Public Participation Program
TISA’s public participation programme has evolved as a result of clear indications that Public participation is a prerequisite for successful policy and decision-making and is a precondition for transparent, open and democratic governance.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 establishes government at two levels; National government and County government with distinct functional roles. Chapter 11 of the constitution addresses devolved government and objects of devolution are clearly spelt out in article 174 and include(i) promote democratic and accountable exercise of power (ii) to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the state and in making decisions affecting them (iii) to promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya among others.
The devolution laws in turn provide strong public participation provisions that county governments are required to effect including provisions for timely access to information, public involvement in planning, budgeting, in the establishment of performance standards and involvement in county decision making thus there is need to establish the required mechanisms and enact the necessary legislation to effect public participation.
Citizens have a right to voice their concerns in matters affecting them ,however ,they are not able to engage in the county affairs due to inadequate understanding of the emerging frameworks.
This program is building on TISA’s previous work of social audit aimed at strengthening the management of decentralized funds in Kenya by enhancing local accountability and mainstreaming effective oversight by the citizens.
TISA therefore sees the need to prioritise and promote active engagement of citizens’ especially in county governance affairs. TISA has adopted an integrated supply and demand approach to promoting public participation.
To this end, TISA is already working with County level Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) in Baringo, Kitui, Marsabit and Turkana and The Devolution Forum amongst other likeminded organizations in building capacities and mentoring communities to actively engage with county government institutions. The public participation programme is the backbone of other TISA program areas.
In summary, the specific objectives of this programme are:
- To progressively improve public engagement in county governance issues
- To progressively improve the responsiveness of county institutions to public participation requirements
- To establish effective dialogue between public officials and the public.
- By Anticipator
- November 09, 2014