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County launches open data

The  Elgeyo  Marakwet County has become the first county to launch an open data platform, where all data concerning the county will be posted.

Speaking  while launching the platform on Tuesday, the County Governor, Alex  Tolgos said the platform will re-engineer service delivery in the county as residents will now be able to access information about all the departments from the county’s website.

“This will enable residents to engage with the government especially during public participation as they will propose projects based on factual data,” the governor said.

The director in charge of planning John Maritim said wananchi will now have data, which they can use to prioritise projects through the Equity Development Act, where through the wards they can decide how 60 percent of the total development budget will be spent.

Maritim added that the platform will not only be used for county issues, but will also inform the youths about various business and employment opportunities available in a bid to fight unemployment.

“A team of employees will be deployed to regularly update the platform after verifying with relevant departments to ensure it is accurate before it is published on the data desk on a public dashboard for the citizens’ consumption,” the director said.

The governor said through the platform both leaders and residents will be able to know the status of projects, amount allocated and the contractor undertaking the project.

He added that it will also improve service delivery in the health sector as citizens will, through the system confirm the availability of drugs in various public health facilities.

A  senior specialist with the World Bank  who sponsored the platform, Philip Jaspersen said information on the implementation of the county integrated development program (CIDP) and the big four agenda will be available.

“I am therefore calling on the county government to ensure that data is availed which is helpful to wananchi to enable them make informed decisions,” he said.

The  Director ICT, George Kimaiyo  said the data will be available not only locally but also internationally which will help in attracting investors to the county.

A  Director with the North Rift Economic Bloc, Joseph Makilap urged the Open institute who implemented the open data platform to extend it to other counties within the North Rift.

“With such data in place, it will be possible to lobby financial institutions to channel development funds to the devolved units as it will enhance accountability,” he said.

By  Alice  Wanjiru

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