The KARDS’ Basic Project Management Training this February (16th to 20th)

WELCOME: KARDS invites you to the Basic Project Management Course this February 16th to 20th. Advanced skills in project management will be held on April this year.

TARGET: This course intends to benefit executives, administrators, leaders and entrepreneurs. All individuals working in the private, public, civil society, religious and corporate sectors are invited.

COURSE OBJECTIVE: Improving participants understand of dynamics involved in designing, creating and implementing projects. We focus on reinforcing participant’s managerial, leadership and entrepreneurial excellence.

INTENDED OUTCOMES

  1. Enhanced ability to plan projects realistically to achieve business goals and strategies
  2. Improved ability to control project scope and scale
  3. Improved abilities to create effective project schedules and work breakdown structures
  4. Improved abilities to realistically control project cost and ensure quality achievement
  5. Effective ability to respond to project risk

VENUE: KARDS, Shalom House, Behind St. Vincent Palloti Church.  .

COURSE OUTLINE:

  • General Project Dimensions and Features
  • Project Feasibility (Needs Assessment, Gap Analysis)
    • Project Idea Development
    • Mobilizing start-up Support
    • Project Design
  • Project Proposal Formulation
  • Project Cycle Management:
    • Participatory Planning
    • Introduction to Project Budgeting
  • Introduction to Effective Project Resource Management
    • Project Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Project Appraisal and Adjustments
  • Decision Making Tools
  • The Role of IT in Project Management
  • Moral and Ethical Dilemas

COST: Kshs. 15,000 per participant. The cost is inclusive of training fee, training materials, meals and a participation certificate. Certificates will only be issued to those who successfully complete the training.

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Kibra Undergoes Training in GRB

Asha leading the civil society in Kibera through a social audit session.

Asha leading the civil society in Kibera through a social audit session.

Story by Millicent Agutu

Introduction to GRB

Consolation East Africa (CEA) took the Gender Responsive Budgeting Training to Kibra on 28th January 2015. There were 60 participants from various civil societies.

Millicent Agutu, CEA’s executive officer facilitated the introductory session. She used a question  to elicit discussion; ‘What are the rights of; youth, men and women, the elderly and the children in Kenya?” Participants mentioned rights known to them as follows; the rights of the children include the right to education, right to health, right to be free from forced labor. These rights are accompanied by a set of responsibilities. Reference was made to the 2010 Constitution’s bill or rights (Chapter 4) which accorded specific rights to different groups of people. All participants agreed that it is important that all citizen get to know these rights so as they may take the responsibility to demand for them. Participants were also reminded that in order to understand their rights, there is a need to familiarize with the constitution or find time to attend sensitization forums.

The participants were also introduced to Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB). Another question was posed; “whom has ever set her/his eye on the Nairobi County Budget, Kibra Constituency budget or that of respective wards?  It was found that no participant had set their eyes on their respective budgets. They were hence informed that it is very important for them as citizens to know how much money has been allocated to their Wards, Sub-county or county to benefit them because this was their money (tax payers money). This led to a brief discussion on where government revenue comes from and areas of government expenditure.

The training defined Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) as the analysis of government budget in terms of its reach and impact on women and men, girls and boys. The main focus of GRB is the degree of inclusiveness of women in the budgeting process. GRB addresses a key concern such as: Are women given the opportunity to participate in the budget making process and in economic decision making?

If a GRB process is successful the government will be forced to be sensitive to the needs of all genders and also be ready to listen to all voices and sections in the society. This leads to the incorporation of broader societal contributions in development agendas in accordance to the needs of the society. Industries, businesses, and institutions too could become of immense benefit to the society where they took gender considerations keenly.

The budget Cycle

Bridged Faida facilitated the session on budget making process (budget cycle).  She assisted participants understand the public budget process. She also informed them that some phases of the budgeting process require the participation of the members of public and civil societies.  Accordingly therefore, the budget process is as follow:

  • 30th August – budget cycle starts
  • Fiscal (financial) strategy paper is passed by the 30th August
  • 1st September – February 28th (end) – collection of priorities and different sectors go put `up budget estimates
  • 1st March – 30th April, budget estimates is tabled in the county assembly, it is then taken to the citizens to approve the priorities. The approvals are debated and passed by county assembly. The assembly then develop a policy or law that puts budget to work (appropriation law). This appropriation law is then taken to the Governor for approval. The governor forwards the budget to the Comptroller of budget office. The comptroller of the budget’s office looks in to it if it adheres to the law then it is approved.

 Practical issues in Kibra

 

Grace Kariuki, the ward County Government administrator of Makina discusses on issues of development. She asked women to be sharp to always focus on development.  Grace also referred to the Presidential report of the 27th January 2015. According to the report, the President had given women and youths the priority to access government funds. Grace indicated that she was frustrated on several occasions as people did not turn up for the meetings she had organized. She emphasized the importance of forming groups, registering and be committed to establishing winning projects. There are a number of failed projects in the area. Reasons for project failures need to be addressed clearly.

According to Grace, it was important that groups maintain good accounting systems. They also have a responsibility to attend project meetings: here they will be able to discuss their challenges and learn from others. On the other hand attending meetings allows them to give a voice and have a say on projects to be implemented. Attending public meetings is strategic as decisions passed affect not only ourselves but also our children and grandchildren.

The county ward administrator applauded National Youth Service (NYS) for the great work in Makina Ward. NYS is credited for assisting youths acquire practical skills. This is important as the trained youth stand a better chance of getting employment.

Kibra Ward has 19 million shillings allocated for sports, bursary and other societal issues. Groups were invited to forward to the county administration office projects that address the needs of the community. It is their responsibility to come out and develop themselves.   Members of the community through their participation in community affairs and development agendas will also help in creating employment for others.

Women even when married, need to become contributors in the family basket income. They also should contribute in feeding the family. For this purpose women need to be trained on business and project management. The country administration also took notice of the rising levels of gender based violence. A practical response to GBV entails construction of gender response centre, rescue centre, safe houses. Women have many needs and it is upon them to bring them up.

And here the citizens were also challenged on the issues of sanitation and security within their areas of residence. The participants were also urged to form working groups to be able to push their agendas forward, form working groups to ease access to government funds, attend ward meetings and motivate each other so as to make the projects active and achievable.

Social Audit

The last session was facilitated by Asha Hussein who took the participants through social audit. She started off by naming the five wards that constitute Kibra namely (Lindi, Sarang’ombe, Laini Saba, Makina and Woodley). The participants were asked to develop a culture of sourcing for information in all possible ways they can in all places they came from.

The participants were informed that budget is the road map to expenditure, in the county government every citizen has to participate in decision matters of development and that if the citizens have the power then they have the responsibilities too.  And it is advisable for people to form groups, because an individual’s voice cannot be heard unless they are in groups and protected by the group.

The participants were enlightened on the indicators of Social Auditing; which are; accountability and Transparency, and this applies to the CSOs and MCAs. The MCAs represent the county in the County assembly, and the CSOs act as an eye of the normal mwananchi.

It is important to be clear on what to look for when monitoring the budgeting process or the implementation of a particular project. Important dimensions of monitoring are income and expenditure. If for example we are monitoring government security of a given county, one will have to get to know sum of finance which was allocated for the project, how much has been used, and the current status of the project.

The participants were made aware that the funds that are being allocated to their counties for development are derived from the taxes they pay to the government, of which these taxes comes from different sources such as PAYE, VAT , Licences,  Custom Exercise duty.  Therefore it is the citizens’ own money that will build the Nation at large, that’s why they all have the right to do a follow up and monitor  the proposed projects within their counties.

Dagoreti Community Discusses Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB)

Martin Ndichu leads people through the government budget cycle.

Martin Ndichu leads participants through the government budget cycle.

Story By Millicent Agutu

Consolation East Africa (CEA)  continues with its gender responsive budget training. On 21st January the organization brought together 71 representatives of civil society organizations in Dagoretti North and South to discuss this topic.This article provides a report of the training.

Topic Introduction

Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) as a topic  was introduced by Millicent Agutu of CEA. Participants were led to discuss its meaning, aim and approaches. It was agreed that gender responsive budgeting was about  spending community resources for the benefit of women, children, men, the poor and the needy. It is about ensuring that efficiency measures do not overlook equity measures.

In order to address gender responsive budgeting well, obstacles to effective participation of women and other vulnerable groups in political leadership was discussed.  Also discussed were the specific gains achieved by women, men, youth, children, the elderly, minority and the marginalized within the 2010 Constitution . Participants discussed various loopholes citing challenges in the implementation of the Constitutional Bill of Rights (Chapter 4). Accordingly they named various reasons barring full participation of women and other vulnerable population to include  discrimination, antagonism between women, cultural and religious beliefs and corruption. Participants also identified other obstacles to include;Shyness, Lack of finances, Child nurturing, Religious beliefs, Family burdens, poor education, Retrogressive cultural practices, Timings (meeting times) and lack of Mentors (political mentors).

Participants then generated a set of questions as follow;

How come that despite the affirmative action that was introduced stipulating 30%  women representation on all spheres of development, we don’t have a woman governor?

Is there any woman representatives in Dagoretti?

How many women have been elected Members of County Assembly (MCA’s)?

It was noted that the constitution provisions with respect to the rights of women and vulnerable, require goodwill from all quarters in order for their implementation to be successful. The public needs education on “integrity based leadership” entrenched in the chapter 6 of the constitution. This chapter would help members of the public understanding the basic requirements of leadership in Kenya irrespective of gender.

The Budget Cycle

The session on the Public Budget Cycle was facilitated by Martin Ndichu.  He started by posing various questions to the participants as follow;

Do you any ideas about the county budget process?

Have you ever studied the Nairobi county budget?

Have you ever studied the budget of your own ward?

All these questions went unanswered. Martin then enlightened  participants on how the budget cycle operates. The budget cycle starts on 30th August. During this time the  Fiscal (financial) strategy paper is passed. As from  1st September to February 28th there is a collection of priorities and different sectors go put up budget estimates. Between  March 30th to April 30th, budget estimates are tabled in the county assembly. It is then taken to the citizens to approve their priorities, debated, passed by assembly, the assembly then develops a policy or law that puts budget to work (appropriation law). The appropriation law is then taken to Governor for approval, who then takes the budget to the Comptroller of budgets. The controller of the budget looks in to it; if it adheres to the law then it is approved.

Social Audit

This topic was introduced by Asha. Asha emphasized on the need to understand the budget process. Social auditing as an activity starts after a successful budgeting process. Social auditing is a way of ensuring that  public investments are appropriately targeted toward the fulfillment of important societal goals. It involves following closely to understand if the government sticks to deliver the budgeted objectives or not.

There are several ways through which the government gets it revenue (PAYE, VAT, Rates Exercise Duties). These are also specific areas of government expenditure (health, security, education, food security and sanitation). Members of the public have a right and responsibility to know the way their money is being used. They also need to understand whether the projects implemented was the planned one in terms of cost, time and materials used. It is citizen responsibility to know and follow up to ensure that all allocated funds are in accordance to the priorities identified earlier.

Practical issues around Riruta Area

The ward administrator Mr. Edward Musuni representing the Nairobi City County addressed the practical challenges facing the community. First it was brought to the notice of the participants that he was the eye of the Governor and that all the issues and reports intended for the Governor should be channeled through his office. Mr. Musuni brought the following issues to the notice of the participants;

  1. There is the Nyumba Kumi project which is on-going and was aimed at reducing insecurity. All people are required to know 10 people within their neighboring proximity. This came in response to West-gate terrorist attack of August 2013 and the general deterioration of security in the country.
  2. There is water connection project going on within Riruta Ward and forms are available at MCAs office Precious Plaza 1st floor (forms for tap water)
  3. There is an environmental problem within Riruta and the administration is trying to work on this. However, people were requested to dispose their garbage’s in right places. Landlords were also requested to be responsible when it comes to issues of environmental cleanliness and sanitation
  4. Also people were requested  to  pay for licenses. The forms are available in the administrators office located at Riruta Shopping Centre. Once the forms have been fully filled the rest of the process is done in city hall.

He also shared that the county government committee is working on the installation of flood lights and a perimeter wall for satellite primary. The road to Kabiria and an accompanying sewer line is being worked on by a contractor (time line).

Mr. Musuni also invited participants to his office. Members of the public were invited to visit and present their problems and recommendations for action. He also requested participants intending to build new house to follow the legal building procedures. He led the participants in discussing challenges and solutions for the Riruta Community as listed below:

Challenges in the community

  1. Drainage passing next to peoples door people to repair comes from far.
  2. It’s difficult to get the information about the C.D.F Funds
  3. People do not know their rights
  4. People do not struggle to get their rights
  5. Corruption is very rampant
  6. People fear to say the truth for the fear of death &threats

 

The way forward (contribution from participants)

  • Civic awareness
  • Problem identification in each and every ward or village
  • Identification of the key leaders
  • Social audit awareness and training
  • Resource mobilization
  • Information sharing
  • Identifying all the community resource persons eg engineers within the community (stake holders among the community)
  • Project follow up to avoid duplication
  • Form smaller unit working groups
  • Create awareness on human rights and responsibility i.e. it is the responsibility of the governor to include his people in public participation and decision making of their development agendas
  • Children rights and sensitization
  • Local public debates

He wrapped up the session by thanking KARDS and Consolation East Africa (CEA) for their beautiful community empowerment work and congratulated all participants for taking the initiative to build their country.