Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) Discussion Forum Notes

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

National Gender and Equality Commissioner addressing the GRB Participants in Kangemi, Westlands Sub-County

On the 31st of July 2015, Consolation East Africa facilitated the coming together of different organization that worked on areas of gender, Human Rights, Social Accountability, Security, Psychosocial, Legislation, Administration and Legal to deliberate on issues of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB). The organizations represented included; Soweto Forum, National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Gender Based Violence (GBV), Light of Hope, Kibagare Football Club, Young Women Empowerment Programme (YOWEP),Young Mothers, Tegemeo la mayatima, C.B.O Kangemi, Community Health Worker, Multi-power, Chemichemi Ya Ukweli, Taji Youth Group, Westlands Search for Peace/Kaptagat Youth Group, NEEPY, C.B.O, Taji Youth Group/Kayo Group, Divas Fashion House, Makadara Youth Network, Wonder Joy Youth Group, Exchange Perspectives, Tangaza University College (Institute of Youth Studies), ANPPCAN Kenya Chapter, Representative Mountain View MCA, Mountain View, Hekima University College, Strings for Life Kenya, Eden Rock Day Care & Nanny Centre, GRT, Multi-power Sanitation Response, Westlands GBV Working Group Kangemi, Shangilia Y2Y Network, Bawa, KARDS, Consolation East Africa (CEA). The event brought together the Gender Focal Point, Commissioners, Youth Leaders, President, Founders, Member, Secretaries,Chairpersons, Clerk, Trainers, Intern, Directors, Lecturer, Internship Coordinators, Program Officers, Student, Program Managers, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Psychosocial officer, Coordinator, Treasurer and Programme Assistant

Commitments to women empowerment by Commissions
National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC)
The Guest of Honour Commissioner Winfred Lichuma, the Chairperson of National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) gave an opening speech where she shared what NGEC has been able to do as follows; The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) is a constitutional Commission established pursuant to Article 59 (4) (5) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, to promote the principles of gender equality and inclusiveness. In line with this, one of its key functions is to act as a principle organ of the state in ensuring compliance with all treaties and conventions ratified by Kenya relating to issues of equality and freedom from discrimination and with focus to special interest groups including minority and marginalized, women, youth, children, the elderly, and persons with disability. In line with its mandate to ensure equality and inclusion, the Commission promotes Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) at the National and County levels.

A budget is a key policy tool of any government in impacting the social and economic position of men and women, boys and girls. Progress towards the realization of any rights entails monetary investments. A budget in itself in never “gender neutral” it either perpetuates or reduces inequalities.

Since its establishment, the Commission has facilitated the Kenya Government to adopt GRB as a strategy for promoting gender equality and inclusion at both the National and County level. The Commission spearheaded development of GRB guidelines to assist in mainstreaming gender equality and inclusion in the budget processes at the national level. Currently, the Commission is facilitating the development of guidelines for the budget making process for County governments. I am certain that a gender responsive budget will address the needs of vulnerable groups in our society.

The Commission has also conducted a review of the National Budget estimates for the Year 2015/2016 along key thematic areas. The analysis focused on the proposed budget allocation for the financial year 2015/2016 and its effects on women, men, boys and girls. A key finding was that the national budget 2015/2016 has generally addressed the principles of equality and inclusion, both at the policy level and in the budget allocation. In total the budgetary allocations for addressing matters relating to equity amounts to approximately Kshs 497.6 billion translating to about 24% of the total budget.

It is my belief, that when the findings of this analysis will be published, they will inform the technical officers and the policy makers to deepen the gains made towards achieving gender equality. Specifically, by raising awareness and understanding of gender equality and inclusion issues in budgets and policies, foster the accountability of the national and county governments for their gender equality commitments and ultimately enhances budgets and policies in light of the analysis.

Going forward there is need to institutionalize the principles of equality and inclusion in the budget cycle. In this regard the Commission plans to establish and coordinate a GRB technical working group with a multi-sectoral partnership from private, public, faith based and academia sectors to engage in the budget making process both at National and County levels.

The Commission envisages budget making process that is responsive to the needs of all interest groups in Kenya in the long run and we look forward to working with the stakeholders to ensure that this is achieved. With these remarks, she declared the forum open.

Kenya National Commission on Human rights (KNCHR)
The KNCHR was represented by Madam Lucy Minayo who is also the Senior Human Rights Officer and Gender Focal Point Partnership and Resource Mobilization Unit.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) is an Independent National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) established under Article 59(1) as read with Article 59(4) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act No. 14 of 2011. The Commission has two broad mandates: to advise and support state and non-state actors to discharge their obligation to respect, promote and fulfill human rights and to play a watchdog role over the various government organs with respect to human rights in the Republic of Kenya. The functions of the Commission as provided for under Section 8 of the KNCHR Act, 2011 are to:

a. Promote respect for human rights and develop a culture of human rights in the Republic;
b. Promote the protection and observance of human rights in public and private institutions;
c. Monitor, investigate and report on the observance of human rights in all spheres of life in the Republic;
d. Receive and investigate complaints about alleged abuses of human rights, except those relating to the violation of the principle of equality and freedom from discrimination under the gender and equality commission, and take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated;
e. On its own initiative or on the basis of complaints investigate or research matters in respect of human rights, and make recommendations to improve the functioning of State organs;
f. Act as the principal organ of the State in ensuring compliance with obligations under international and regional treaties and conventions relating to human rights except those that relate to the rights of special interest groups protected under the law relating to equality and non-discrimination;
g. Formulate, implement and oversee programs intended to raise public awareness of the rights and obligations of a citizen under the Constitution;
h. Work with the National Gender and Equality Commission and the Commission on Administrative Justice to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and complementarity in their activities and to establish mechanisms for referrals and collaboration;
i. Perform such other functions as the Commission may consider necessary for the promotion and protection of human rights; and as may be prescribed by the Constitution and any other written law.

Section 26 of the KNCHR Act confers on the Commission powers to: issue summons as it deems necessary for fulfillment of its mandate; to obtain, by any lawful means, any information it considers relevant, including requisition of reports, records, documents and any information from any person, including governmental authorities, and to compel the production of such information for the proper discharge of its duties; to adjudicate on matters relating to human rights; and conduct audits of any private and public institution to establish the level of compliance with the Constitution with regards to integrating the principle of equality and equity in its operations.

To effectively and efficiently deliver on its mandate, the Commission has organized its programmatic work around six core departments namely, Complaints and Investigations; Redress; Research and Compliance; Reforms and Accountability; Public Education and Training; Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Commission has devolved its work through its four regional offices–Northern Kenya (located in Wajir) North Rift (located in Kitale), Coast regional office (located in Mombasa) and Western Regional office (located in Kisumu). The programmatic departments are facilitated by eight support departments and units as follows: Public Affairs and Communication; Finance; Information Technology; Human Resource and Administration; Procurement; Internal Audit; Partnerships and Resource Mobilization; and Monitoring and Evaluation.

Gender Responsive Budgeting as a Fiscal Innovation
Speech by Dr. Richard Muko

We at Consolation East Africa see Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is a fiscal innovation. We consider it a “Problem solution concept” that has been transformed into tangible processes, resources and institutional mechanisms to assist providing the benefits of inclusion to marginalized populations. For this purpose we have taken it as an important agenda and promoted it in all the sub-counties of Nairobi. We have also documented the feedback from all the areas we have visited in our blog. The manual developed by NGEC, experiences from TISA and support from International Republican Institute have been quite helpful.

GRB applies “gender lens” to institutional mechanisms, propelling them to bring about desirable impacts and benefits through its processes. It is a socio-economic tool for transparency and accountability that analyzes budgetary policies, identifying their effects on gender development.

It has two inevitable dimensions: equity and efficiency. Efficiency is about optimal allocation. For example, if we were about 2000 people in this meeting, a bigger hall would have been sought. Allocating our meeting of 200 people to a bigger hall that is supposed to handle 2000 people and allocating those people to this hall meant for 200 people is considered an inefficient allocation. Some people would be having more space than they would need while others would be suffocating or have no space at all. Equity on the other hand, refers to making specific allocations for the weak in our midst. The weak include the aged, disabled and people not able to compete for opportunities equally with others. These people have to be enabled to get those opportunities and hence require special allocation.

The position of women in Kenya has always been very weak both historical, social, political and economic. Recognizing this anomaly, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, sought to create a platform for equality between women and men. Various provisions focused on affirmative action, for instance, Article 27 (8) obliged the state to take legislative and other measures to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies are of the same gender. Additionally, Article 81 applied the same rule in elective Public bodies. The constitution affirmed that everybody is equal before the law through the provision, ‘every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.’ It further stresses that, ‘women and men have the right to equal treatment including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.”

The foregoing provisions in the 2010 Constitution impose various obligations that the state has to comply with. Some of these obligations include;
a) Enabling women and other marginalized groups to freely participate in mainstream society including leadership in politics.
b) Reservation of certain positions for women and other marginalized groups by the government to prevent them from unequal political competition.
c) Budgeting and budget implementation to cater for the needs of both women inter alia other marginalized groups and men fairly
d) The concerns of men and women constitute an integral dimension in the design of policies and laws and administrative procedures
For all these to be achieved, there has to be some deliberate fiscal action in terms of equity based budgeting process. A budget that considers the unique needs of the special populations. A budget such as this, has a distributive and a redistributive dimension. It intends to pull those who are already in the “holes of despair” to the heights of dignity enjoyed by the rest of the societal members.

There has been a misnomer that GRB refers to making separate budgets for women. It is also wrongly interpreted as the earmarking of funds for gender development. On the contrary GRB helps in the analysis of the entire budget process through a gender lens to identify the gender differential impacts and to translate gender commitments into budgetary commitments. It has four specific components: 1. knowledge processes and networking, 2. Institutional mechanisms, 3. learning processes and building capacities, and 4 public accountability and benefit incidence. These four components of GRB will be analyzed in the context of Kenya.

The National Gender and Equality Commission has been the pioneer of gender budgeting in Kenya, and plays a significant role as is exemplified in its GRB guidelines of 2014. These guidelines are available on its website. The other commission that advances this is the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The presence of these commissions here, shows their commitment in advancing this agenda. The onus remains on us CSOs to continue networking and advancing this agenda far and wide.

When looking at the existing fiscal institutional mechanism, a number of considerations arise. Does investing in public infrastructure prove to have more impact on the poor – especially women – than allocations designed through specifically targeted programs? Does economic growth, per se, translate into better gender – sensitive human development? Has the contribution of women to the economy been properly analyzed and fiscal services been designed to redress the capability deprivation of women in the unpaid care economy? These challenges push us to envisage a fiscal innovation that emphasizes inclusion instead of a status quo bent on exclusivity.

Let us look at 2014/2015 Nairobi county budget done by The Institute of Social Accountability (TISA). The recurrent expenditure was Kshs 18.7 billion, development expenditure was Kshs 9.03 billion, and emergency fund of Kshs 24 million. In doing a GRB analysis, we would use a likert scale to analyse it in a gendered continuum so as to derive the inter-gender weighted benefits in development, recurrent and emergency expenditures relative to men and women. In analyzing deeper the recurrent expenditure 9.8% went to debt repayment, 0.1% was allocated to emergency fund. Operations and maintenance was allocated 24% while personnel emoluments was 66%. Only a good look at this data will enable us to critique objectively and enable a policy focus that will increase efficiency and equity.
At the national and county levels, various laws have been passed in the recent past promoting positive inter-gender considerations inter alia Sexual Offenses Act 2006, Children Act 2001, Gender Equality Act 2014, Anti Human Trafficking Act 2010, Marriage Act 2014, Protection Against Domestic Violence Act 2015 and County Governments Act 2014. Their proper implementation is a direct function of both efficient and equitable budgetary allocative considerations. At the national levels, the government has allocated schemes of economic empowerment, the onus remains on the counties to ensure that gender considerations are made prime.
Lastly, to end I would like to quote President Obama in his Speech to the Kenyan people. No team can succeed when it weakens half of its squad. On this therefore, all genders need to be treated equally-well so as we may realize the gains of well-balanced progress. Well distributed budgetary allocations will reinforce the gains made in bringing development, progress, unity and peace among the people. Elevation of both genders in Kenya in all spheres including on matters of budgeting is hence a needed fiscal innovation that will strengthen our leadership mandate in the region too.

Introduction to gender Responsive Budgeting Concept by Millicent Agutu
GRB Concept Outline
• Gender
• Sex
• Introduction to Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB)
• Aim of GRB
• What is a gender responsive budgeting
• Why do gender budgeting?
• Why is gender budgeting necessary?
• Discrimination faced by girls and women
• GRB and Kenyan National and International Commitments
• Approaches to GRB
• Importance of gender budgeting
• Purpose of GRB and Discussion Forum
Gender
• Gender is the culturally and socially constructed roles, responsibilities, privileges, relations and expectations of women and men, boys and girls. Because these are socially constructed, they can change over time and differ from one place to another
Sex
• Sex is the biological make-up of male and female people. It is what we are born with, and does not change over time, nor differs from place to place
Introduction to GRB
• GRB is the analysis of the government budget in terms of its reach and impact on women and men, girls and boys.
• GRB is having a budget that speaks for both genders (male and female). Government needs to think about both gender and sex when making policies and allocating budgets to implement the policies. In respect of sex, government needs to ensure that policies and programmes are available and adequately financed to address the different biological needs of women and men, including childbearing for women.
Aim of GRB
• Strengthen the capacity of governments to apply gender analysis to planning, monitoring and evaluating the impacts of revenue raising and expenditure allocation at national, county and local levels
• Increase women’s participation in economic decision-making through their engagement in the budgeting processes
• Bring a gender perspective into economic governance by increasing the transparency of the budget processes and strengthening existing monitoring mechanisms to hold global and national actors accountable for their policy commitments to women
• Promote women’s leadership in public and productive spheres
• Engage in the process of transformation to take into account the needs of the poorest and the powerless
• Build advocacy capacity among women’s organizations on macroeconomic issues
• Recognize, reclaim and revalue the contributions and leadership that women make in the economy
• Engagement to promote the mainstreaming of gender in macro-economic policy
What is gender-responsive budget
• A gender-responsive budget is a budget that acknowledges the gender patterns in society and allocates money to implement policies and programmes that will change these patterns in a way that moves towards a more gender equal society.
Why do gender budgeting?
• The budget is the most important policy instrument of government because no other policy can work without money. As such, the government budget can be a powerful tool in transforming the country.
Why is gender budgeting necessary?
• The achievement of human development is heavily dependent on the development and empowerment
Discrimination faced by girls and women through the life cycle as in the next diagram you are just about to see

Gender Responsive Budgeting and Kenyan National and International Commitments

• With globalization, gender implications have become not only a concern of individual countries but also the world as a whole. The Commonwealth Secretariat’s role in encouraging member countries to mainstream gender concerns into macroeconomic policy dates back to 1989.
• Kenya is signatory to various gender conventions and declarations, including the 1979 Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the 1980 Copenhagen World Conference that stressed the need for women to participate in the development process as both experts and beneficiaries, and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Actions where affirmative action was identified as an indispensable strategy for gender mainstreaming.
Purpose of Gender Responsive Budgeting
• Identifying the felt needs of women and prioritizing and/or increasing expenditure to meet these needs;
• Supporting gender mainstreaming in macro-economics;
• Strengthening civil society participation in economic policy making;
• Enhancing the linkages between economic and social policy outcomes;
• Tracking public expenditure against gender and development policy commitments; and
Contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Importance of gender budgeting
• Gender Budgeting can help to improve economic governance and financial management.
• It can provide feedback to government on whether it is meeting the needs of different groups of women and men, girls and boys.
• Gender Budgeting expands our concept of the economy to include things that are not usually valued in money. In particular, Gender Budgeting recognizes the unpaid care economy – the work that mainly women do in bearing, rearing and caring for their families and the people in our society.
Approaches to GRB
• Social responsibility
• Identifying communal problems that needs to be solved (education, health, water and sanitation, security)
• Women participation in budget making process
• Increasing citizens civic understanding for active engagement in governance reforms in Kenya (Public Finance Act, County Government Act and the Constitution)
• Form working groups (caucus)
• Ward level meetings
• Motivate ourselves and be motivators to others (when selling the GRB to the citizens, look for tangible issues within their counties and localities)
• Follow up on projects
• Success stories from the participants that brings personal social satisfaction
• Use the opportunity to grow selves
• Train women who will be able to tell MCA’s the challenges they meet in their localities
Why does gender responsive budgeting focus on women?
Around the world, Gender Budgeting tends to focus on women because:
• Nearly two thirds of the illiterate people in the world are women;
• In developing countries, maternal mortality continues to be a leading cause of death for women of reproductive age;
• Women are under-represented in decision-making in both government and business sectors, especially at senior levels;
• Women’s ‘economic’ work continues to be very different in nature from men’s. Women are engaged in less formal, lower status types of work and continue to receive less pay than men for the same work; and
• Women also continue to do most of the unpaid work of bearing, rearing and caring for children and other citizens.

Definition of Terms
• Political leadership is the interaction between political participation and political representation. It gives rise to political agendas which are translated into policies, laws or budgets at both national and county levels.
• Political representation is involvement in decision making and social forums
• Political accountability is the ability of organizations, individuals (women and men) and interested stakeholders to hold representatives accountable and responsible for decisions and mandate as defined by the constitution in the light of gender responsiveness

Introduction to budget structure/cycle by Pius Muriithi

What is Government budget?
It is a document presenting the government’s proposed development priorities, revenues and spending for a financial year.
It is also a set of procedures by which the government rations resources and controls spending among various government agencies.
It is an instrument for economic policy, management and accountability.
It is an allocation mechanism that aims to maximize the contribution of public expenditure to national welfare.
How is it passed?
The budget is proposed by line government line department, approved by the chief executive and presented by the national or county treasury to the national or county assemblies.
Legal Framework and Process
The Constitution of Kenya provides the broad principles of public finance whereas the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 sets out the rules of how the national and county governments can raise and spend money.
Development master plan
Kenya development blue print defines key investment priorities and options that guarantees delivery of welfare (human rights) to the citizens as defined in the National Constitution 2010.
Achievement of national development goals (vision 2030) is a road map that seeks to transform Kenya into a middle-income country by 2030.
Vision 2030 is operationalized through annual national fiscal strategic plans that defines annual allocation of meager national resources inform of a budget or national annual fiscal strategy paper.
County level budget making process:
Section 125 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 provides the procedure to be followed in the budget making process at the county level as outlined below:
• Development of an integrated development planning process, which includes both long term and medium term planning;

• Planning for and establishing financial and economic priorities for the county over the medium term;

• Making an overall estimation of the county government’s revenues and expenditure;

• Adoption of the County Fiscal Strategy Paper;

• Preparing budget estimates for the county government and submitting estimates to the county assembly;

• Debate and approval of the budget estimates by the county assembly;

• Enactment of the appropriation law and any other laws required to implement the county government’s budget;

• Implementation of the county government’s budget;

• Accounting for, and evaluating the county government’s budgeted revenues and expenditure.

County Strategy Fiscal Paper formulation operational plan
The county treasury has the mandate to prepare and submit to the county executive committee the County Strategy Fiscal Paper for approval. The county executive then submits the County Strategy Fiscal Paper to the county assembly for approval by 28th February each year.
The County Strategy Fiscal Paper contains the strategic priorities and policy goals for the county government, the estimates, expenditure, revenue and borrowing for the next financial year.
The county assembly should then within 14 days consider and adopt the Strategy Fiscal Paper with or without amendments. The county treasury shall consider any recommendations made by the county assembly and publish the Fiscal Paper within 7 days.
The county executive shall also prepare annual cash flow projections for the next financial year by 15th June, to be sent to the Controller of Budget, Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council and the National Treasury.
The county executive member in charge of the county treasury shall submit the budget estimates and other documents together with the draft Bills (for implementation of the county government budget), except the Finance Bill, to the county executive committee for approval by 30th April every year.
Following approval by the county executive committee, the budget estimates shall be submitted to the county assembly for approval. The clerk to the county assembly shall then prepare the budget estimates for the assembly and forward them to assembly and the county executive committee member in charge of the county treasury for comments.
After submission of budget estimates to the county assembly for approval, the county executive committee member in charge of the county treasury shall publish and publicize them. Upon approval, the county executive committee for finance shall prepare and submit the County Appropriation Bill with the approved budget estimates to the county assembly. It should be noted that the month of May is the period when the county budget committee holds public hearings on the budget.
The county assembly shall consider and approve the Appropriation Bill, with or without amendments, and within 90 days after its passing, the assembly shall pass the Finance Bill.
On October 30th, the county government must publish the first quarterly implementation report.
National level budget making process:
The budget making process by the national government set out under Section 35 of the Public Finance Management Act and is similar to the process at the county level.
The National Treasury leads the process at the national level. It handles budget formulation for all state agencies apart from the Legislature and the Judiciary, which create their own budgets in line with the principle of separation of powers.
The Cabinet Secretary in charge of the National Treasury submits to the cabinet the national budget estimates and other related documents, and draft bills for implementation of the national budget, excluding estimates for Parliament and the Judiciary.
The Commission on Revenue Allocation submits its recommendations for the division of revenue between national and county governments by January 1st. The Cabinet Secretary then submits the estimates to Parliament by 30th April every year. The Parliamentary Service Commission and the Registrar of the Judiciary are also expected to submit their budget estimates to Parliament by 30th April each year. Copies of the budget estimates for Parliament and Judiciary are also sent to the National Treasury for comments. Such comments are to be sent to the National Assembly within 15 days.
It is at this stage that the budget estimates should then be publicised. Upon approval by the National Assembly, the Cabinet Secretary prepares and submits the Appropriation Bill for the approved budget estimates to be approved by 30th June each year. The National Treasury then publicises the budget estimates within 21 days after approval by the National Assembly. The National Assembly assents to the Finance Bill within 90 days from the date of passing the Appropriation Bill. The Finance Bill comprises the mechanisms of raising revenue by the National Government and a policy statement expounding the proposed mechanisms.

Analysis of Nairobi County Budget (2015/2016) with Gender lens by Stephen Kaka

A county budget is a creation of public finance management act 2012 and Nairobi county budget too.
The budget structure /cycle that has been highlighted some major document for considerations
Some of the documents include.
a) Nairobi budget policy statement
b) County fiscal strategy paper
c) County development plan published every September
d) County budget proposal
NB.
1. The budget must be presented to the national assembly not later than 30th April and the budget committee of the national assembly must seek public input so the month is a good time to tell parliament on money spending through your MP.
2. Parliamentary budget committee receives submissions from institutions .parliamentary budget is a research office that advises parliament on budget issues.
3. The 1st important date is Feb. 15 the date when the government releases the budget policy statement [BPS] parliament .it is a statement by government about money in the coming yr and its main priorities areas.
Gender responsive budgeting is all about government planning, programming and budgeting that contributes to the advancement of gender equality and the fulfillment of women rights.
Therefore, we must be able to identify these women’ rights, and then pin down on what /which of these rights are fulfilled and which are not.
Look at a government planning policy, what programs are there, what budget allocation are included towards women program[s] and
If allocations are made and resources deployed, what measurable effects have been achieved through the programs
Because gender responsive budgeting entails-identifying and reflecting needed interventions to address gender gaps in sector and local government policies: then ,what are the citizen-driven gender gaps identifying models, and are they effective. What evidence is there?
Do the citizens know the county sectors of development? Are there policies clear, understood and implementable?
This forum is intended to analyze the actual government expenditure on women and girls as compared to other gender.
According to your letter of invitation, it is written ‘gender budgets not only aim to solely increase spending on women-specific programs but also seek to help government decide how policies need to be adjusted and where resources need to be reallocated ,as well as providing women with indicators of government commitment to addressing women’s specific and socio-economic needs.

Looking at the Nairobi county budget 2015-16, there is a realization that its structuring based on lump sum figures and a thorough analysis is required to deduce issues from gender lens perspective. For example, under health sector, the following statement is well positioned; increase expectancy life in Nairobi County by 10%, but the following question could be raised
a) Is that statement a fact?
b) What are the bases of the 10%?
c) …..by 10% from what percent?
d) Are there global, national or county benchmark?
e) What is the expected level of impact of the 10% to the target population?
f) Are there citizen-driven sustainability capacity?
If the aim of aim of this gender responsive budgeting forum is to promote equality ,accountability and transparency by increasing women’s participation and involvement in the political agenda including the making of public budgets ,discussions, debates, lobbying and activism.
Does the public finance management Act 2012 have sufficient guidelines that will enhance or increase women participation in political agenda like county budget making for women issue inclusivity?
Some assessment and recommendations in relation to public financial management act 2012:
Key concerns related to its transparency
Introduction on 27 June 2012, Kenya’s parliament passed the long awaited Public Financial Management Act (the Act). About a month later, on July 23, the Act was signed into law by the President. The new PFM law provides a framework for the budget process at both the national and county level. Like other PFM laws around the world, often known as “organic budget laws,” Kenya’s 2012 PFM Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation that establishes how much formal discretion the executive branch of government has, which information related to public finances is to be made available to whom and when, how and when the government should consult with the legislature or with citizens about public spending, and how government officials will be held to account for mismanagement of public funds.
Although the law is over 200 pages long, it nevertheless still leaves many important matters to be determined by regulations. Given that such implementing regulations can often enhance or undermine key provisions of statutes, and given that they are already likely under consideration by government, it is imperative that civil society analyze the legislation and advocate for regulatory provisions that preserve and expand (where possible) the transparency and public participation provisions of the new PFM law.
The purpose of this Brief is to offer a preliminary assessment of the law (based on the last known version and amendments, as we do not yet have access to the final approved language) in order to guide civil society advocacy around the regulations related specifically to public disclosure of financial information. While the primary audience is civil society organizations in Kenya, the analysis and recommendations are relevant to those in other countries who are advocating for budget systems that are transparent and foster public participation. For those in Kenya, the Brief is meant to be read along with the legislation, as it refers to specific clauses in detail. The main recommendations are:
1. The regulations should specify that all documents mentioned in the new law are to be made publicly available within a specific timeframe, preferably seven days after release. The law’s provisions for some budget documents already contain a timeframe for publication, but a number of critical documents are not required to be released within a specific timeframe. For example, the law mandates the production of Budget Estimates, new reports on state corporations, and a supplementary budget, but does not specify when these should be made public.
2. The regulations should specify that some additional documents will be produced and published beyond what is contained in the law. International best practice guidelines, including the IMF’s Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency and the OECD’s Best Practices for Fiscal Transparency, recommend that all governments produce an expansive set of budget documents. Drawing on these guidelines, the International Budget Partnership recommends that all governments produce at least two documents that are not required by the PFM Act: a Mid-Year Review of budget performance, and a simplified Citizens Budget. These documents should be required and defined in the regulations.
3. The regulations should clarify the structure of documents and ensure that the definition of public availability is expansive. The regulations should ensure that all documents are prepared in a user-friendly format, with clear and simple language to the extent possible. All documents containing figures should also contain narrative explanations of these figures. Moreover, the regulations should go further than the law to ensure that all documents are published online as well as being physically available in government offices. It should be mandatory for budget documents to be available at the lowest level of government office (county, ward, etc.) to ensure that they are easy to obtain.
It is to be hoped that this Brief can be modified as more information becomes available about the final law and the process of drafting the regulations. The next section of the Brief provides an overview of the new budget process as laid out in the law. Readers may wish to skim this section and then refer back to it as they consider the recommendations presented in the remaining sections.

Social Audit by Bridged Faida
What is Social Auditing?
 Is the process of tracking the usage of money for the social projects
 Citizens can both monitor projects as well as stop projects
Social Auditing
 Social Audit is the process through which all details of a public project / Initiative are scrutinized at a public meeting. Social Audit examines all aspects of a public project ( is any project that utilizes public funds), including the management of finances, officers responsibilities, record-keeping, access of information, accountability, level of public involvement and so forth. A social audit seeks to evaluate how well public resources are being used and how to improve performance. It also aims to ensure maximum community participation.
 This is because every Kenyan contributes towards taxes (Government revenue) and it is, therefore, the responsibility of every Kenyan to make sure this monies are well spent.

Areas where public funds are used
 Health
 Roads
 Education
 Water and Sanitation
 Environment
 Security
Social auditor
 Social audit is conducted by a social auditor. The social auditor is best drawn from the community, and should be a community member committed to uplifting its welfare. For practical purposes, social audits are best carried out by groups, community volunteers (social audit teams) as the work involved is quite demanding.
Why social audit?
The social audit aims at:
 Ensuring that implementation of the project is transparent and known to everybody
 Increasing public participation at all stages of the project
 Increasing accountability
 Ensuring projects are not left incomplete
 Identifying, controlling and reporting irregularities
 Preventing abuse of funds and corruption
 Measuring the impact the projects
 Enabling people to exercise their rights.
Social Audit Process at a glance
 Organize groups/communities
 Generate and share information on public funds and projects that exist to trigger public demand for action
 Facilitate the setting up of inclusive civic action group
 Support your team to generate appropriate customized action research tool
 Let the team develop their own terms of reference and indicators for project assessment
 Don’t forget to register the group/team
 Visit project site for assessment of the progress
 Support joint reflections at project site
 Coordinate feedback sessions between social audit team and project committee or ward administrator/public fund managers
 Where answer does not satisfy expectations of social audit team let them share information with state accountability watchdogs for further investigations and action
 Facilitate adoption of social contract between the team and the project/fund managers if the team agrees that the issue identified, it can be corrected at that level
 Coordinate the process of negotiating for change, follow up reviewing commitment made.
Institutions of redress
 Procurement appeals
 Complaint and Revenue Board
 The Kenya Anti –Corruption Commission
 Criminal Investigation Department of the police

This is in considering to the fact that the state monies are finally being devolved to the local level, there is need to allow people at grassroots to decide their development priorities

Empower women to make demands on the politicians on how they want their public funds used on them and ensuring that the projects are implemented and run in an open and non –corrupt manner. More so satisfactory to all beneficiaries

More information can be found in: County Government Act 2012 and Research on GRB Government structure and role of leaders.

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Gender Responsive Budgeting as Fiscal Innovation that is needed in Kenya

Speech by Dr. Richard Muko Ochanda, Consolation East Africa.

We at Consolation East Africa see Gender responsive budgeting (GRB) is a fiscal innovation. We consider it a “Problem solution concept” that has been transformed into tangible processes, resources and institutional mechanisms to assist providing the benefits of inclusion to marginalized populations. For this purpose we have taken it as an important agenda and promoted it in all the sub-counties of Nairobi. We have also documented the feedback from all the areas we have visited in our blog. The manual developed by NGEC, experiences from TISA and support from International Republican Institute have been quite helpful.

GRB applies “gender lens” to institutional mechanisms, propelling them to bring about desirable impacts and benefits through its processes. It is a socio-economic tool for transparency and accountability that analyzes budgetary policies, identifying their effects on gender development.

It has two inevitable dimensions: equity and efficiency. Efficiency is about optimal allocation. For example, if we were about 2000 people in this meeting, a bigger hall would have been sought. Allocating our meeting of 200 people to a bigger hall that is supposed to handle 2000 people and allocating those people to this hall meant for 200 people is considered an inefficient allocation. Some people would be having more space than they would need while others would be suffocating or have no space at all. Equity on the other hand, refers to making specific allocations for the weak in our midst. The weak include the aged, disabled and people not able to compete for opportunities equally with others. These people have to be enabled to get those opportunities and hence require special allocation.

The position of women in Kenya has always been very weak both historical, social, political and economic. Recognizing this anomaly, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, sought to create a platform for equality between women and men. Various provisions focused on affirmative action, for instance, Article 27 (8) obliged the state to take legislative and other measures to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies are of the same gender. Additionally, Article 81 applied the same rule in elective Public bodies. The constitution affirmed that everybody is equal before the law through the provision, ‘every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.’ It further stresses that, ‘women and men have the right to equal treatment including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.”

The foregoing provisions in the 2010 Constitution impose various obligations that the state has to comply with. Some of these obligations include;
a) Enabling women and other marginalized groups to freely participate in mainstream society including leadership in politics.

  1. b) Reservation of certain positions for women and other marginalized groups by the government to prevent them from unequal political competition.
  2. c) Budgeting and budget implementation to cater for the needs of both women inter alia other marginalized groups and men fairly
  3. d) The concerns of men and women constitute an integral dimension in the design of policies and laws and administrative procedures

For all these to be achieved, there has to be some deliberate fiscal action in terms of equity based budgeting process. A budget that considers the unique needs of the special populations. A budget such as this, has a distributive and a redistributive dimension. It intends to pull those who are already in the “holes of despair” to the heights of dignity enjoyed by the rest of the societal members.

There has been a misnomer that GRB refers to making separate budgets for women. It is also wrongly interpreted as the earmarking of funds for gender development. On the contrary GRB helps in the analysis of the entire budget process through a gender lens to identify the gender differential impacts and to translate gender commitments into budgetary commitments. It has four specific components: 1. knowledge processes and networking, 2. Institutional mechanisms, 3. learning processes and building capacities, and 4 public accountability and benefit incidence. These four components of GRB will be analyzed in the context of Kenya.

The National Gender and Equality Commission has been the pioneer of gender budgeting in Kenya, and plays a significant role as is exemplified in its GRB guidelines of 2014. These guidelines are available on its website. The other commission that advances this is the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The presence of these commissions here, shows their commitment in advancing this agenda. The onus remains on us CSOs to continue networking and advancing this agenda far and wide.

When looking at the existing fiscal institutional mechanism, a number of considerations arise. Does investing in public infrastructure prove to have more impact on the poor – especially women – than allocations designed through specifically targeted programs? Does economic growth, per se, translate into better gender – sensitive human development? Has the contribution of women to the economy been properly analyzed and fiscal services been designed to redress the capability deprivation of women in the unpaid care economy? These challenges push us to envisage a fiscal innovation that emphasizes inclusion instead of a status quo bent on exclusivity.

Let us look at 2014/2015 Nairobi county budget done by The Institute of Social Accountability (TISA). The recurrent expenditure was Kshs 18.7 billion, development expenditure was Kshs 9.03 billion, and emergency fund of Kshs 24 million. In doing a GRB analysis, we would use a likert scale to analyse it in a gendered continuum so as to derive the inter-gender weighted benefits in development, recurrent and emergency expenditures relative to men and women.   In analyzing deeper the recurrent expenditure 9.8% went to debt repayment, 0.1% was allocated to emergency fund. Operations and maintenance was allocated 24% while personnel emoluments was 66%. Only a good look at this data will enable us to critique objectively and enable a policy focus that will increase efficiency and equity.

At the national and county levels, various laws have been passed in the recent past promoting positive inter-gender considerations inter alia Sexual Offenses Act 2006, Children Act 2001, Gender Equality Act 2014, Anti Human Trafficking Act 2010, Marriage Act 2014, Protection Against Domestic Violence Act 2015 and County Governments Act 2014. Their proper implementation is a direct function of both efficient and equitable budgetary allocative considerations. At the national levels, the government has allocated schemes of economic empowerment, the onus remains on the counties to ensure that gender considerations are made prime.

Lastly, to end I would like to quote President Obama in his Speech to the Kenyan people. No team can succeed when it weakens half of its squad. On this therefore, all genders need to be treated equally-well so as we may realize the gains of well-balanced progress. Well distributed budgetary allocations will reinforce the gains made in bringing development, progress, unity and peace among the people. Elevation of both genders in Kenya in all spheres including on matters of budgeting is hence a needed fiscal innovation that will strengthen our leadership mandate in the region too.

The Nairobi County Symposium on Gender Based Budgetting

Held at Shalom House  Dates: 25th – 26th June 2015

Attendants at the Symposium following proceedings closely.

Attendants at the Symposium following proceedings closely.

Day One: 25th June 2015

The symposium on Gender Responsive Budgeting was brought to order at 9.30am by Consolation East Africa (CEA) Executive Officer and a word of prayer by a pallotine brother from St Vincent Catholic Church and introduction of participants. CEA Executive Officer then shared with the participants that the symposium was aimed at bringing together various stakeholders; CSOs, Politicians, and Academia to discuss on effectiveness of county budgets in addressing gender issues, sharing experiences and proposing best practices. The symposium was a wrap up of a six months training on Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) that has been run in the six sub-counties of Nairobi County (Dagoretti North, Dagoretti South, Kasarani x 2, Makadara, Kibra x 2 and Kajiado North).

Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) is to bring gender perspective into economic governance by increasing the transparency of the budget processes and strengthening existing monitoring mechanisms to hold national actors accountable for their policy commitments to women.

CEA Executive Officer also shared the historical snap shots of CEA; as to when it was started, how and why, its vision, mission, objectives and activities that have been undertaken in form of trainings, symposiums and conferences both within and outside Nairobi County and outside Kenya. Also shared was CEA’s journey in GRB and how it got into contact with International Republican Institute (IRI) as a mentor. Challenges faced during CEA’s GRB journey such as; citizens less informed, leaders not willing to attend trainings and forums and if they attend, they withhold some of the most important information from the participants, participants arriving late, some could only attend just to be paid, unexpected increase of number of participants, wrong emphasis were given to CSOs as some leaders felt that citizens were being empowered to act against them or were more enlightened than them in terms of their rights.

The results of the trainings are also as follows; Women gaining the ability to prioritize their needs due to the fact that women’s needs are unique compared to those of men e.g. Health care for women is more demanding than that of men, like maternity for women, sanitary towels for girls, whereby some girls miss going to school due to lack of sanitary towels. In the development spheres, women’s participation in decision making positions is increasing. A number of participant have placed themselves in decision making positions such as: Land Rates Committee in Waithaka and National Aids Control Council, Gender Based Violence (GBV) Committee and Ward Development Fund (WDF) in Kitusuri, and District Advisory Committee in Dagoretti, Church Committee for the needy persons in Saika Church, Community Health Work (CHW) Commitee in Dagoretti, Youth Pioneer Committee in Kabiro, Ward Finance Committee in Ng’ando, Administration Police Officer strengthening relationship between the police and citizens and a representation in the Children’s’ Office and council of Kawangware. Most people now understand about the budget process and budget cycle, Government officials giving information on the available government services e.g.   some youths had no idea on the benefits allocated for them, such like further information on how to acquire youth funds and uwezo funds, also had no Idea on the ongoing youth empowerment program, the training helped Government officials on their performance contract when being appraised.

Women were also enlightened on the funds available for their projects. Effective issues for budgeting advocacy identified in Dagoretti, Kibra, Kasarani x 2 and Kajiado North (Ngong’) were as follows; Women need to be trained on business, construction of a gender response centre and hall, rescue centre, safe houses and homes for girls and boys among others issues of dire need to women, The ineffective implementation of affirmative action was also realized due to lack of a woman governor, senator and very few MCA’s and women representatives in both political and leadership positions, People have been able to relate with their public servants at a personal level, Ward Administrators shared the services that were on going and those in plan. Networking with the Ministry of Interior, Department of Children, Njiru Ward, Nairobi Women County Assembly Caucus, Feed the Children, Diakonia Institute, Caffaso House-Kamiti Prisons, Children of God Relief Institute-Nyumbani, Marengoni VCCT, Raha Kids and education centre, Maji Mazuri Children Centre, Koinonia Community, Bungoma County Assembly, Vihiga County Assembly, Marist International University College, Child I Foundation- Uganda, Kenya Society of Care leavers, Makerere University-Uganda, Friends of Children AIBI, International-Uganda

History of Gender Responsive Budgeting also shared gender implications not only as a concern of individual countries but also the world as a whole, the role played by Commonwealth Secretariat’s in encouraging member countries to mainstream gender concerns into macroeconomic policy as dating back to 1989. And that in 1995, realization of considerable differences in women and men’s access to opportunities to exert power over economic structures, governments worldwide made a commitment to promote women’s economic rights including access to employment and control of economic resources (Oyugi 2002). The 1995 Commonwealth Plan of Action on Gender and Development and the 2000-2005 update—Advancing the Commonwealth Agenda into the New Millennium—for instance calls for monitoring and analysis of the impacts of macroeconomic and economic reform policies on women and men, and the development of strategies, mechanisms and corrective measures to address gender imbalances in key areas.

Kenya is a signatory to various gender conventions and declarations, including the 1979 Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, the 1980 Copenhagen World Conference that stressed the need for women to participate in the development process as both experts and beneficiaries, and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action where affirmative action was identified as an indispensable strategy for gender Mainstreaming. So far, there is hardly any assessment that has been done on the implications of gender dimensions and how these relate to the overall objective of development and poverty alleviation in the Kenyan Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).

According to the results of the 1999 population census, women in Kenya constitute a slightly higher proportion of the total population (50.1%) in comparison to men (49.9%). This trend is similar across the country except in Nairobi, Coast and Northern Eastern provinces probably due to more male urbanization compared to females.

Despite numerous policies since independence, poverty still remains widespread in Kenya, afflicting proportionately more women than men (Kimalu et al., 2002). The national poverty rate estimated at 52.3% in 1997 had increased to 56.8% by 2000 with wide regional disparities (Mwabu et al., 2002). The most affected provinces are Nyanza and North Eastern while the least affected province is Central . According to the 1997 Welfare Monitoring Survey, female heads constitute a higher proportion of the poor both in the rural (54.1% vis-à-vis 52.5% for male heads) and urban areas (63.0% vis-à-vis 45.9%). In general, the prevalence of poverty among female-headed households is relatively higher than male-headed, being slightly more severe for female-headed households.

Introduction to the Symposium

The main purpose of this symposium was to understand the gender responsive budgeting concept within Kenya, get to know whether gender mainstreaming capacity building impact gender responsiveness in organizations/institutions, analyze current gender policies with special respect to GRB, analyze the public budgeting processes with respect to gender, analyze the public and CSOs contribution to the budgeting processes with respect to gender, understand how the public finance works, get to know how social accountability tools are used to promote transparency and accountability, share experiences from counties, get to understand how the government is working to ensure gender responsive budgeting and formulate agenda for networking among GRB actors.

Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) looked at the fact that the Government needs to think about both gender and sex when making policies and allocating budgets to implement the policies. In respect of sex, government needs to ensure that policies and programmes are available and adequately financed to address the different biological needs of women and men, including childbearing for women. In respect of gender, government needs to have a vision of the type of roles, responsibilities, and relationships that it wants to see in the country for women and men, girls and boys, and design, fund and implement policies and programmes to move towards this goal.

It was also found that gender responsive budgeting is the most important policy instrument of government because no other policy can work without money. As such, the government budget can be a powerful tool in transforming our country and that achievement of human development is heavily dependent on the development and empowerment

Discrimination faced by girls and women through the life cycle at conception, infant, child, adolescent, adult woman (worker, wife and an old woman) compared the their male counterparts, purpose of GRB was also looked at and importance of GRB and why GRB focuses on women as follows; Nearly two thirds of the illiterate people in the world are women; In developing countries, maternal mortality continues to be a leading cause of death for women of reproductive age; Women are under-represented in decision-making in both government and business sectors, especially at senior levels, Women’s ‘economic’ work continues to be very different in nature from men’s as they are engaged in less formal, lower status types of work and continue to receive less pay than men for the same work, and women also continue to do most of the unpaid work of bearing, rearing and caring for children and other citizens.

During this discussion, the case of Kenya Peace Network (KPN) on Gender mainstreaming was shared of which a number of staffs, beneficiaries and other stakeholders benefited so much. The push for this training also emanated from the fact that women were underrepresented in the political leadership positions. A live example was the absence of a woman governor and senator in the whole of Kenya, while in Nairobi County there were only four (4) elected women MCAs that could not bring any change when it comes to issues of decision or influencing policies. Obstacles against gender mainstreaming were also identified as misconstruction/misapplication as well as ways to address the same and what an efficient gender mainstreaming involves.

Reactions

Dr. Francis Kuria (Director) of the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) said a research was conducted by IRCK, findings were that there were schools where all teachers were women, suggesting that when discussing about gender we should be very observant. He also said that men are at a difficult position to discuss about issues of dowry with their wives and that the fact that dowry is paid, puts the woman in a lesser position. He also said that change could only be through the society structures where they developed i.e. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Circumcision which has taken long with lots of challenges to be stopped.

Dr. Kuria said that there has been a tendancy in the Kenyan Government putting everything that happens in the curriculum, such like post election violence, HIV among others, thus overloading the students with lots of Books and overstuffing their brains, the case has led IRCK into doing a study on the same. Another example was the male circumcision in Nyanza which was adopted once the community saw an opinion leader accept it. The participants said that the only way was endorsement of gender roles, and that issues affecting communities can never be solved through the curriculum example, gender mainstreaming and comprehensive sex education.

Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis session was facilitated by Mr. Pius Muriithi who introduced the participants to the analysis of the current gender policies with special respect to GRB. Introducing the topic he defined the word policy analysis, elements needed to form a network, responsibility of the CSOs in championing GRB to be actualized at the grassroots level. He also urged the participants that there is need to know the constitution, because it defines who we are, and that it is also a promise to us. Through a diagram, he explained the policy formulation process, which constituted of agenda settings where citizen are allowed/ has a chance to contribute their views to the Committee of the parliament, then to the entire parliament and finally back to the ministry. Citing a chapter from the constitution, he talked on the rights of the child.

About agenda setting, he mentioned that it is too expensive to carry out a research on the process. He further touched on the policy issues, which are not up to date, and are a harzard to the environment, thus the construction policies are not in order. He also talked about policy options, asking the participants whether policy making is the function of the government, or is it best when left to individuals. Giving a number of tips for making the policy option realistic, he narrated the Nyumba kumi initiative.

Pius also asked the participants what advocacy is. Defining advocacy, he talked on how one can develop a strong successful advocacy activity; and thus one has to understand it fully, clarity of issues, information dissemination, advocacy networks and that successful advocacy needs. He also mentioned the elements needed to maintain a network. This session brought out some issues of advocacy such as; incinerators to destroy the used sanitary towels by the girls in school to reduce toilet digging all the time, where to report gaps realized in budgets or cases where public views are not reflected in the budgets, need to be in contact with appropriations bill, petitioning of the government and the needs, need of publication of citizen budget participation and issue of mobilization by chiefs and MCAs as a challenge.

Answering some of the participants questions on the policy making process, where a citizen can only participate in the grassroots level, but when it comes to the parliament level one cannot be able to participate. This elicited another debate that in some areas, MCAs do not want the citizen to participate because they will know more than them. Another challenge is incentives to participants, No public Participation Act, however there is a draft bill that has been shared with county government for further discussion, Right to access information is still a problem. The only Counties that has enacted citizen participation act is Makueni, Mombasa, Nyeri and Busia that has a bill to help establish villages. Nairobi County has the bill, however, it is not in the public and that the public should demand for its enactment.

Analysis of the public budgeting processes and budgets with respect to gender and Analysis of the public and CSOs contribution to the budgeting processes with respect to gender session was facilitated by Joyce Wangari from the International Republican Institute (IRI). This was started by a brief introduction of IRI as an NGO with its headquarters based in Washington DC, and that they are the representatives in Africa based in Kenya where it offices were opened in 1992. After the outcomes of the post election violence they had an intervention targeting women and children, of which they saw a need to empower women. IRI also does civic education by training CSOs and MCAs. GRB being the biggest campaign targeting women at the grassroots, suggesting involvement of men too and engaging the county government.

She shared that there is already formed CSOs Caucuses that play a major role on gender policy formulation as per the constitution and legal provision on GRB, states that all have the right to equal treatment. Public Finance Management Act has a special provision that supports GRB which is reflected in section 128 (3).

She asked the participants whether there is anyone who has ever participated in the budget making process, suggesting that it is important for any citizen, to know when , where and how and looking before analyzing the budget.

It also came out clearly from this session that citizens want the government to be near them, need for citizens to know the role of the county government and citizen participation in budget making process. Giving an example of Busia County which is one of the successful counties to implement citizen participation. There is also the need to conduct a local referendum on the GRB initiatives and achievements.

IRI’s Journey in GRB

IRI has been able to reach various counties through trainings to women, of who have been able to take step further and train other women. Such forums also looked at issues which affect women at the County level. And through this, they have been able to meet their leaders too and get help. Also through the same forums, the women have been able to see other end of life and needs which must be fulfilled, for example the Bungoma County women CSOs caucus for this matter decided to save their lunch money, thus stay without taking lunch, just to fulfill their developmental issues. In Baringo the women started the Shillingi Mashinani, which they used to lobby for ambulances, rin Isiolo the women asked for funds and ended up being much stronger.

Reactions from participant

Considering the culture and issues of gender equality the question that emanated was whether the boy child has been considered in the analysis of the budgets.

IRI presenter further shared with the participants the best practices and lessons learnt and that GRB has proved to be more successful in most of the counties. IRI has also successfully conducted Training of Trainers (TOT) sessions, held public forums to enhance the impact of GRB in counties. The presenter further urged both stakeholders to take ownership, always review budgeting dates, evaluate and record dates to know when the budget cycle starts. The session was opened for a discussion and some of the participants asked about the sanitary towels which are on demand but their disposal remains a question due to frequency of latrines being full in schools, there should be a way to dispose them, instead of using latrines and thus need for solutions for the consequences that come with the policies.

Government’s (national and counties) role in ensuring gender responsive budgeting and in particular the effort by CORD Coalition as a political party in reducing gender inequalities and enhancing women rights was presented by Dr. Noah Akala the secretary for science technology and also a personal assistant to Hon.Raila Odinga who focused on the issues of GRB. The Dr. shared that CORD has made effort in involving majority of women in developmental and agricultural sector while partnering with their male counterparts in economic benefits on agriculture, citing some of wise expressions, saying that unless you have a seat on the table you won’t be able to eat and that unless you are there you will not be able to know what is there. He gave an example of the first Luo woman Phoebe Asiyo from Karachuonyo-Homa Bay-Nyanza who was in politics. He presented the fact that women faced a lot of challenges when competing for political posts. Therefore there is a great need to take action in achieving an affirmative action in women representation. He said that presently there are still a few women Members of parliament. However, women need to be supported so as to be able to move forward to fulfilling their dreams.

He said that in 2012 the Attorney General ruled in the court promising to meet the criteria of balancing gender in politics by 2013, as per the people suggestion after calculating as to how many women were needed in the parliament. There is a tendency that incase a woman contests in the area where it is not her origin, she will probably not win the seat or get hardship, the same happened in Kisumu that a woman contested there, and just because she does not originate from the area she ended up losing the ticket.

Dr. Akala said that we should adopt the formula of counting how many seats does the parliament contain, and that how many are occupied by women. He said that if we get enough women contesting in the county level, then in the future we will have women in the national level. CORD Coalition will be doing grassroots election from July 2015, reserve seats for the party, women chosen both at the National, County and grassroots level July 31st.

CORD Coalition has started preparing the ground for women prior to 2017 elections so as they may get right women leaders, though there will be a voting style whereby if there breaks violence or irregularities in time of election, the election will have to be repeated until the right decision is reached in a peaceful manner, this version will only be applied to women contesters.

Thank you for the report. Please make a change in the report. Knchr is not a NGO. Its a constitutional commission. Secondly, I meant that there is an assumption that human right workers know about gender or that gender is included in human rights work. However that is a wrong assumption. That is why gender mainstreaming is important. I will be able to support you in your meeting on 31st

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) presenter Madam Lucy Minayo facilitated how her office enhances Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB), acknowledging Dr. Akalla for key note speech on women‘s existence as a target on political engagement . She said that the only way to realize sustainable development is through GRB. She gave a brief description of the KNCHR as constitutional commission that was established under Article 159 of the Kenyan constitution, She mentioned parts in the Country where KNCHR is working and that they have realized the reality of needs between both women and men in different counties, in this case they have so far trained women in most parts of the country on Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) as per article 2 (3) on the Government’s commitment to achieving gender equality. She added that her organization thought that in case they include the rights based approach in budgeting then their target will be reached.

KNCHR has a program dedicated to economic, social and cultural rights, where most people are vulnerable, to ensure that the state hasn’t displaced other groups in achieving their rights. Focusing on Dr. Akalla’s 2/3 gender rule, she supported the idea of the counting of the parliament seats formula so as to know how many seats have been occupied by women and how many by men. She also shared that there has been an assumption that human right workers know about gender or that gender is included in human rights work. However, that is a wrong assumption and that is why gender mainstreaming is important. She also shared that KNCHR has a desk at Huduma Centre and they plan to have the same in all other major cities.

Madam Lucy Minayo of the KNCHR congratulated the symposium as a family target, and that it has been five years since the implementation of the new constitution.

Tebby Otieno from Mtaani Radio 99.9 FM presented on the role of media in promoting dialogues on gender responsive budgeting and women rights. She shared on the programmes she handles on women. Giving an example of a lady she had hosted in her programs who had talked about her life story. And that she always focuses on the way of life that can help each other in the community, she requested that incase one brings an issue; the other has the solution they bring up to the problem and come to a conclusion together.

Talking about promoting women rights and use of media to further the Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) agenda, women rights and Gender Based Violence (GBV). Interviews have been conducted with women such as Millicent of Consolation East Africa talking on GBV, Mary Ndung’u of issues affecting street children, Lilian Achieng talking of Child Education and rights among many others. Mtaani Radio discusses on problems to get solutions as well as getting information from GRB forums and disseminating the same to the public

DAY 2

Day two of the symposium was started with a recap from the previous day’s sessions which was led by Millicent. This explored on issues of gender and sex, need for couples to share their property details with spouses, gender mainstreaming, the involvement of women in policy making level, encouraging women to raise issues concerning gender, roles of county government and creating working group are some of the issues that emerged, men are becoming endangered species in central Kenya and need to harmonize culture and the constitution..

Public Finance was facilitated by Stephen Kaka from Consolation East Africa (CEA). He involved the participants by asking what Public Finance is. Where the government gets its money? From the different responses he got answers such as the management of money among others. Reflecting on IRI talk on public finance management issues, he said, that money is a resource – and that it is a natural and a just resource. He talked about physical infrastructure, whereby one has to understand the project on their area and the national budget making process, also have at hand the guide of the budget making process, and know at what point a citizen can be able to come.

Kaka also talked on borrowing, grants, Aids and Taxes. Asking whether Kenyans tax is ploughed back to the community and whether people benefits from it? Citing an example, he used Muthaiga and Dandora, or rather Kibra to find out who enjoyed/benefited from their taxes. Giving an example of china’s business interest to Kenya, he concluded that there exists no friendship between Nations, but interests.

He also talked on Fee and Levies, saying that Taxes in Kenya are allocated by KRA. Which collects main taxes, customs and exercise, income tax, Value added tax (VAT), and motor vehicle road licenses and driving licenses, it may also collect any other taxes assigned to it by the government. And that in 1995 KRA was formed by the Act of parliament under cap 469 of the law of Kenya. The authority has the responsibility of assessing, collecting and accounting for the taxes it collects. However, the area that remained unclearly answered was who audited KRA as an institution and Itax registration still remained a nightmare for a number of people.

Josephat commented on the issue that KARDS in collaboration with CEA should make an effort and help the community to know about the ITax. Advising participants that it was of much importance to know more about Itax, because currently, one has to get a tax compliance certificate so as to be able to secure a job in Kenya.

Mr. Pius Mriithi from Koinonia Advisory Research and Development Service (KARDS) facilitated on Social accountability tools to promote Transparency and accountability. He started with the recap from the previous day’s topic on ‘policy analysis’ He later introduced Governance, by giving the objectives of the topic where he defined good governance , discussion on the fundamental principles, indicators and characteristics, Identify the key agents and their roles in good governance, Explained the link between good governance and social accountability and introduced key social accountability tools.

A discussion heated on the issue of the way today mwananchi is living and getting their services, suggesting that it is not as before , that there are those with powers and able to change and raise prices of food stuffs and products as they wish. This called on the civil society to help make sure the government is providing the rights for the citizens. By use of a diagram Pius explained the societal structure as un ending relation between the State, the Civil Society, and the Market, and that good governance is when this relationship is balanced.

He also focused on the Role of Government in social Accountability and that this is a joint effort of the government, civil society and the citizens.

 

 

 

 

Way Forward

The participants identified areas of focus as;

  • Networking (forming working groups) i.e. on whats-app, facebook, twitter and so on
  • Identify key stakeholders on GRB (MCAs, Executives, Gender Commissions, KNCHR, political parties)
  • Define clearly what participation is and push for public participation in Nairobi County
  • Making a level playground for female political aspirants
  • Capacity building on Social accountability
  • Capacity building for women aspirants (Policy Analysis, Lobby and Advocacy, Gender Analysis and Mainstreaming and Public Finance)
  • A deeper understanding of gender guidelines by NGEC
  • Sensitization of communities on GRB guidelines
  • Follow up on funds for women representatives to promote gender issues

The Human Rights Based Approach in Kibra

Facilitator Daniel Orogo educating the Kibra Community on Human Rights Based Approach

Facilitator Daniel Orogo educating the Kibra Community on Human Rights Based Approach

Human Rights Based Approach is aimed at strengthening Governance and CSOs, empowering people to know and claim their rights and increasing the ability and accountability of individuals and institutions that are responsible for respecting, protecting and fulfilling rights.

The training began with a Praise song led by Millicent, and a word of prayer from a participant.

Daniel introduced the training, by giving participants a chance to introduce themselves, Daniel           further led the introduction of the training, by letting participants mention their expectations of which were;

  • To know about their rights as Kenyans
  • Importance of human rights.
  • What to do when your rights are violated,
  • Characteristics of human rights,
  • History of human rights
  • Rights for men
  • Governance

The participants were also given the chance to contribute to the norms and guidelines of the training;

  • Avoid unnecessary movements
  • Phones on silent/vibration mode
  • Respect each other’s opinion
  • Do not talk when another person is talking/raise hands

Millicent took the chance to introduce the organization, she further shared with the participants the work of Consolation East Africa, how and why the organization was formed, and the reason as to why CEA is training the community.

She also introduced Koinonia Advisory Research and Development Service (KARDS) as the mother of CEA. She mentioned that KARDS conducts Trainings Research and Consultancy which are income generating activities and more of business oriented for the sustenance of the organization. KARDS and CEA staffs were also given a chance to introduce themselves.

Introduction of the Training and Welcoming Remarks

Mr. Daniel Orogo of Lang’ata Youth Network who was also the host, led participants on the first session which was an introduction of the training. Asking the participants to name some of the rights they know, participants mentioned some, which were right to; Security, Affordable /available health care, Education and the availability of enough public schools.

By helping the participants to see the reality as true or not that their rights and those of the citizens in Kibra are being considered and looked at, asking the participants as to how many public schools are there in Kibra, participants mentioned some of them, whereby they all came to a conclusion that there exists no more free education nowadays in public schools. Schools in Kibra were identified as follows;

Woodley Ward – 3 schools

Makina Ward – 3 schools

Sarang’ombe Ward – 2 schools (host)

Lindi Ward – No school

Laini Saba Ward – No school

The participants said that quality and affordable education is still not in Kibra. Daniel asked the participants as whether they know about or have ever read the “2010 constitution”, where most had a negative answer that none had ever read the new Constitution, with a reason that the Constitution book is so big for them and this makes a housewife not able to read due to family burden, and that they would prefer a summarized Constitution booklet.

The participants also posed a question in respect to their Right to life as stated; they use to be given food through the chiefs office which they do not really know what happened and needed an answer from their leaders. Another issue was proper housing and shelter. The participants showed concern on houses that do not have toilets, water and electricity. This session was closed by the participants being informed that they can write petitions and demand for transfers of non-performing leaders. This session also ignited the participant’s urge of meeting the Kilimani Officer in Charge of Station (OCS) in successive meetings.

Another area of concern was youth unemployment for both informal and formal youths, need for vocational computer and community hall using the CDF and Ward Development Fund. Youths and women do not participate in the meetings and lack of information.

Awareness on available Government Services and Government- Public conversational Forum

Government Leaders’/Representatives’ Speech and Participants’ Views

The Ward Administrator from Makina Ward (Grace Kariuki) addressed the participants mostly on issues concerning good neighborhood, and that as people who want to live in peace and have development we should be ready to group up and think of development, giving example of groups in Kibra which have since been successful by starting with as little contributions as ten shillings. She further advised participants to be helping each other in security matters, it will be wise if one has an idea of who terrorizes people in the area, as hiding them because they are our sons and daughters won’t help because we will end up hiding each other and the problems will never get solved.

The District Youth Officer from Lang’ata Sub-county Madam Elector Opar enlightened the Participants on Uwezo Fund, Youth Fund, Kenya Youth Empowerment Project (KYEP) in collaboration with Kenya Private Sectors Association (KEPSA). These were some of the services that were available for the youth from the government.

The Youth Officer also asked the participants whether they understood the services of the NYS, and that Kibra people should change their attitudes, giving an example of the former president’s sister who was making kiondos to make a living out of the business which was a success, and not once did she depend on her brother who was the president then. She further quoted that “Dependence is a syndrome” saying that the Kibra people should be sensitive on each other’s life. Giving the participants a chance to say their minds. She further told the participants about the Uwezo fund and the important requirements to the services, urging the youth to involve themselves in table banking, so as to be able to pay back the borrowed funds. She further advised the youth to take a business planning course, which the Government does offer too, suggesting that it was not a good time for the youth to wait aiming to act some other time, advising them that the right time to act was now, and that they should access public funds, now that they know their rights.

Millicent asked her to also tell the youths about KYEP and KEPSA, where she said the program was coming to an end though the government is trying to push it forward, she further explained to the participants the requirements for KYEP on matters of age and education, saying that during this formation and attachment in KYEP there are some stipend one gets while applying the skills they have learned, although in the beginning of the training on is offered transport, and that the program has been running in Kisumu, Nairobi and at the Coast. She also informed the youths that the problem cannot absorb all the youths. The Identification Registration Officer Mr. Kennedy Ong’ola also told the participant’s about the National Registration Bureau and the important requirements that could enable the youths get the National Identity Card, saying that a visitor gets only a permit, which can be after sometimes be converted to the National ID, but after a long and a careful investigation on the visitor’s conduct, so as to avoid registering wrong people as citizens. Participants were also enlightened on the importance of ID as follows;

  • Security
  • Businesses
  • Expression of rights

He further alerted the participants that the government changed the look of the ID, because in River Road there are those who do forge the older version of the ID easily making it for Aliens, and that the new is loaded with invisible chips inside.

He also further explained as to why the Nubians have a different way of acquiring an ID, where the community have to give a proof on whose child it is in writting.

The Ward Administrator of Sarang’ombe Mr. Daniel Asiko addressed the participants on issues of street children, Bombolulu Road, ECD facility and women groups linked to families. He also enlightened the participants of the Ward Administrators as coordinating projects. The Ward Administrator also posed a concern that there was public budgeting meeting but public representation lacked. He also told the public that county activities were not moving on well due to lack of enough funds and workers inherited from the former city council. He also said that the formed groups need to be registered under county at 1,000/= The participants asked the ward administrator Sarang’ombe how they will be able to get bursaries, he advised them on which places they can easily access the service. However, he also told the participants that it was unfortunate that the bursaries are being used as a political tool (being a privilege)

He talked much on development, talking about the road project that has been going on for some time. He sensitized youths on those who use the corrupt means to register youth for NYS.

The Chief Sarang’ombe Mr. Danvas Mogire took the floor to address the participants, he talked on the topic of Human Rights that CEA was presenting that it would be better when Organizations are presenting such topics, the (chiefs and police) should also be present so as they too may know what is being taught, and that not to be surprised by citizens in their offices demanding their rights which they may not understand, also to avoid the conflict between citizens and leaders.

The chief advised the participants to report any cases of insecurity to his office, and those interested to be elders or help in case of anything can also show their interest in his office for vetting. He added that people should know who their neighbors are.

Millicent raised the issue of neighborhood which is becoming hard such that other neighbors are so much on their own and so much mysterious, and not ready to cooperate with others.

Participants also complained of those people who have surrounded the chief’s compound claiming to be chief’s right hand men, making citizens afraid of approaching chief’s office.

The chief answered the participants, saying those people have no business with the chief’s office, and that they are just doing their business of selling sodas. He also added that they have been able to train 3 people (2 boys and 1 girl) have undergone nyumba kumi training who will be training the community on the same issues and that the community is already divided into zones (clusters). Lastly, he thanked CEA for empowering the people of Sarangombe. On issues of security, the chief told the participants that this was not yet devolved and is still at National government. He also talked of the two approaches to Nyumba kumi which are; Residents Association which is a policy and gradual development. In respect to Nyumba Kumi, out of 148 chiefs (locations), good practice of Nyumba Kumi was from Sarang’ombe. He lastly urged those who do not pay rent to pay and not to abuse landlords.

Lilian from Sauti ya Jamii who was invited to the training by Lang’ata Youth Network leader Daniel Orogo, talked about the East African Community which is in process to be revived, that it has a strategic plan mostly for youths, Administration wise and Business wise, adding that soon Sauti ya Jamii will start sensitizing the communities about the coming East African Community, especially on education sector.

Introduction to HRBA

After lunch break, Millicent took the participants through the topic on Gender and Human Rights, although most of CEA‘s presentation time became so minimum due to the time taken for leaders to address the participants.

Talking about women’s rights, she involved the participants to say some of the rights that women in Kenya are provided for. Participants mentioned several, such as the right to own land among others. She also asked on specific rights of both men and women, answers were given such as; freedom of movement, equality and freedom from discrimination, right to family etc.

She further talked about children right, warning on those Nairobians, who are used to taking young children from upcountry turning them to house maids, saying that this is child labor at the same time human trafficking and the law was already passed and the people of the kind be ready for the consequences (I million fine or 10 years in prison)

Talking about specific gains for youths, saying youths need to be empowered, and also they need trainings, to make them ready for the future.

Independent Electoral Board Commission

The IEBC Coordinator Kibra, Madam Jane addressed the participants, reminding them on the importance of registering as a voter early. She told the youths that it is important for them to start now because it is them that are targeted as new voters.

She responded to questions from participants, on issue about electronics failure from the past 2013 elections, which she answered saying that although there was problems in most parts in the country, but IEBC, was quick to rectify and switched to the previous way of handling votes. And that nowadays, the system is more advanced such that, when a citizen votes the results are quickly shown on the wall, such that it will not take days to count votes.

Classification of human rights

Bridged was next with classification of human rights, On a quick overview she started with classification of Human rights which were in three generations that is; Civil and Political rights as the first generation, where as this group constitutes of personal rights and the right to political participation among others, Social, Economic and Cultural rights that is the second generation rights, this constitutes right to family life, freedom to form association, freedom of press among others and the collective or group rights as the third generation, which constitutes the rights of minorities right to development, rights that caters towards organizational persons, trade association, political parties among other rights.

She also focused on International human rights instruments saying that the constitution provides that any treaty that is lawful agreed by Kenya shall form part of the Kenyan law (Article 2 (6)) which is significant to development and implementation of the human rights regime in Kenya. Lastly she taught the participants on African regional human rights instruments which is recognized of its collective rights, laying special emphasis on the rights and duties of children and the family, the community, the society and the nation, mentioning on areas which The African Regional Human Rights recognizes such like the third generation rights, mainly the right to peace, solidarity, a healthy environment and development.

On the topic of bills of rights the participants requested on doing self research , due to time management.

Human right commission

Kaka was next with the topic on ‘the role of Human right commission,

Mentioning some of the roles that a citizen should obey such like;

-Pay tax

-To obey laws of Kenya

-Respect and promote the dignity and rights of other persons.

-To promote the values and the principles at the constitution

-Cooperate with the state organ.

The time was so limited such that, it was agreed that each facilitator will have to brief their presentation.

 

The following Information was derived from Participants’ Registration Forms

Area of Interest

  • Classification of human rights
  • International human rights
  • Assessing the role of individual and the state
  • Safety and security in relation to human rights
  • Importance of human rights
  • Engage Government through dialogue
  • Definition of human rights
  • Historical Development of human rights
  • Bill of rights and the Kenyan Constitution

Definition of human rights, Characteristics of human rights, importance of human rights, Historical development of human rights, Classification of human rights, international human rights, Bill of rights and the Kenyan constitution, Assessing the role of individual and the state.

Expectations of participants

  • To know more about my rights
  • To acquire knowledge
  • To know about HRBA, and socialize
  • Expansion of skills, knowledge, ability and motivational Mechanisms
  • To make the society a better place for the future
  • Activity create awareness on rights

Way forward

  • All women in the forum to be aware of their rights
  • To be trained as T.O.T so that I can empower the community
  • To know the importance of human rights
  • To know more of both men and children rights
  • To know my rights as a Kenyan
  • To understand the bill of rights and to approach well human rights needs
  • I expect to be enlightened about my rights to my satisfaction
  • To know where to go when my rights are violated
  • To have full information on human rights and participate in preserving it.
  • Acquire an understanding of human rights and how to apply it in our community
  • Engaging with the target group

Gender Responsive Budgetting in Makadara Sub-County

Makadara women following the proceedings of the workshop

Makadara women following the proceedings of the workshop

Introduction

Participants were introduced to CEA and its work, mentioning also some of the counties where CEA has been able to conduct GRB trainings. Also mentioned was that, CEA will be hosting a GRB Conference on 25th – 26th June 2015 at Shalom House, Off Ngong’ Road, St. Daniel Comboni Road.

Introduction to GRB

GRB is about government planning, programming and budgeting that contributes to the advancement of gender equality and the fulfillment of women rights. The objective of this training is to;

See increased participation of women in public budgeting processes, Train both men and women on public Finance, Access and availing information on the budgeting structure and processes, Study together the actual budgets, participate in the public budgetary scrutiny meetings, push the involvement of gender responsive people in the budget committee, Motivate those formed from different counties to be able to attend the budgetary sessions in the county assembly sittings among others.

Millicent asked the participants as to why MCAs or County Administrators were nowhere to be seen at the training even though they know the existence of the training very well, as they were also invited too, the reasons being that these leaders are not ready to tell the citizens the truth.

Introducing GRB Millicent told the participants the reasons as to why there is a great need for GRB, giving examples of the different needs that women have, of which are completely different from those of men, and that women needs are mostly based on general care but that of men are general and differs completely from those of women.

She told them of their rights and that they should not go so low with their leaders, they should always be on the ready informed side as to which type of work their leaders have. And at the same time they should be able to know their rights, and have the freedom to choose which type of projects they want to develop for developmental purposes.

Asking the participants as whether any of them knows about the money that comes to the counties is theirs and that is for developmental purposes. She involved the participants by asking them to mention types of funds they know so far, some answered mentioning the types of funds such as uwezo Fund, O.V.C among others.

She went further giving the definition of GRB, and its purposes, relating the topic to women posts, she asked the participants as to whether there are enough women governors as men governors, that there seems to lack of power balancing, she argued the women that they should not always wait to be given , that they should try to elect their MCAs, not waiting for women to be just nominated.

She went further asking youths as to whether there are those who knew the existence of the youth empowerment programmes, whereby one participant responded by the show of his hand, she encouraged him to help other youths to know about the project and as to when it begins by getting more information from the youth office. Giving them an example that even those MCAs stated from somewhere, not from the house to the leadership, That they should have the tendency of closing themselves inside their houses. And if there is a way one can help the other let them do so, and not help by a show off.

Whenever one wants to engage in GRB, one should be also in social responsibility activities, thus giving back to the society.

She taught the participants on the approaches to GRB, such like they should be able to identify communal problems, among others.

Millicent advised the participants on making use of their resources, and also to learn on works like recycling of waste, to be able to start profitable projects.

She also talked on the issue of health and dieting. That they should increase understanding among themselves, forming working groups, attending ward meetings and chief barazas. That they should know how to compare the benefits they get between being taught & being   given. She informed them on the importance of attending meetings that are summoned by the leaders.

That they should be motivating each other, they should be able to do follow ups on projects implemented. Millicent told the participants that those who will attend this training and other coming trainings will be adjoined with their leaders so as they can get the chance to work together and have forums.

Fiona facilitated on the discussion topic; ‘As to why women do not participate in political leadership’, where most participants gave their opinions such as;

Women do not love each other, jealousy among women

Women are being pinned down by husbands and society, being taken as just house wife material, being dominated by culture.

Women have all the priority to be leaders, but they fail to come out in the public to be heard.

Giving an example of herself Fiona said that she is not ready to be pinned down, whenever she is chasing after her rights and those of her people, and that there is a time she had posted a suggestion on the face book to the county administrator, that she would wants to start and a social audit team for their ward, but immediately the suggestion was erased, but she did not give up, advising women not to be afraid of the obstacles that are standing their way.

A participant also contributed, saying that as citizens we should not rely on money, because use of money in politics does not help one to know whether a leader is capable of making projects grow/successful, that is why when we choose a leader because of his/her pockets and at the end of the day projects remain stagnant.

Fiona advised participants on forming groups, giving an example of herself, that she is enrolled in different groups, and that she participates fully in those groups, and now she is forming a social auditing group for the youth of Mbotela, which will be involved in doing social auditing.

Also she touched on the issue of bursary, and that there are those who are given the responsibility to make sure the poor families get the bursary funds for their children, but instead they end up selling those forms to the rich, saying that those who also do buy the bursary and the sellers are all corrupt.

Some of participants said their complains on the issue of election, that in Makadara there are those people who monitors others lives, for example if one has been registered as a voter out of the county they already know and that after elections those who voted out of the county are being discriminated and that not given priority in developmental functions of the county, the same applies to those who supported a different contestant other than the winner.

The Chief of Mbotela was next, he commended on those who participated in the community forum, also talking about the bursary issue, advising the participants that it is not good for those who engage in such trade. At the same time a participant commented on Chief’s former work of distributing bursaries, and that those times they never experienced corruption, bursaries were distributed without favor.

The chief also commended on the rising cases between couples, which he receives in his office almost daily, asking the participants that they should try to be true to their marriages, and that youths should respect their parents.

Kaka facilitated on the budget cycles, asking the participants on the examples of budgets that they make in their homes, most participants mentioning on the necessary things that they include in their monthly budgets at their homes.

Introducing the national budget cycle telling the participants that it is   their right to participate in the budget making process, and that the money used is the citizens’ own tax that is derived in different ways.

Kaka informed the participants on the important dates as to when the county budget making process starts, and when is the right time when they are supposed to engage into.

A participant contributed on the ignorance of the government, that whenever there is a call for a proposal, a citizen uses his own money, and in the end when the proposal goes through, the names of the developer are changed, putting someone else to be the developer of the same proposal, thus directing the benefits to someone else.

Another participant said that they are lacking funds which they need to help them participate in the budget making process.

Kaka talked further on the dates of the budget making process, and that 1st September Counties prepares and table county development plan, by then views of the public must be included in the budget.

By January the County Revenue Authority must submit the plans and views, by 15th February cabinet seat for a final submission of the budget statement to the parliament. By 1st march budget policy statement to be availed to the public.

Bridget facilitated on the social audit, telling the participants the meaning of social audit, and the purpose as to why the citizens need to social audit, she involved the participants by asking them as to how the public funds is derived, they responded to the questions, by saying that it is derived from tax payers’ money, which is paid in different ways such as PAYE, Licenses among others. With the help of an example of a cooking pot containing the tax payers’ money and that they should imagine all the taxes that are being paid by the citizens through tax enters into that pot , making the participants understand clearly as to why the public funds belongs to them.

She also told the participants that they have every right to participate in social auditing, but only that one has to be present at the budget making process, they should also form groups, because voices of many can be easily heard than that of an individual.

Informing them that they also have the right to report seeking for justice whenever projects are incomplete or well done   as planed when social auditing. For example by taking the matter to Anti –Corruption Unit.

Millicent led the participants to the way forward; And each participant said their intent after the training, such like:

Attend Barazas

Always to be alert to public information

To train Community on what learned from the training

Giving awareness to the community

To follow up on projects

To participate on governmental conversational forums

Help women to accept themselves

Encourage women to support each other

To put what is learned to practice

To socialize in the community development practices

To bring communities together

To speak in one voice as a community.

To know GRB in fully

Millicent informed the participants on the HRBA, and that we can bring them the training in case they are ready to. At the closing session two participants were given a chance to address the others and to give a closing remark for the training. The training ended successful with a word of prayer from a participant.

Children Rights and the Kenyan Constitution

This is the text of the speech delivered by Prof. Yash Pal Gai on the day of Street Children Celebrations 12th April 2015

Prof. Yash Pal Gai at the Street Children Day Celebrations where he delivered this speech.

Prof. Yash Pal Gai at the Street Children Day Celebrations where he delivered this speech.

The longest chapter of our constitution is about people’s rights. And children have rights too. Infact the constitution says that no one is to be discriminated because of age. This means that no one can say “because you are a child, you have no rights.”

So if you read what the rights are you will find that as a child you are supposed to enjoy most of the same rights as adults. There are just two rights that are clearly not applicable to a child: a child does not have the right to vote and the right to marry. The first one is intended to ensure that before you vote you have some understanding of what politics, elections and decision making are all about. The second one protects children against forced into marriage when they are to young and when they should be in school.

So children have the right to express their opinions, to practice their religion, to health, housing, food and water. They also have a right to privacy and have their dignity respected. But of course, how much rights they have in exercising their rights depends on how old they are. A child of five years will have much less rights in choosing where to go and what to say than a child who is nearly an adult. Children need guidance from parents, teachers and others in society. The purpose of this guidance is to ensure that the child is not harmed because of lack of knowledge or experience and when a child grows up, he or she is prepared to act as a responsible adult because of the wise guidance he or she received when younger. As the child grows and learns the guidance will become less firm, leaving the child to learn, including sometimes through their own mistakes.

The constitution also has a special article on children. It makes some important statements emphasizing that children have rights. One important point is that children have the right to education that is free and compulsory. This is not to punish children but to prevent their parents or others from keeping them out of school. And it also speaks about children who get in the wrong side of the law – saying that they should be detained for as short time as possible, and should not be detained along with adults. This is to protect them from harm and from being educated into crime.

This article ends by saying that the interest of the child are of paramount importance. This means that they are most important. It however does not mean that whatever the child wants must always be done. Other people have rights too including parents and teachers and these cannot be ignored. But what is best for the child must always be in the front of the mind of the officials, the courts, the teachers etc.  especially on occasions when they have to decide something that affects the child.

Our country Kenya has also accepted an international agreement known as the Convention of the Rights of the Child and this is part of the Kenyan Law too. It adds that children have the right to play, to rest and be creative. Children need to understand and adults need to understand as well about two important things about rights. The first is that our rights can be limited. On this I have explained how some of a child’s rights will be limited when they are too young to be able to make their own decisions. Adults too must recognize that their rights too may be limited, sometimes in their own interest and sometimes in the general interest of other people.

You as a child therefore has rights, but equally everyone else has rights too. It makes no sense to insist on your rights if you are not prepared to respect and if necessary to protect the rights of others; adults as well as children.

Having spoken, about the rights of children, I also recognize that not all children are able to enjoy their rights in the same way. Many children in the informal settlements of Nairobi inter alia Mathare, Kibera and Kawangware do not at all enjoy most of their rights. There is a great deal of difference from these children and those living in better off conditions. While others may access better educational facilities, are driven with family cars, have a servant, eat three meals and additional snacks a day, have expensive and unimaginable toys, and probably have a bicycle, a room to themselves where they sleep in comfortable beds, and go for holidays at times at the coast or countries abroad.All these is extremely unfair and in a sense goes against our constitution which wants all children to have equal opportunities.

It is my hope that the lives of the informal settlement children will improve. That they will also go to good schools and that they will have books to read. They will access toys to play with and access regular and healthy food. They will also have the joy of living together with their parents and giving up sniffing glue. They will instead enjoy sporting, reading and being with their families.

The constitution gives the people (including children) the right to petition the government about the difficulties they face and denied rights. They can present to the government the changes they envisage in line with their dignity and security. I advice that you should all meet and send a petition to the president, the governor of your county, and your members of parliament. The Organization I work with, the Katiba Institute would be willing to help you prepare such a petition.

Programme of the Gender Responsive Budgeting

The Gender Responsive Budgeting  symposium targeting Public Administration, CSOs, Politicians, Researchers and General publics.

Dates: 25th to 26th June 2015.

Venue: Shalom House, St. Daniel Comboni Road, Off Ngong Road behind St. Vincent Paloti Catholic Church.

The themes to be addressed among other issues include

  1. Does gender mainstreaming capacity building impact gender responsiveness in organizations?
  2. Current gender policies with special respect to budget provisions
  3. Public budgeting processes and budgets with respect to encouraging women participation and addressing issues of concern to them
  4. Discussing approaches to social accountability and public expenditure tracking in the counties
  5. Government’s (national and counties) role in ensuring gender responsive budgeting, reducing gender inequalities and promoting women’s rights
  6. Networking among GRB actors

The timetable

Day 1

8.30 Session 1: Preliminaries

8.30-9.00 Registration

9.00-9.10 Prayers

9.10-9.30 Introduction

9.30 -10.30 Introductory speeches and introduction of the Gender responsive budgeting concept

10.30-11.00 Break

11.00-12.00 Session 2: Does gender mainstreaming capacity building impact gender responsiveness in organizations?

  • What is Gender Mainstreaming
  • Does capacity building promote positive impacts for gender mainstreaming?: A case study of Kenya Peace Network (KPN)
  • How is gender mainstreaming constructed in Kenya?
  • Identifying and addressing obstacles against gender mainstreaming

12.00-13.00 Session 3; Analyzing current gender policies with special respect to GRB

  • Brief introduction to Policy Analysis
  • A brief overview of gender related policies
    • Policy guidelines and Acts of parliament review
    • Policy Gaps and implementation gaps (ideal vs reality dynamics)
  • Highlighting advocacy issues

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.00 Session 3: Analysis of the public budgeting processes and budgets with respect to gender I

  • Introduction to the Public Budgeting Process
  • A birds overview of the county budgets and gender specific provisions
  • Encouraging women participation to raise issues of concern to them

15.00-16.00 Session 4: Analysis of the public budgeting processes and budgets with respect to gender I

  • Review of how community sectors that are incorporated to the budget process (CSOs, Industries, Families, Education and Health)
  •  Experience of GRB, Best practices in counties and sub-counties

Day 2:

Session 5: Preliminaries

8.30-9.00 Prayers

8.00-9.30 Recap and matters arising from day 1

9.30-10.30 Public Finance

  • Brief overview of Public finance
    • Tax
    • Fees and levies
    • Borrowing,
    • Grants and Aid
  • Introduction of Public expenditure review

10.30 to 11.00 Tea Break

11.00-13.00 Session 6: Social accountability tools to promote Transparency and accountability

    • —Participatory budgeting
    • —Independent budget analysis
    • —Expenditure tracking (PETS)
    • —Participatory monitory performance
    • Discussing approaches to social accountability and public expenditure tracking in the counties

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.00 Government’s (national and counties) role in ensuring gender responsive budgeting,

  • —Efforts to reducing gender inequalities
  • Engendering macroeconomic policy particularly fiscal policy
  • Financing gender related policy commitments
  • Enhancing participation of women in public interest processes
  • Issues for advocacy

15.00-15.30 Formulating Agenda for Networking among GRB actors

Participation fee is Kshs 5,000

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