Public participation in budgeting as a control tool in Kenya

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Moraa Nyakegita, Nancy
Issue Date
MBA in Finance
Dublin Business School
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Change and transformation in the understanding and definition of citizenship has led to the emergence of a citizen-oriented public service approach. This approach also raised a new concept in the field of public budgeting which is participatory budgets. This citizen budget seeks to ensure participation of the citizens in the budgeting process serves as a tool to ensure that the budget is shared with the public transparently and that the people take part in the budgeting processes. Citizen's budget is one of the main tools and instruments that the central and local administrations in Kenya could use to ensure greater transparency and citizenship participation. The research focused on finding out what the benefits of involving the public in the budgeting process are. It further finds out if through involvement of public, control can be achieved in terms of increasing quality of administration in public management, reinforcing accountability mechanisms, ensuring transparency in the provision of public services, involving the people and civil society groups in making policies, improving confidence in the state and making public service quality better. Ultimately, the research hopes to find out what level of participation exists in Kenya and what effect it has on budgeting process. An inductive approach was used to carry the study, where qualitative data was acquired through use of interviews. Highly specialized individuals in the budgeting process with the technical knowledge of national and county budgeting were sampled for the interview. These individuals include government officials in the budgeting department and the civil society that participate. The study found out that for effective participation to happen in Kenya and for it to serve as a control tool, certain factors have to be in place. This includes formulation of a participatory standard, civic education, capacity building for budget officials and proper monitoring, evaluation and feedback mechanisms should be in place.