According to the Supreme Court of Kenya, “devolution is core promise of the Constitution of Kenya 2010”. It has reconfigured the spirit of civic enterprise for the 21st Century for the country.
Democratic County Governance government is the galvanizing force for building a more productive, competitive economy and better delivery of public services.
It is a game changer in politics, governance, service delivery and economic development.
Local ethical and accountable leadership is pivotal for stronger governance, sustained efficacy, improved efficiency and more
responsible financial management.
County government occupies a very unique space in public life emphasizing on the importance of its role and capacity to add value as a community leader.
The county government is the lead engine, having the responsibility for setting the vision for its citizens and working with partners and communities to deliver what matters most to people.
By embracing functional powers and resources, county governments can serve people even better, reduce inequalities and facilitate achievement of the country’s progress ambitions.
County governments need to become increasingly innovative and effective at producing good quality services and value for the taxpayer and they now need to look ahead positively.
Improve country governance
It is crucial to ensure the devolved institutions function effectively.
The cumulative impact of policy change on county government should have huge impact to local population lives.
It is also important to have wider civic engagement about how to improve county governance.
Deepening devolution must happen,
giving local people much more say and control over spending and investment in their counties to promote growth, job creation, stronger communities and prosperity for all.
For this to happen we need a true commitment to devolution.
Deliver quality services
Devolved powers to Counties have already created very big difference regardless of momentous challenges. This needs to be built on across the whole country.
County governments are closer to the communities they serve and therefore better placed to deliver locally.
County Government does not exist simply to provide services. It has to facilitate meaningful participation of the local population in designing policies and delivery of quality services.
Kenyans want to ensure a proper relationship between those who provide a service and those who rely on it through stronger local democracy, more effective scrutiny, and properly channels to those responsible for services to account.
Benefit the people
Kenyans have suffered for the last 50 years under unaccountable, bureaucratic, opaque and centralized national government.
In voting for the constitution and devolution, they passed a strong message.
They want well-run county authorities which operate transparently and openly, which plan effectively, use the resources available to them to best effect and work collaboratively and in partnership with others wherever this will benefit the people they serve.
And Kenyans want the people themselves to have a stronger voice and more influence over how services are designed and delivered.
To deliver this, county governments will also need to be continually assessing and improving their own performance.
Meet people’s needs
A closer relationship between the county government and local communities is key as it will strengthen governance and make it clear how decisions are made and who took them.
It will help local representatives provide effective challenge and scrutiny.
It will encourage innovation and the
sharing of best practice, to drive excellent performance and services which meet people’s needs.
The future role of the county government needs to be about collaboration based on an understanding of local needs and clear governance structures, not just the current emphasis on service provision.
They will only achieve this through partnership working between sectors.
Now is the time for county governments to seize the opportunity to shape their own and the country’s future in building more equal,
prosperous, innovative and healthier people living in safe, cohesive and resilient communities with a wider range of opportunities.
Originally posted by the author on his Facebook account.