August 2016 | by John Kinuthia and Jason Lakin, Ph.D. , IBP Kenya
Kenya’s 2010 constitution sought to establish a fairer way of managing public finance, stating that “expenditure shall promote the equitable development of the country, including by making special provision for marginalized groups and areas.” How to achieve a fair and equitable system for distributing resources, however, remains hotly contested.
This paper investigates what is actually meant by equity and fairness when it comes to sharing public resources. It reviews five principles – need, minimum shares, capacity, effort, and efficiency – that are generally considered in global discussions on fairness and looks at how these principles can be applied to distributing resources in Kenya. The paper builds on this analysis to review how resources are currently shared in Kenya through mechanisms such as the National Government Constituency Development Fund, various cash transfer programs, the Equalization Fund, and allocations for Level 5 Hospitals. It then looks at how public resources are distributed in India and South Africa, drawing lessons from these examples.
The paper concludes by identifying numerous gaps in current practices that policymakers should consider when debating how best to share resources in line with the spirit of Kenya’s 2010 constitution.
- A Fair Share of the Budget: Principles and Practices in Public Resource Distribution in Kenya (IBP Paper, August 2016)
Additional information was added to pages 21 and 24 of this paper on 8 September 2016
- 2012/13 National Government Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Allocations Compared to Simulations Based on Available Poverty Reports (IBP Kenya Analysis, August 2016)
This table is based on allocation data from Kenya’s CDF website. However, the data had some constituencies mislabeled. We used the disbursement data on the CDF website, which also has information on allocation, to correct these issues.
- Sharing Public Resources Within Counties in Kenya: How Fair Are Emerging Approaches? (August 2016)
- Reasoning About Sharing County Water Funds in Kenya: Assessing the Quality of Justifications For Distribution (January 2016)
- Reasoning About Sharing Public Resources Within Counties in Kenya: How Three Counties Share and Justify Sharing Funds (January 2016)
by International Budget Partnership Kenya | May 2017
2015/16 was the third full year of county budget implementation since devolution began in Kenya. As counties finalize their 2017/18 budgets, this analysis reflects on how counties have been spending their money and whether there are ways of improving county budget formulation and implementation in Kenya going forward.
The analysis finds that overall, county budget implementation in Kenya is improving both in terms of revenue collected and expenditure realized against budgets. The authors also note that several of the issues identified appear to be systemic in nature, suggesting a need to invest more in national solutions.
What do Kenya’s Budget Implementation Reports Tell Us about National Government Spending in 2015/16?
April 2017 | by John Kinuthia, IBP Kenya
Every quarter, the government of Kenya must produce a budget implementation report that details actual spending against the budget approved by parliament. This responsibility is also given to the Office of the Controller of Budget (OCOB), an independent agency whose main role is to monitor budget implementation and ensure that funds are released against the budget.
Relatively little attention is paid to in-year budget implementation reports by citizens, parliament, or the media. To stimulate more debate about their contents, this paper looks at two recent implementation reports: the Budget Implementation Review Report for the full year of 2015/16 from the OCOB and the Fourth Quarterly Economic and Budget Review 2015/16 from the National Treasury.
Findings discussed in this paper include:
- Revenue collection in 2015/16 performed well, at 99 percent of target. Though they form a smaller part of total revenue, external funds remain below target.
- Domestic borrowing numbers (both budgeted figures and actual receipts) are unclear and inconsistent across several budget documents.
- Absorption of development funds improved significantly in 2015/16, though it remained below the 30 percent of total expenditure threshold set by law.
- Additional funding allocated to priority areas in the supplementary budget for 2015/16 to fight corruption was not spent.
- What do Kenya’s Budget Implementation Reports Tell Us about National Government Spending in 2015/16? (April 2017)
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.
In addition, the following videos capture sector-specific budget deliberations from the forum. Click on an image to watch a video, or view the playlist on YouTube.