VOICES FROM THE COUNTIES: LESSONS FROM THE 2015 CITIZEN REPORT CARD

The Society for International Development (SID) – Kenya Office on Tuesday, 5th April 2016, released the 2015 Citizen Report Card titled Voices from the Counties: Lessons from the 2015 Citizen Report Card. The findings reveal that citizen participation increased to 41% in 2015 from 5.7% in 2012-13. In spite of increased public participation, less than 20% of Kenya’s population are informed of their county budgets and less than 15% are aware of their county priorities. The assessment also reveals that attendance in public forums and awareness on county issues remain lowest among women.

The score card further revealed that 63% of Kenyans do not feel they have sufficient information to track and monitor county budget allocations and expenditure while 54% still believe that having a personal relationship with a public officer guarantees them faster or better public service delivery. Similarly, the 2015 Report Card reveals that up to 46% of Kenyans believe that paying a bribe is necessary in order to be served effectively, while 36% of Kenyans believe that it helps to get effective service if one comes from the same ethnicity as a public officer providing the service.

In 2015, 41% of Kenyans had contacted state officials to seek funds from them (e.g. women and youth fund), while 32% sought assistance with personal issues mostly related to school fees and healthcare. 20% contacted state officials to invite them to personal events such as burials and fundraisers.

Education and healthcare remain the most accessible public services with 71% and 65% respectively, followed by water (58%), security (52%), electricity (50%), sanitation (38%) and housing (21%).

While handing over 100 copies of the score card to the Council of Governors and the County Assemblies Forum representatives, SID Policy Research Officer Joan Njagi stressed on the significance of the findings, noting that the findings come at the end of the formal transition to Devolved governance. “I hope that these findings will collectively construct new thinking, relationships and coalitions across leaders at both National and County Governments, private sector and public benefit organisations and society so as to accelerate progress towards realization of the Constitution.” Said Joan Njagi.

The Report Card is based on a national survey conducted in August 2015, involving 2,404 respondents across 10 counties. The survey was aimed at gauging the sentiments and perceptions of citizens with regard to the realisation of 4 key promises of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 namely Public Participation, Integrity, Equality and Non-discrimination and Devolution

 

A copy of the 2015 Citizen Report Card can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/1VyzvNd