Kajiado North Sub-county which constitutes five wards i.e. Ngong, Olkeri, Oloolua, Nkaimurunya and Rongai held a public forum dubbed “Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB)” at Pec House in Ngong. This informative forum was organized courtesy of Consolation East Africa an NGO working in community capacity development on issues of Counter Human trafficking, Human Rights and citizen participation. The forum was organized coordinated from Moran Hub Ngong which is a resource centre for the community. Participants were drawn from both the government and the public with the Member of County Assembly for Ngong Ward Paul Supet, the Ward administrator for Oloolua and Olkeri representing the government. The CSO present include Youth United for Change, Moran Hub, Donate a Pair, Bus Radio, Emmanuel Arts, Cara Rescue Centre, Kajiado Mentorship Group, Amani Communities Africa among others.
The forum aimed to enlightening the participants on the need to constructively engage with the county government in decision making especially on the issue of budgeting. Given the unique trait in different gender in both needs and priority it is paramount to engage both in discourse leading to the decision on how to allocate funds to cater for their needs. In this context the women bear the brunt of caring for children, adolescents, the sick, OVCs and the elderly thereby justifying a need for consideration in budgeting of projects. Budgets should be able to create a conducive environment that allows for women empowerment.
There is a low women representation of women in the leadership with many of those in government being there through nomination. This is caused by a number of factors including inferiority complex in women, mistrust among women, cultural and religious beliefs, priority issue, responsibilities, stigmatization among others. By having structure that helps address these factors more women will be empowered and willing to engage in the leadership of the county.
Information about the budget and the budgeting process is also crucial. Some important dates to mark include;
Aug 30: the county treasury publishes a notice setting out guidelines to be followed by all of the county government’s units in the budget process.
Sept 1: Counties prepare and table a county development plan (CIDP) in the County Assembly. The plan must be made public within 7 days.
Sept 1 to February 15: National Treasury collects public views for development of BPS.
Oct: 31st The implementation report of the previous County Government Budget is publicized.
Nov: National Government publishes the budget review and Outlook paper (BROP)
Jan 1st: Commission on revenue allocation (CRA) submits its recommendations for the division of revenue to the national treasury.
Feb 15: BPS is submitted to the national assembly, development of county fiscal strategy paper also starts here with Feb 28 being deadline.
March 16: The national Assembly passes the division of revenue bill and county allocation bill
When the budgets are approved and projects kick start a vital process begins which is to ensure that the funded projects are done. This is through monitoring and evaluation, though the county government has a system for this, the public has a responsibility to oversee the implementation of the projects to eliminate the chances for substandard projects and infringement of project funds. This can be done through a process known as social audit. The aim of social audit is to enhance accountability with the service providers.
Action points from the forum, there is a need for active information sharing, formation of working groups, enhancement of women capacity to engage with the leadership of the county and constructive engagement with the leadership in proposing county expenditure and revenue collection. The county administrators can be accessed freely when the public suspect anomalies with project implementation.
~~~~~~~~~ Quote of the Day “Willing Government, Willing Citizens.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~