|Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action in Health||
Over the last decade, the Government of Kenya has adopted fiscal decentralisation policies to try to ensure improved development outcomes. The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) established in 2003 is the primary mechanism through which at least 2.5% of the country’s total annual revenue is disbursed to constituencies. Other funds like the Constituency AIDS Fund to fight HIV & AIDS, the Poverty Reduction Funds, the Rural Electrification Programme Fund, the Free Primary Education Fund, and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund cover special programmes in the constituencies. In the fiscal year 2009-10 approximately 73billion KSH went towards decentralized fund spending – with an average of KSH 350million per constituency for local development.
Most of these funds have in-built participatory mechanisms designed to facilitate citizen engagement in development processes to ensure relevance of the projects against needs, reduce opportunities for corruption and conflict, act as checks and balances on use of power, encourage community participatory planning, and above all, promote community ownership of the projects. However, people’s participation in this process remains lacking due to the country’s culture of centralized planning, lack of a clear decentralisation policy, and insufficient awareness of participatory frameworks and their operation. Further, the committees managing various funds at the constituency level are appointed by members of the parliament and therefore are not fully and directly accountable to citizens. In addition, there are wide-spread concerns about corruption and mismanagement of funds, and also slow pace of decentralised reforms.
In the above context, TISA works in four constituencies in Nairobi (Langata, Kasarani, Westlands and Embakasi). To cover other areas of the country, the organization works with local partners hat include the Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) in Nakuru County (Rift Valley), the Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education(CHRCE) in Kitui and Mwingi county (Eastern Province), and the VESH Initiative in the western part of Kenya. The organization also works with social audit information that comes from the grassroots level, and compiles/consolidates the data for national advocacy work.
Area of Work