own language.
The South African Constitutional Court in Doctors for Life International v The Speaker
of the National Assembly Case CCT 12/05, said of Article 25:
The ICCPR guarantees not only the right but also the opportunity to take part
in the conduct of public affairs. This imposes an obligation on states to take positive
steps to ensure that their citizens have an opportunity to exercise their right to
political participation.
Article 13 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption obligates state parties
to take appropriate measures within its domestic law to promote active participation
of individuals and groups outside the public sector such as the civil society, nongovernmental organisations and community based organisations in the prevention of
and in the fight against corruption through enhancing transparency and promoting the

contribution of the public to decision making process as well as ensuring the public
has effective access to information.
In 1990, the African leadership meeting in Arusha, Tanzania enacted the African Charter
for Popular Participation in Development and Transformation whose objective is to
recognise the role of peoples participation in development and define appropriate
approaches to the promotion of popular participation in policy formulation, planning,
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes. Article 11 of
the Charter affirms the empowerment of the people to effectively involve themselves
in creating the structures and in designing policies and programmes that serve the
interest of all as well as to effectively contribute to the development process and share
equitably in its benefit.
At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, nations from around the world adopted Principles of
the Rio Declaration, where Principle 10 of the Declaration emphasises the importance
of public access to information, participation in decision making process and access
to judicial procedures and remedies. Agenda 21 of the Rio Plan of Action committed
governments to pursue broader public participation in decision making process and
policy formulation for sustainable development.
In 1988, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe adopted the Convention
on Access to Information, Public Participation in decision making and Access to Justice
in Environmental matters (De Villiers, 2001:122).
The Declaration of the International Conference on Public Participation held in Guateng,
South Africa (The Guateng Declaration of March 2012) stressed the importance of public
participation as an essential ingredient to good governance and human development,
whose ultimate objective is to improve the livelihood outcomes of people.
2.2.2 National Legislations:
a) The Tuscan Law
Under the recent amendments to the constitution of Italy, regions have considerable
power, including residual legislative power. One of the regions, Tuscany has enacted a
broad based legislative framework. The remarkable features of this legislation (Regional
Law 69 0f 27 Dec. 2007) include:
A right to participate

The creation of a single person authority for the guarantee and promotion of
Training programmes to develop a civic and participatory culture
Groups within the community (provided they reach a certain percentage of the
community) may ask for financial assistance with participation
Priority given to participation exercises that involve the vulnerable or
disadvantaged, including the disabled, development on land that will have
significant potential impact on the landscape or environment; that facilitate
gender-balanced participation; that adopt innovative forms of communication
especially that permit the peorple to be involved in the final stages of the
b) Scotland
The Scottish Parliament (2000) proclaimed that this parliament was elected on a
promise: that policy making would be more open, participatory and consultative. That
is what the people of Scotland expect of us. Our success in meeting the promise of
openness and accountability will be a litmus test of our achievement of the wider
aspiration of devolution (De Villiers, 2001:115).
This statement by the Scottish Parliament embodies the international trends and
developments with regard to the notion of public participation. It reiterates the renewed
commitment to and view of public participation as an essential ingredient to democracy.
Public participation in practice is regarded as contribution to empowerment and
education of the public as well as enhancing the stability and legitimacy of democracy.
c) Canada
In the Canadian democracy, public participation in government decision-making is now
a regular aspect of political life. It became a feature of public policy in Canada from the
1960s and 1970s with the consequence that today; decisions by government without
public participation are the exception rather than the rule. The Canadian Constitution
and general legislation do not provide for public participation, yet it now plays a
significant role in policy and law-making (De Villiers, 2001:117-118).
d) Georgia
Georgias new law on self-governance that came into force in 2005 obliges municipalities
to ensure that active participation of society, seek ways of co-operation with them and

ensure transparency, accountability, socio-economic development, civil participation

and improvement of living standards especially for vulnerable people (Oxfam GB,
e) South Africa
The culture of public participation in South Africa has been instilled through the struggle
process during the Apartheid era since it relied on and provided an avenue for mass
participation by persons excluded from formal state participation. The first opportunity
for formal direct mass participation by all the peoples of South Africa was voting in the
first democratic elections on 27th April 1994 (Barnes 2006:1) since then, political office
bearers have been calling for public participation in public affairs continuously since
a democratic government was introduced. The calls have been accompanied by the
promulgation of legislation which encourages public participation in governance and
politics, indicating that public participation has a role to play in democracy.
(a) Constitution of Kenya 2010
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 lays the basis for the development of a policy framework
on public participation. The envisaged public participation policy will therefore have
to focus relatively more on what the constitution refers to as the direct exercise
of the peoples sovereignty. This is the kind of participation where people who are,
for whatever reason, excluded from the normal social and political, even economic,
life of the nation are far less likely to be able to participate actively certainly at the
national and county level (Gill 2012).
Key provisions pertaining to this are:
Article 1 that vests sovereign power in the people of Kenya and is exercised at both the
national and county levels.
The importance of public participation is aptly captured in Article 10 (2) (a) of the
constitution which states that the national values and principles of governance include
patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy
and participation of the people.
The Government in Article 69 is obligated to encourage public participation in the
management, protection and conservation of the environment.


The constitution has gone further to provide for instances where the voice and
endorsement of the public is a compulsory requirement. In Articles 91, 94, 118 and
119 citizens have a right to participate in a political movement of their choice, while
parliament is required to give the public an avenue to participate in legislation and
presenting petitions to public authorities.
The objects and principles of devolved government under Article 174 give powers of self
governance to the people and enhance their participation in the exercise of the powers
of the state in making decisions that affect them while recognizing the powers of the
communities to manage their own affairs and to further their own development.
County Assemblies are required to conduct their business in an open manner and hold
its sittings and those of its committees in public and facilitate public participation in the
legislative and other business of the assembly and its committees (Article 169). The
involvement of citizens in policy making and implementation is important to strengthen
and deepen democratic governance. It is through active public participation that
evidence based policy making and responsive service delivery can take place.
The national legislation contemplated in Article 184 (1) to provide for the governance
and management of urban areas and cities and to in particular provide for participation
by residents in the governance of urban areas and cities.
Article 201: provides for principles of public finance management that includes
publication participation in finance matters
Article 221 (5): the Budget and Appropriations Committee to seek public input when
reviewing budget estimates and the recommendations shall be taken into account
when the committee presents its report to the House
Article 232 (1) (d) & (f); Public Service values principles require involvement of the
people in the process of policy making; transparency and provision to the public of
timely and accurate information
The Fourth Schedule under Part 2 (14) stipulates that functions and powers of the
County are to ensure and coordinate the participation of communities and locations
and locations in governance at the local level. Counties are also to assist communities
to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and
powers and participation in governance at the local level.


b) The County Government Act, 2012

The enactment of the County Government Act places an obligation on the County
Governments to create an enabling environment for citizens involvement in running
the affairs of the Counties. Chapter VIII of the Act is devoted to citizen participation
therefore giving a demonstrative emphasis of the importance of this right in the eyes
of the law.
Section 87 provides for citizen participation at the county level based on the following
Timely access to information, data, documents and information relevant to
policy formulation and implementation
Reasonable access to the process of formulating and implementing policies,
laws and regulations
Protection and promotion of the interest and rights of minorities,
marginalised groups and communities
Avenues for legal redress to interested or affected persons or
Shared responsibilities and partnership between county governments and
non-state actors in decision making
Promotion of public private partnerships
Section 88 provides that citizens have a right to petition the county government on
matters under the responsibility of the county government
Article 89: county government authorities are under obligation to respond expeditiously
to petitions and challenges from citizens
Article 90: counties to conduct referendum on local issues
Article 91 of the Act goes further to demand particular minimum Structures for
Participation are set up by the county Governments. It provides the following structures
to be established and used to reach out to the public as an invitation to engage: County hall meetings
Notice boards, vacancy announcements, job appointments
Tenders and procurement awards
Development project sites
Establishment of citizen forums at county and decentralised units

c) The Urban Areas and Cities Act No. 13 of 2011

Section 36 of the Act provides for the development of Integrated Development Plans
(IDPS). The Second Schedule to the Act provides the right of and participation by
residents in the affairs of the city or urban areas through the following mediums:
Written or oral presentations
City or urban area is obligated to develop a system of governance that
encourages participation by residents in its affairs
The 2nd Schedule of the Act provides for the rights of and participation by residents in
affairs of their city or urban areas.
d) Inter-Governmental Relations Act 2012
Section 29 Regulations to provide for the framework for public participation in the
transfer or delegation of powers, functions or competencies by either level
e) Public Finance Management Act 2012
S. 137 establishes the County Budget Economic Forum that shall have representatives
nominated by organisations representing professionals, business, labour issues, women,
Persons with disabilities, elderly, Faith Based groups at the county level
S. 128 (2) requires the County Executive member for Finance to issue a circular setting
out guidelines to be followed in the budget process. The circular should provide details
on how citizens can participate in the county budget making process
Section 207 necessitates the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Finance to draft regulations
to provide for structures, mechanisms, processes and procedure for participation
Emerging Policy Gaps
1. Provision for a recourse mechanism where action against public bodies can be
taken if information is unduly withheld.
2. County governments should publish and widely disseminate any information
of public significance in concordance with the relevant legislation on Access to
3. Strengthen mechanisms of communication such as the sub-county desk office
and explore alternative methods of disseminating information.


4. The need to give sufficient notice of meetings to enable communities

adequately prepare to attend and participate effectively in consultations.
5. Where guidelines for participation exist, there is no commitment towards
implementing them. There is need to sensitize both communities and duty
bearers on the importance of citizen participation.
6. There is need for a calendar of activities to enable citizens engage effectively
at various stages of the development cycle.
7. Need to designate funds to facilitate the process of citizen awareness creation.



3.1. Introduction
There are two broad dimensions of citizen participation namely, indirect involvement
and direct involvement.
Indirect involvement acknowledges that elected officials and professional administrators
should act on behalf of the citizens in a representative democracy. Under Article 1 (3) of
the Constitution, the Sovereign power of the people is delegated to state organs, which
includes the County assemblies and executives.
Direct involvement suggests that citizens are the owners of the government and should
be involved in the decisions of the State (Yang and Callahan, 2005).
This policy proposal therefore focuses on direct participation as earlier put. This
dimension is administrative centric. It simply means that it focuses on the role of the
public in the process of administrative decision-making or their involvement in decisionmaking in relation to service delivery. Since it occurs primarily at the administrativecitizen interface, direct participation therefore differs from political participation. The
latter includes but is not limited to voting in elections, contacting elected officials and
campaigning for political candidates (Yang and Callahan, 2005).
The imperative for citizen participation is also drawn from their statutory duty to pay
taxes for service delivery. This means that they are not only consumers of services but
essential financiers of government revenue.
As a starting-point to strengthen community-based/ citizen involvement in decision
making within the devolved units, counties should build on existing non state actors
and sectoral district forums. The sectoral district forums will include such communities
of interest or focus groups such as business communities, Jua kali associations, women
and youth welfare and self help groups etc.
County Governments should conduct community profiling and needs assessments to
inform capacity building. This will include the analysis of technological capabilities of
the communities, assessments of attitudes, value systems and literacy levels. These

interest groups could be called upon on round table meetings or fora which could be
used to bring together the County governments, civil society and other stakeholders
to deliberate on actions and programmes. The stakeholder discussions should include
opportunities for multi-sectoral groups to come together to make input on broader
This framework advocates for a partnership approach between citizens and government.
It collapses administrative silos to within the ward committees and recognizes the
decisions made at the ward level.
3.2 Measurable Gains for a Public Participation Policy
Increased level of information in communities.
Informed priorities.
Effective and efficient service delivery.
Developed capacities of the community and human capital.
Effective Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) as one tool that can
be modified and adopted by county governments to develop evidence based
strategic plans.
Equalization and redistribution of wealth and development.
Community integration and ownership.
3.3 Core Values of Public Participation
In order to actualise the above potential benefits the following values which cut across
all areas of public participation will provide a useful benchmark for legislation.
Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a
decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
Public participation includes the promise that the publics contribution will
influence the decision.
Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and
communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision
Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those
potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they


Public participation provides participants with the information they need to

participate in a meaningful way.
Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the
3.4 Public Participation Principles in the Policy
This policy framework is guided by the following principles as advocated by Khanya
Inclusivity - embracing all views and opinions in the process of community
Diversity - In a community participation process it is important to understand the
differences associated with race, gender, religion, ethnicity, language, age, economic
status and sexual orientation. These differences should be allowed to emerge and
where appropriate, ways sought to develop a consensus. Planning processes must build
on this diversity.
Building community participation Capacity-building is the active empowerment of
role players so that they clearly and fully understand the objective of public participation
and may in turn take such actions or conduct themselves in ways that are calculated to
achieve or lead to the delivery of the objectives.
Transparency - promoting openness, sincerity and honesty among all the role players
in a participation process.
Flexibility - the ability to make room for change for the benefit of the participatory
process. Flexibility is often required in respect of timing and methodology. If built into the
participatory processes upfront, this principle allows for adequate public involvement,
realistic management of costs and better ability to manage the quality of the output.
Accessibility at both mental and physical levels - collectively aimed at ensuring
that participants in a public participation process fully and clearly understand the
aim, objectives, issues and the methodologies of the process, and are empowered to
participate effectively. Accessibility ensures not only that the role players can relate to
the process and the issues at hand, but also that they are, at the practical level, able to
make their input into the process.

Accountability - the assumption by all the participants in a participatory process of

full responsibility for their individual actions and conduct as well as a willingness and
commitment to implement, abide by and communicate as necessary all measures and
decisions in the course of the process.
Trust, Commitment and Respect - Above all, trust is required in a public participatory
process. Invariably, however, trust is used to refer to faith and confidence in the integrity,
sincerity, honesty and ability of the process and those facilitating the process. Going
about participation in a rush without adequate resource allocations will undoubtedly be
seen as a public relations exercise likely to diminish the trust and respect of community
in whoever is conducting the process in the long term, to the detriment of any public
participation processes.
Integration that public participation processes are integrated into mainstream policies
and services, such as the IDP process, service planning.
Table 1. Examples of the practical application of these principles
Examples of applying these principles
Identifying and recognizing existing social networks, structures,
organisations, social clubs and institutions and use them as a
vehicle for communication
Ensure that different interest groups including women, the
disabled and youth groups are part of governance structures
and Respect

Solicit funding from external sources to train ward committees

on their role in development
Embarking on consumer education on all aspects of local
governance including the functions and responsibilities of the
municipality and different municipal structures
Engendering trust in the community by opening council meetings
to the public and encouraging attendance
Being flexible in terms of time, language and approaches to
public meetings
Conducting public meetings in the local language
Ensuring report backs to community forums or ward committees
at least on a quarterly basis
Ensuring that the purpose of the process is explained adequately,
as well as how it will develop
Integrating ward planning with the IDP process
Including user committees into mainstream services, eg School
Governing Bodies




Each county has its peculiar and specific challenges which may and shall be legislated
upon. As a general provision, a policy may emanate from a research finding or a
legislative requirement.
In the context of this policy framework, it has sought to give the county governments
a wide platform on which to exercise their individual opportunities in developing
interventions to their own problems.
The Counties do not function in isolation, in the contrary; their legislative mandate is
enshrined in Article 185 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Further, under Part 2 of the
Fourth schedule, the constitution has defined the functions and powers of the County
Governments while other devolved functions will or may be devolved to the counties
on a need basis.
It is therefore in the ideal of this tool to suggest areas where the counties may visit their
attention to incorporate avenues of public and citizen participation as follows:4.2 Legislative Functions
The basic law in this framework is the County Government Act of 2012. In particular
the expectations of the Act are to achieve a grossly consultative approach to public
The constitution under Article 196 obligates County Assemblies to conduct business
in an open manner and hold its sittings and those of its committees in public and
facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of
the assembly and its committees.
Among the measures the County Assemblies need to institute in order to enhance
closer contact with the electorate includes:
Conducting public education and provide information about the Assemblies
and its work

Providing a platform for people to access and participate in the processes of

the Assemblies
Facilitating public input and feedback
Providing ground and logistical support for Assembly programmes and
Co-ordinating and co-operating with other spheres of government
Publicising their willingness to receive submissions on legislation and other
matters, and giving advice on how to do it

Service Delivery

Service delivery is the special vehicle in delivering the economic and social rights as
envisaged in Article 43 of the constitution. The importance of service delivery, especially
to poor and marginalized communities means that great care must be taken to consult
these communities whenever new initiatives around service delivery are under taken or
problem with service delivery arise.
In respect of new service agreements or development projects it is strongly
recommended that consultation with the local communities affected occur through
a stakeholder committee comprising the ward committees of the affected areas, and
relevant stakeholder groups. Consultations must address all phases of the service
delivery or development project, including local planning, monitoring and evaluation.
The Constitution of Kenya makes specific mention of the need for participation in the
context of protection of the environment: where citizens are encouraged to participate
in the management, protection and conservation of the environment (Art. 69). This
reflects an international realisation of the value of participation in making environmental
protection effective something that is of value, properly viewed, from the perspectives
of both the people and the government. This Article has been incorporated by reference
into the right to a habitable environment provided for under Article 42 that entitles
every person to a clean and healthy environment
The Constitution provides that
there shall be openness and accountability, including public participation in
financial matters (Art. 201)

When the Senate is preparing its proposals on the allocation of resources to

the counties it must invite the public, including professional bodies, to make
submissions to it on the matter (Art 217)
In discussing and reviewing the annual estimates from the Ministry of Finance,
the relevant committee of the National Assembly must seek representations
from the public and the recommendations shall be taken into account when the
committee makes its recommendations to the National Assembly (Art. 221).
County Governments are obligated to establish County Budget Economic Forums
(Section 137 PFM Act) whose purpose is to provide means for consultation by the
county government on:
Preparation of county plans, county fiscal strategy paper and the budget
review and outlook paper for the county
Matters relating to budgeting, the economy and financial management at
the county level
Section 9 of the Draft Public Finance (Administration and Management) Regulations,
Government entities shall provide financial information to the public which is accessible
to the citizens by
a) Establishing a focal point to facilitate access to financial information;
b) Making information available in the media;
c) Presenting information in national languages and summarised forms; and
d) Regular update of relevant websites
While the PFMA section 107 demands that county governments restrain themselves
from deviating from their fiscal responsibilities. It continues to set out principles
which demand a thirty percent of the revenue to be dedicated to development
4.6 Formulation of Integrated Development Plans
Minorities and Marginalised
Following the principles espoused in the constitution, development planning in Kenya
should be based on integrated national values, equity, resource mobilisation and
concerns of the minorities and marginalised groups.


The interests of these special categories of the community have been properly canvassed
in the bill of rights.
Article 47 of the constitution offers an avenue where individuals have a right to
demand quality, sufficient and timely administrative services from public offices.
Article 220 (2) (a) of the Constitution states that:
National legislation shall prescribe the structure of development plans and budgets.
The constitution also requires an integrated development planning framework to
enhance linkage between policy, planning and budgeting.
Integrated development planning will govern the preparation of annual county budgets
and no public funds will be appropriated without a planning framework as stipulated in
Part XI of the County Government Act.
This planning at the county level shall be guided by the relevant legislation taking into
consideration of the principles of public participation as provided for in Section 87 of
the County Government Act.


5.0. POLICY proposals and

The County Governments in consultation with relevant sectors shall set out a framework
for the implementation of this policy. The envisaged framework will provide for the
creation of the Public Participation Department in each County and the policy principles
to guide its operations.
5.1. Policy Issue #1. Citizen Awareness & Access to Information
Access to information is a constitutional right. The success of devolution is highly
pegged on this right of the citizens to information. The citizenry are required to be
politically conscious and have access to information. They must not only be aware of
their rights and responsibilities but also know the channels via which they can exercise
them (Omolo, 2010).
The right to access information held by the government is a fundamental human right
well recognized in International Law. Kenya has domesticated a number of conventions
on freedom of information and this has been well captured in Article 35 (1) of the
Constitution which states that every citizen has the right to access information held
by the State. Further, Article 35(3) states that the State shall publish and publicize any
important information affecting the nation.
Further, sections 87 to 97 of the County Government Act envisage access to information
as a public right. The Act under section 87 provides in strict demand that:
Timely access to information, reasonable access process of policy making, protection
and promotion of interests and rights of minorities, legal standing, balance in role and
obligations of county government and NSAs, Public Private Partnerships, reciprocal
role of NSAs and County Government.
Policy objective: Access to information is crucial as a right in its own regard and is also
central to the functioning of democracy and enforcement of other rights. Without it
the principles of devolution as enshrined in Article 174 of the constitution will not be
realised. To guard against this, it is imperative that a legislation that requires counties
to adopt principles of maximum openness is put in place.

Policy principle #1: Access to Information is a constitutional guarantee.

Policy Principle #2: it shall be an integral part of the county administration and other
duty bearers to make available information to the public either on need basis or as a
right whenever requested.
Action Points:
1. Promote sharing of information through use of accessible channels of
communication. These should include county websites, transparency notice
boards, SMS, local newsletters, local or community radio, TV, barazas and any
other media.
2. Provide timely information and sufficient notice of not less than one (1) month
for forthcoming planning meetings.
3. Provide information in formats accessible to a wide group of people including
persons with disabilities and translate to local language where necessary.
4. Promote awareness by designating a percentage of the county budget towards
funding community civic and education programmes.
5. Provide for free media time from all media channels and papers to support the
national cause.
6. Provide for strict time limits for processing of requests for information and
refusals to be accompanied by substantive written reasons.
7. A list of reasons for non-disclosure should be provided for in legislation and in
concordance with the Access to Information legislation and made public.
8. Costs of accessing information should be reasonable as not to deter potential
information seekers. This should be specified and standardized across all
9. Prescribe penalties for failure to disclose information within stipulated time
and in contravention of the legitimate reasons for non-disclosure. Relevant
office may pay a fine as determined by court of law.
5.2. Policy Issue #2: Capacity Building
Capacity building consists of developing knowledge, skills and operational capacity
so that individuals and groups may achieve their purposes (Okello et al, 2008). For
citizens to engage effectively, they need the necessary knowledge and skills on how to
execute the responsibilities


Policy objective: To promote community involvement in policy formulation,

implementation and in all stages of project cycle management to achieve sustainability
of development initiatives and enhance poverty reduction.
Policy principle 1: Capacity building shall be an ongoing process built into the community
participatory framework or institutions at county and ward levels.
Policy principle 2: Training shall be sensitive to and target or capture concerns and
needs of different social categories of the community.
Action Points:
1. County governments community profiling and needs assessments survey
to inform capacity building. This will include the analysis of technological
capabilities of the communities, and an assessment of attitudes, value systems
and literacy levels. It may also capture other social and economic indicators
that may be useful in tailoring the training curricular and modes of delivery.
The overall goal would be to empower stakeholders to formulate proposals and
plans, implement projects and ensure their sustainable management.
2. Community profiling and training needs assessment may be done through
Focus Group Discussions and formal meetings with local leaders, CSOs and
CBOs. Identification of resource persons who may be trained as trainers may
be useful to achieve this.
3. Organize community training on various and prioritized or localized subjects and
themes or agendas that will enhance their participation. Any other necessary
skill may also be identified through the needs assessment.
4. Periodic or bi-annual continuous and refresher training courses for duty bearers
on participatory methodologies. The training shall facilitate attitudinal and
behaviour change within government organizations and departments.
5. Capacity building can be done through a staggered process to ensure that it is
effectively and efficiently devolved to the ward levels. Key resource persons in
the Ward Citizens Forum should be included in capacity building programmes.
6. Encourage training and documentation in local language and the use of creative
media such as drama, art and music.
7. Make adequate budgetary provisions and work plans for the training


5.3. Policy Issue #3: Planning and Implementation

Communities are insufficiently prepared to participate in planning meetings. The voice
of citizens in various planning forums would be more effective if the citizens were
organized in groups to present their priorities collectively. Poor planning particularly
within the CDF structures have often contributed to the high incompletion rates of
projects especially where technical expertise is not applied.
Another challenge facing community participation in implementation processes is the
failure or apathy of the middle class and local elite to engage in development processes.
The middle class rarely attend chiefs barazas or CDF committees, and there is need to
sensitize and animate them to their social responsibility.
5.3.1. Citizen participation in planning
Policy objective: Establish a participatory framework to maximize the ability of citizens
to influence development outcomes at all stages of the development cycle.
Policy principle: Planning shall be informed by county development statistical data
and previous evaluation outcomes and national development goals.
Action Points:
1. During the planning, communities should have a vision for their county. The
community vision should be founded on desirable and achievable socialeconomic wellbeing, social justice and equity, sustainability and gender equity.
2. Need for Strategic Action Plans (CSAP-County Strategic Action Plans) that
identify both long-term and short-term objectives. The CSAP should be
developed from statistical and factual data and in line with the national strategic
plans like the vision 2030.
3. Technical personnel from relevant government ministries such as finance,
water, roads and public works need to be incorporated in the planning stages.
Their role should primarily be to provide guidance on the identified needs and
the requisite financial and technical resources.
4. Planning for development priorities needs to be devolved to lower levels (wards
and villages) to ensure representation. There should be linkages between the
wards and counties to ensure synergy of plans.


5.3.2. Citizen participation in implementation.

Policy objective: Establish a participatory framework to maximize the ability of citizens
to influence development outcomes at all stages of the development cycle.
Policy Principle: implementation of county planned projects and activities shall have
due regard of the CSPA and involve representatives of the citizens at each stage.
Action plan.
1. County governments shall delegate implementation powers and responsibilities
to sub-county and ward levels.
2. The County shall assign an officer at the ward level known as the Community
Development Officer. This shall be the officer responsible for ward level
planning, implementation and monitoring.
3. The Counties shall provide for the establishment of Citizen Forums at SubCounty and ward level, with clear mandate and power to form committees for
specific functions. Sub-committees shall address the allocation of funds, audit,
and procurement among others.
4. The sub-county ward and village level committees shall be formed based on
agreed formula to ensure operational effectiveness on service delivery.
5. The delegated committees should have clear roles, responsibilities and powers
to ensure their effective performance and delivery.
5.4. Policy Issue #4. Citizen Participation in Monitoring and Evaluation
The accountability component of citizen participation is the weakest in management
of the development cycle of current decentralized structures in the country. It has
been difficult to hold anyone accountable for misuse of funds which lack legal backing
(KHRC and SPAN, 2010). The average Kenyan has in the past not been able to question
procedures and processes at the local level. The lack of accountability mechanisms has
contributed to corruption and the politics of patronage. The two are perhaps amongst
the greatest risks to devolution at the county level.
There should thus be effective legislation that compels duty bearers to account to
the citizenry. The executive also needs to be more proactive in sharing information.
However strengthening channels of communication alone is not enough. There is need
to put in place mechanisms for engaging communities in doing audits of projects.
Policy objective: Establish a participatory framework to maximize the ability of citizens
to influence development outcomes at all stages of the development cycle.

Policy Principle 1: Citizens will have the right to obtain justification and explanations
for the use of public resources from those entrusted with the responsibility for their
Policy principle 2: Public office-holders have a duty to provide justification regarding
their performance and take corrective action in instances where public resources have
not been used effectively.
Action Plan
1. Develop a citizen framework and mechanism for exerting accountability at the
local levels through citizen oversight committees or surveillance committees.
These committees may be formed under the Sub-County Citizens forum Ward
Citizens forums and village Forums to compel performance.
2. Enable citizens to engage in the assessment and reflection of the achievement
of the strategic goals as identified in the county Strategic Action Plan. This will
be coordinated through the Sub-County Citizens Forum and the Ward Citizens
3. The Sub-County Citizens forum will provide for the establishment of citizen
oversight or surveillance mechanisms to oversee monitoring and evaluation on
behalf of the county.
4. The Ward Citizen Forums shall establish citizen monitoring committees to
oversee all ongoing projects in the ward. The committees shall generate
quarterly or bi-annual citizen monitoring reports to be tabled at the Ward
Citizen Forum.
5. Need for official recognition of social accountability mechanisms such as social



audits, community score cards and citizen report cards and public expenditure
tracking surveys.
Citizen oversight mechanisms should be given statutory powers to enforce
accountability from duty bearers.
The Sub-County and Ward Citizen forums and committees shall have the right
to access all information held by the county executive.
County and Sub-County Integrated Monitoring systems (CIMES) will be
established under the auspices of NIMES to undertake monitoring. CIMES shall
involve citizen oversight forums in its monitoring processes and reporting.
The county monitoring system will make use of Social audits, Citizen Report
Cards and Score Cards in evaluating performance at county level.


Provide for capacity building of citizens oversight committees to engage in monitoring

and evaluation.
5.5. Policy Issue #5: Feedback and Reporting
Citizens require information on ongoing basis, so it should always be available at a place
where they can easily access it on a regular basis.
Policy Objective: Create a culture of accountability both amongst the duty bearers and
those demanding accountability.
Action Points:
1. County governments should submit periodic reports to the citizens through
the Citizen Forum Committees. The reports shall be submitted in accessible
formats and language.
2. Need to have clear time frame for county governments to report to citizens on
3. Need to adopt standard reporting criteria based on county strategic plans and
national development plans.
4. Status reports should be comprehensive.
5. Need to build capacity of county personnel on reporting based on measurable
indicators that would fall under development outcomes and service delivery.
6. Need to establish official linkages or mechanisms for reporting to the Citizens
5.6. Policy Issue #6: Financing Citizen Participation.
There is need to sustain citizen participation through adequate financing
and resource allocation. The county government therefore shall mobilize
resources and capture an annual work plan that will be an item of financing
in the county budget.
Policy objective: To guarantee a sustainable participatory program in the
Policy principle: Ensure sustainability of citizen participation
Action plan:
1. The county will designate a percentage of its annual allocation and revenue
as a fund for financing public participation. We recommend a 15% of the
revenue channeled through the central framework of the county planning
and implementation process.

2. Harmonization of devolved funds at County level with requisite checks and

balances put in place.
3. Designate a portion of the 15% of funds allocated to counties towards
support for citizen participation, report generation, awareness creation
and capacity building.
4. The government should set aside a fixed amount from the annual budget to
support the national service award scheme. This will promote volunteerism
by citizens in county forums and events.
5. Establish a joint funding mechanism between government, development
partners and the private sector to ensure the continuity of citizen
engagement at the local level.
6. The corporate sector should be encouraged to contribute through promise
of tax rebates, recognition and other prestigious acknowledgements.




Strategy One: Communication

At the most basic level, public participation is about communication between county
officials/public officers on one hand and the community on the other. Communication
in turn is about the passing of information between the governor and the governed. This
is crucial to ensure that those who are outside the formal decision-making structures of
devolved units are able to make any kind of contribution to local governance. It is for this
reason that the enabling legislation requires county officials to inform the community.
Informed by the necessity of reciprocal information transmission, this identifies several
tools to enhance the exchange of information between the county executive and county
assemblies on one side and the community members on the other.
A proper communication channel enhances the quality of public participation. For this
to be effective, the following guidelines should be used employed in realising the public
participation principles:
i. Promote sharing of information through use of accessible channels of
communication. These should include county websites, transparency boards,
SMS, local newsletters, local or community radio, TV, barazas and any other
ii. Provide timely information and sufficient notice of not less than 1 month for
forthcoming planning meetings.
iii. Provide information in formats accessible to a wide group of people including
persons with disabilities and translate to local language where necessary.
iv. Provide for strict time limits for processing of requests for information and
refusals to be accompanied by substantive written reasons.
v. A list of reasons for non-disclosure should be provided for in legislation and in
concordance with the Freedom of Information legislation and made public.
vi. Costs of accessing information should be reasonable as not to deter potential
information seekers. This should be specified and standardized across all
vii. Prescribe penalties for failure to disclose information within stipulated time
and in contravention of the legitimate reasons for non-disclosure. Relevant
office may pay a fine as determined by court of law.


The Tools for Communication Include:

Publicising public participation principles
Development of a citizens participation charter
Community complaints management system

Publicising Public Participation Principles
Building a culture of participatory governance at the county requires developing a new,
inclusive and constructive attitude towards local governance. This requires an open
attitude on the part of the county administration acknowledging the responsibilities
of constructive engagement in the interests of all citizens where county officials/
public officers understand that democratic local governance is a partnership with
the community and local communities need to understand that governance is often
constrained and must address the needs of all fairly.
One way of facilitating this is to educate people in the principles of public participation
and the starting point is for county governments to publicise the public participation
principles identified in 3.4 (above). Initiatives to be taken to educate the people in
the values of public participation over and above publicising the public participation
Citizen Participation Charter
The objective of a citizen participation charter is to outline the rights and duties of
citizens as regard participating in county governance. The charter should contain
basic information including:
Basic information about the county
What community participation is
How community participation works including
- Key issues the community must be informed about
- Key issues the community must be consulted about
- Key issues the community must be involved in
Information on how to make general queries and complaints
The public participation year planner
Copies of the charter should be made accessible at ward, sub-county and county levels
as well as at the county website.
The nature of the charter means that it will have to be updated on an annual basis.


Community Complaints Management System
This refers to the establishment of an institutional home and set of procedures to deal
with community complaints at each level.
The institutionalised system must contain basic requirements namely:
The thorough publicising of contact details, especially a telephone number for
the public to lodge complaints, on the website, in all county offices and key
documents like the citizens participation charter
A place or places in the county where the public can report complaints in
person, and orally if preferred, in their language
The development of standing rules of order that deal in detail with managing
community complaints
These must include clear protocols around who responds to what kind of complaint,
the time frame for this response, the development of techniques to allow the public
to track their complaints, and a basic threshold of information that must be given in
response to each kind of complaint.
Citizen Satisfaction Surveys
It is strongly recommended that counties employ the use of satisfaction surveys,
preferable professionally and independently conducted, to assess county performance
in areas such as service provision, and the responsiveness of officials and staff to the
Strategy Two: Ward Committees
The constitution places great emphasis on separation of powers at the national and
county level. Article 175 (a) requires that county governments shall be based on
democratic principles and the separation of powers.
The county citizen engagement framework should seek to provide an engagement
platform that safeguard against elite capture of citizen forum committees.
Regulatory tools ought to be put in place to aid citizen engagement and accountability
at ward, sub-county and county levels.
The citizen forum committees should be representative in nature and inclusive of all
stakeholders comprising women, youth, marginalised and minority groups, private


sector, faith based organisations and community based associations having the best
interests of the communities they represent.
In constituting the community forum committees, the vetting should take into
consideration the integrity and leadership standing of the members.
The Forums will be located at:
Urban areas
Strategy Three: Stakeholder Forums
It is vital for county governments to incorporate local stakeholders into their public
participation practice. In this respect, it is important that all locally recognised
community organisations be required to register with the county government and that
they are consulted on how to interact with the county administration on issues which
concern them or on which they wish to provide input to.
The county department in charge of public participation to establish a stakeholder
register which includes the following information:
The name of the stakeholder group
The sector they represent and their perceived role
Their constitution

The nature and extent of their membership

Their target constituency, including which wards they work in
Their office-bearers and contact details
Their office details

Effective public participation requires including as many structures and organisations

that represent the community as possible, hence the importance of stakeholder forums
for participatory governance.
To enhance the capacity of citizen forums, their mandate and powers should be protected
in statute, with operational procedures detailed in implementation guidelines.


Strategy Four: Village Forums

At the lowest level of engagement, the County Government Act of 2012 proposes the
establishment of the Village committees. It should be noted that the Act does not
demand of any county to work within the previously registered provincial structures.
It has however given the County Government a clean sheet on creating village
administrative jurisdictions. Such proposals shall be legislated upon at the county
assembly as guided by the County Government Act section 48 (1)(d).
It is the suggested framework in this tool that the County development plans incorporate
public monitoring and evaluation as well as project management committees which will
be elected by the villagers at the village level.


Proposed participation, monitoring and feedback framework

Figure: 1



Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education
Centre for Law & Research International
Community Based Development Services
Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Culture
Centre for Democracy & Good Governance
IlimuSheria (ILISHE) Trust

Email Address
Ms. Angela Musyoka
Mr. Morris Odhiambo
Mr. Peter Gitonga

0733 748214

Institute for Civic Education & Development in

Africa ICEDA

Ms. Grace Wairimu
Mr. Cornelius Oduor
Mr. Kenneth Anusu

Kenya Human Rights Commission KHRC

Ms. AtsangoChesoni

020 3874998/3876065


Communities in Africa MAPACA

Ms. Joyce Mulu

0735 116164

Mazingira Institute

Mr. Davinder Lamba

020 4443226/4443219



Muungano Maendeleo Organization


Organization PACODEO



Rights Protection and Promotion Centre

SEMA Trust
St. Judes Counseling Centre (JCC)
United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK)
The Youth Agenda
Rural Community Development Agency
Naivasha Disadvantaged Support Group


Centre for Rights Education and Awareness



Kazi Riziki


AMKA Space for Womens Creativity

Mr. David Oketch
Mr. Stephen A. Gorai
Ms. ShalmatKassim
Mr. Christopher Kileta
Ms. Lena Omondi
Mr. Saitoti Njenga
Ms. Susan Mwongera
Ms. Asenath Nyamu
Mr. Stephen Mutiso
Ms. Wangechi Wachira
Mr. Kangara wa Njaambi
Ms. Lydia Gaitirira


020 3874962
051 2210845/0723-839896
041 - 2491172

0721 - 684258
020 - 2692071
0727 - 763425
0722 760235/0714-599291
020 4446065/4443830
020 3559212/2022026

List of References
Creighton, J.L (20050, The Public Participation Handbook. San Francisco, USA:
De Villiers, S, (2001), A Peoples Government: The Peoples Voice- A Review of
Public Participation in the Law and Policy Making Process in South Africa. Cape
Town Parliamentary Support Programme
De Vries M.S, (2007), Public Participation in Policy Processes: Towards a
Research Agenda; Radboud University, Netherlands.
Ghai J.C, Participation: A Legal Framework? Katiba Institute Working Paper
Khanya. 2002. Guidelines for Community Participation in Local Governance,
Department of Provincial Local Government, South Africa
Kotze, D.A, (1997), Development Administration and Management: A holistic
approach. Pretoria J;L Van Schaik Publishers
Meyer, I and Theron, F, (2000), Public Participation in Local Government, Good
The Constitution of Kenya, 2010
The County Government Act, 2012
The Inter-Governmental Relations Act, 2012
The Public Finance Management Act, 2012
The Urban Areas and Cities Act, No. 13 0f 2011


Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO)

P.O. Box 2231 - 00200, City Square Nairobi Kenya
Tel: 020 2654724, Mobile 0722 209779