Devolved government is the most transformative aspect of Kenya’s governance in the Constitution of Kenya2010. It seeks to redress ingrained regional inequality, unemployment and low growth by devolving political and financial responsibility to counties. TISA has employed multi-faced approaches in its devolution work, key among them include: development of policy papers and submissions, direct engagement and dialogue with key devolution actors; and consultative meetings.
Policy Papers on Devolution
TISA has developed policy papers that touch on major aspects of devolution: Policy paper on standards for county preparedness 2011; and Policy Paper on Accountability in Kenya 2011; What Next for CDF? The story of 5 counties, TISA, June 2011; Beating the deadlines of Implementation; The counties headache, TISA, July 2011; and Policy paper on citizen participation in devolved government TISA, 20111, memoranda to the CDF Task force in 2009, Memoranda to the Committee of experts in 2009, Memoranda to the Taskforce on Devolved Government, 2011; and A Residents Guide to Urban Areas and Cities in Kenya 2012, among others.
These papers are aimed at providing policy and legislative proposals essential in informing debate and inputs in the on-going constitutional implementation process vis-à-vis the devolved structures as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
TISA also coordinated a joint research on decentralization in 2010, “Harmonization of Decentralized Development in Kenya: Towards alignment, citizen engagement and accountability which culminated in the production of policy recommendations to Parliament and advocacy DVD entitled The Struggle for Devolution in Kenya (Ugatuzi).These were shared with parliament and government stakeholders through numerous strategic meetings.
Consultative Meetings on Devolution
TISA successfully organized three (3) Consultative Forums with Members of Parliament on decentralization. These were held in February, June and November 2011 respectively. The June 2011 MPs Consultative Forum on decentralization brought together 20 Members of Parliament, 6 parliamentary committee clerks, 4 representatives of government ministries and institutions and 15 representatives from the civil society. At least six (6) parliamentary committees were represented. The major objectives of these engagements with Kenya National Assembly are: To enhance citizen participation, transparency and accountability in decentralized funds and set the same environment for the upcoming county governments; and to enhance dialogue between Non-State Actors [NSAs] and Kenya National Assembly.
Reform processes and Transition to Counties
TISA has actively sought ways in which to engage key stakeholder in the reform process and was actively involved in the organization the PM-CSO roundtable meeting in March 2011.Furthermore, TISA made a detailed submission to the Task Force on Devolved Government (TFDG).
TISA also constantly engages with the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) in reviewing and analysing Devolution related bills, they include: Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011, Devolution Bill 2011, Transition to devolved Governments Act 2011 among many others.
TISA coordinates the CSO Transition Monitoring Working Group. The Group aims at engaging with in the relevant ministries and Transition Authority in monitoring the county transition process. These engagements are geared towards entrenching public engagement and information sharing in the process.