Deliberating Budgets: An Example from Nairobi County, Kenya
February 2017 | By International Budget Partnership Kenya
In 2016, IBP Kenya began promoting a new approach to public engagement with budgets termed “deliberating budgets.” The approach is rooted in theories of deliberative democracy, which emphasizes the importance of giving and debating reasons for the choices we make. In the context of budget-making, deliberation occurs particularly around the reasons for the trade-offs — giving more to particular areas and less to others.
What does deliberation about the budget actually look like? One answer emerges from Nairobi County, Kenya. In February 2017, IBP Kenya helped to facilitate a session of the County Budget and Economic Forum (CBEF) to discuss the 2017/18 budget. Members of government departments were invited to discuss their budget proposals with members of the CBEF and some members of civil society. What emerged was a robust discussion about the choices the government was proposing to make in 2017/18, the reasons for those choices, and the concerns of public representatives about those reasons.
This video captures highlights of these deliberations and can be used to stimulate further discussion among the wider public about the upcoming budget and the reasoning behind major government proposals. Watch the video below, or click here to watch on YouTube.