The Institute of Public Finance Kenya (IPFK) is implementing a project called Sauti ya Mashinani aimed at increasing participation of the public in the Budget making process.
The Project Officer, Mulwa Kasangya said the initiative is being implemented in four counties of Kakamega, Kwale, Nairobi and Kisumu.
Kasangya said the training targets Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Marginalized groups who represent the interest of their communities.
Speaking in Kakamega town Wednesday, he said, “We are training them on the County Budget making process right from formulation to the audit stage.”
Kasangya said a survey by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), which focuses on the level of county transparency, shows that Kenya has failed on transparency in Budget making process with the National average standing at 33%.
“So it is something we are concerned about and we train them to be able to incorporate the views of the public in subsequent budgets and in this case in the 2022-2023 financial year,” he added.
The project officer said they expect that after the training, there will be meaningful engagements between the county executive, county assembly and the public so that key priority areas are focused and public input is considered in all stages of the budget making.
The Coordinator of Matungu Rural Poverty Alleviation Organization, Fredrick Okongo said they have been trained on building a strong working relationship with the executive in order to be informed of the calendar of events preceding the Budget making.
“One key thing that came out clear is that the Budget making process is pegged on a calendar. We are now very keen on ensuring we follow through the calendar of events and sensitize the community to the importance of their participation,” he pointed out.
He said they will be active in engaging the County Government on various levels both the executive and county assembly especially during the documentation of the Budget making processes.
Okongo noted the Organization is working in partnership with the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) that is encouraging public participation as one of the processes to alleviate poverty.
“It is very key to us because it will enable and strengthen public participation in the process of developing their development programs,” he added.
IPFK is an independent, non-political and non-religious think tank which aspires to further the ideas of open Public Finance Management systems through research, training, and capacity strengthening.
By Moses Wekesa