In 2016 and early 2017, Hakijamii conducted a baseline survey on “Barriers & Facilitators of Citizen Participation in Nairobi. The major recommendation from the report was the need for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and social movements to have a central role in entrenching the culture of constitutionalism and rule of law in government operations.

Based on the findings and recommendations of the survey, Hakijamii was further supported to implement some of the recommendations including:

  • Stimulate participatory governance processes in Nairobi and Kisumu
  • Review and recommend best practices in policy implementations
  • Develop simplified information materials which will be disseminated through use of ICT platforms
  • Promote bottom-up approaches to budgeting
  • Strengthen community capacities to monitor implementation of esc rights in Nairobi and Kisumu

It is on this premise that Hakijamii partnered with other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), community representatives and Nairobi County Government to promote active engagements in planning and budgeting processes in Nairobi and Kisumu.

The meeting was attended by CSO partners from International Budget Partnership Kenya (IBP-Kenya); Development Initiatives (DI); The Institute of Social Accountability (TISA); Umande Trust; EachRights and media represented by Mtaani Radio from Dagoretti.

Hakijamii identified four main thematic areas through which project beneficiaries will be engaged. These thematic areas are: Health, Water and Sanitation; Land & Housing; Education & Social Services.  Below are the details discussed on each of the listed thematic areas:

Affordable Housing

The Nairobi City County budget is not clear on the meaning of affordable housing and social housing. Hakijamii identified this as a challenge through its report titled: State of Housing in Kenya: Will government Strategy Deliver on Social Housing? This budget vote is inadequate in terms of provision of housing for the marginalized community groups living in Nairobi informal settlements. For instance in FY 2018/2019, under the targets on Programme Based Budget Nairobi City is not planning to construct even a single unit of housing. This is inconsistent with the President’s call for realignment of county priorities with those of the Big Four Agenda. Further, from the budget analysis most counties in Kenya have not budgeted for the social housing. Save for Homa Bay County which has planned to over 2,000 social housing.

Education Sector

Education has been receiving an average of Ksh. 2.0 billion shillings every year for the last three fiscal years. The largest junk (over Ksh. 1 billion) of these resources have been spent on construction of ECD centers. Despite the huge budgetary allocation, it is not clear which ECD centers have been constructed during the first term under devolution (2013-201). This calls for the need for an effective community budget tracking/ monitoring team on budget implementation. Their main purpose of the committee will be to monitor the approved projects from CIDP, ADP and identify the budget allocated and progress in implementation of the same. This will require strategies in terms of who to be approached on certain budget issues.

In the previous term under devolution, Nairobi City County had budgeted for 85 units of vocational training center (VTCs) in all wards in Nairobi. This raises the question of whether we should share resources equitably or equally. This is a classical case where the planning and budgeting documents are not informed by needs and priorities on ground. For instance, why should the Nairobi City County even think of constructing new technical and vocational training centers when they already have dilapidated centers in the city. A good example in point is the Waithaka Vocational and Technical Training Centre in Dagoretti South. The center is not well equipped and is in a bad state. Further analysis on the management and running costs of the training institutions. Harmonization of projects supported by other agencies to avoid duplication and embezzlement of funds. In Nairobi County there are three sub programs (ECD centre-85,000 enrolment in private schools, VTC – 12,000 enrolment and Quality assurance Ksh 2M).  Further Nairobi County intends to build stadiums and provide Library services. The budget for sports program has drastically increased by 3 folds, however the gaps remain in terms of capacity building of the youths and athletes in sports industry. This will be addressed through the Education and Social Services Sub-Committee.

Research after research has shown that early childhood education is extremely important and should not be ignored since it has an impact on life’s outcomes.  This is the stage at which a holistic child is honed and molded. It is also important to note that early childhood education is the basis for lifelong learning.

According to the 4th Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, counties are in charge of pre-primary and village polytechnic education. This means that primary, secondary, college and university education is a function of the national government. It is important for all Kenyans to differentiate the roles of the two levels of government in order to effectively hold the right level of government into account.

In Nairobi County, Education Services program is located under the Education, Youth Affairs, Sports, Culture and Social Services Sector. There are three other programs in the sector apart from education services. These are a) General Administration, planning and support services; Social Services. Resources allocation 2018/2019 the entire sector was allocated Ksh. 2.1 billion out of which Ksh. 250 million was allocated towards education services for city residents. This is just 11.9% of the sector budget or 0.7% of the entire budget for FY 2018/2019. Under the programme the city county is planning to spend on Quality Assurance, ECDE Centers as well as Technical and Vocational Training (VTCs).

The Quality Assurance & Co-Curriculum sub-programme is mandated to making sure that educational standards are adhered to in all education training institutions across the county. For the sub-program to deliver on its mandate, Nairobi County has allocated Ksh. 2 million shillings only. This is meagre compared to the population of Nairobi and the many schools that need to be monitored to ensure they adhere to the standards.

On ECDE Centers

Nairobi City County is planning to deliver at least 35 new ECDE Centers. This will be delivered using a budget of Ksh. 182.7 million out of which Ksh. 100 million or 54.7% of the allocation will be development expenditure. These resources will be spent on for instance construction of ECDE Centers and equipping them with learning and playing equipment.