Reasoning About Sharing Public Resources Within Counties in Kenya: How Three Counties Share and Justify Sharing Funds

Publication Type: Papers
January 2016 | by Mokeira Nyagaka, IBP Kenya

kenya county resource sharingThis paper presents findings of a research project that examined the criteria (or reasons) behind the distribution of development funds across three counties in Kenya: Kisumu, Nakuru, and Elgeyo Marakwet. While there are many factors counties may take into consideration in distributing public revenues equitably, there is no mandated approach in distributing resources across counties. In any case, the rationale behind ward or subcounty resource distribution should be explicit. These justifications should be provided for all major choices by governments. They should be relatively comprehensible to the average citizen, and presented to the public for scrutiny.

In this paper, we explore the criteria used in geographical distribution of resources within counties. The principal focus of the research is to examine whether counties are providing reasons for the choices they make, and whether these justifications are coherent and consistent across the board.

We first scrutinize key budget documents in a bid to find data on the distribution of public spending, particularly how much development expenditure is proposed for each ward/subcounty. We then explore if there are explicit criteria used in the distribution of development funds. After reviewing public documents, we augment with data collected based on visits to the three counties. We conducted interviews with key county government officials and collected other documents that were not publically available from the county governments. We then make recommendations on how to better justify the distribution of resources across counties drawing from the findings of the research.

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