The Development Through Media (DTM) team was at a meeting organised by the Ministry of planning and devolution that took place on 27th April at Kenyatta International Conference Center(KICC).This forum brought together various stakeholders who have been involved in elaborate consultations with the view to supporting National and County governments in conducting Public Participation and Civic education programmes.

The Public Participation Guidelines comprehensively consolidate the key procedures and processes of Public Participation in Kenya. As a result a standard guide was developed to support public engagements and decision making in policy, legislation, planning, budgeting and service delivery for devolution. These guidelines sought to address the challenges being faced by devolution within the context of the constitutional and legal provisions that make public participation mandatory. The guidelines are to inform public participation practice in County Governments in line with Part VIII of the County Government Act 2012.

Whereas the Civic education curriculum and training manuals are expected to standardize the content and methodology of delivery of civic education by various providers. It will also contribute towards enabling both duty bearers and right holders to better understand their rights, responsibilities and practice constitutionalism.

A key presenter Mwanamaka A. Mabruki, Principal Secretary, State Department of Devolution highlighted some key issues from the discussions as constitutional and legal framework for public participation, mechanisms for public participation and monitoring and evaluation of Public Participation.

These issues were elaborated further. For example, as regards to Constitutional and legal framework for public participation, the Principal secretary pointed out that the Consitutional and legal framework for public participation is meant to inform the public by providing information to help them understand the various Issues around public participation, their options and solution.

Additionally, it empowers the public by placing the final decision-making authority in their hands. It involves the public by ensuring that their concerns are considered throughout the decision-making process. And finally, It ensures that there is consultations with the public to obtain their feedback on matters concerning Public Participation.

Mwanamaka Mabruki further stated that Public participation is compulsory and continuous in county governance. As a result it is vital to put in place structures, steps and mechanisms that are all-encompassing and easy to follow for the County government to take up in facilitating participation.

Monitoring and evaluation of Public Participation was another issue listed by the Principal Secretary in which she emphasized that County governments ought to regularly facilitate M&E frameworks for purposes of public participation and conduct an evaluation of all public participation sessions in the county with the objective of improving the next financial year’s sessions. Notably, all M&E reports are to be made available to the public.

As a way forward, participants were encouraged to be actively involved in Public Participation and Civic Engagement.

DTM will continue to inform and engage the Public on Public Participation and Civic Engagement.

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