The participation of citizens in the decisions that are taken by the government when formulating and executing their budgets is no longer in contention as a way of governance in Kenya. The debate has now moved to the quality and level of inclusion in the engagement between citizens and their national and county governments. The budget remains the most important policy tool to deal with inequalities and poverty. Therefore, having citizens, especially the poor and marginalized communities, at the centre of the budget decisions is a progressive step to ensure the outputs of such processes are more responsive to their needs. However, for participation to be meaningful and effective, citizens should have access to timely, comprehensive, relevant, and accurate information on budget decisions. In Kenya, this means that national and county governments must proactively share budget information on all key decisions throughout the budget cycle and within the legal timelines.
The Kenya County Budget Transparency Survey 2021 has shown an improvement in overall county transparency by two points compared to the previous survey moving from 33 to 35 points. However, this score shows that citizens still have limited access to information on their county budgets, hampering their participation in the development and monitoring of service delivery through public budgets.
Key finding 1: Counties are becoming more transparent, but the pace is too slow
Key finding 2: Counties are not consistent in making budget information publicly available
Key finding 3: Budget documents provide incomplete coverage of required budget information
Key finding 4: Counties are becoming more responsive in a quest to improve their level of budget transparency