Public Participation in the Budget Process During the Covid-19 Pandemic

An Assessment of Challenges and Strategies Employed by Selected Counties in Kenya

Authors

  • Elly Ochieng Ndiao Africa International University

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching impact at individual, household,
community, national and international levels. Specifically, the pandemic has adversely
affected public participation due to the restrictions of physical meetings and other
measures introduced to curb the spread of the virus. This paper sought to document the
effects of these restrictions on public participation in the budget-making process by
counties in Kenya and to analyse the various strategies they adopted in their conduct of
public participation. The study was based in two counties of Kiambu and Kajiado and
the respondents were purposively sampled amongst a volunteer group of county
government officials as well as members of the public who had participated in budget
forums in the financial year 2020/2021. The study engaged 38 respondents who
participated in a survey that used questionnaires to collect data as well as 8 key
informant interviews using an interview guide as well as Focus Group Discussions. The
results of the study show that the COVID-19 restrictions and other public health
guidelines had a negative effect on the attendance of the participants;
representation/inclusion of participants; cost and size of venues of the meetings;
duration of the meetings; mobilisation of participants; moderation/facilitation of the
forums and participants’ access to information. The study also found that the two
counties had resorted to several strategies to conduct public participation amidst the
restrictions including having scaled-down physical meetings, enhanced use of social
media, soliciting for written memoranda from members of the public, use of local
administrators, employing online platforms as well as using video-conferencing
platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. The study recommends that county governments
should utilize a combination of strategies to engage with members of the public and
invest more in modern information and communication technology to engage with
members of the public during various public participation forums.

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Published

2022-05-15

How to Cite

Ndiao, E. O. (2022). Public Participation in the Budget Process During the Covid-19 Pandemic: An Assessment of Challenges and Strategies Employed by Selected Counties in Kenya . Impact: Journal of Transformation, 5(1), 1–11. Retrieved from https://library.africainternational.edu/index.php/impact/article/view/111