Sunday, 06 November 2022 11:27

COG, DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS PLEDGE TO WORK TOGETHER TO DEEPEN DEVOLUTION

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Governors have pledged to work in collaboration with development partners to strengthen devolution in Kenya and ensure effective coordination of programmes across the 47 Counties.
Speaking during a consultative meeting between Governors and development partners held on 31st October 2022, COG Chair, H.E. Anne Waiguru, thanked the development partners for their continued support in advancing Counties’ Development Agenda since the advent of devolution. Also in attendance were Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Mission Representatives, Head of Development Corporations, UN Country Representatives, and the National Treasury, among others.
“County Governments remain key in the provision of proximate, easily accessible services to citizens throughout Kenya. As a Council, we welcome the move to co-create programmes and development initiatives to ensure they are responsive to the actual needs of the citizens at the lowest level,” noted H.E. Waiguru.
H.E. Cecily Mbarire, Chair of the COG Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Committee highlighted that the meeting had come at an opportune time when County Governments are developing their 3rd Generation of County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs), an essential tool that incorporates the development programmes and projects in the Counties.
“It is my hope that this meeting will deepen our partnerships, engagements, and collaboration for mutual benefit of the people we are called to serve,” noted H.E. Mbarire.
County Governments have made commendable progress in transforming the Country’s devolved sectors and bringing services closer to the people. However, myriad of challenges continue to derail the effective implementation of programmes and projects in devolved units. These includes delays in disbursement of funds to Counties; low absorption of funds; alignment of the development partner’s budgeting process to the national budgeting cycle; anchorage of programmes on devolved functions at the national level; linkage of the results, impact, monitoring and evaluation aspects of the project cycle to the existent County and National monitoring frameworks; equitable distribution of programmes and projects across all Counties; and governance, mutual accountability, and transparency.
COG Whip H.E. Stephen Sang further emphasized the need for each County to identify their priority areas for investment in line with their unique needs and opportunities.
“It is very sad that millions of Kenyans across the Country are dying of hunger yet there is plenty of food going to waste in other Counties. Both levels of Government and development partners need to come together to find a lasting solution to this menace,” he added.
H.E. Amb. Ole Thonke, Chair of the Devolution Donor Working Group on his part reiterated the need for a strengthened intergovernmental framework and operationalization of sector working groups to coordinate partners’ development initiatives across the Country. This will avoid duplication of efforts and ensure equitable and sustainable development across the 47 Counties.
“I urge all Governors to ensure accountability and transparency in the utilization of allocated resources. We shall continue to work in collaboration with County Governments to empower them to take up their functions for enhanced service delivery in the Counties,” noted Amb. Ole Thonke.
More than ever, there is need for concerted and coordinated efforts from all partners in addressing the challenges that claw back on the gains of devolution for a resilient and sustainable Kenya.
Among the key resolutions made include:
1. The COG to be represented in all the high level development Partners’ forum chaired by the Deputy President;
2. COG working jointly with the development partners to map partner interaction with each County and develop a publication with each County’s programmes / projects;
3. Development Partners to engage COG in the design of new programmes relating to devolved functions from the beginning to ensure alignment with the county plans;
4. County Governments to strengthen their resource mobilization and partnerships departments to facilitate engagement with development partners at the county level;
5. County Governments to work together with National Government and development partners to facilitate mobilization and movement of relief support from Counties with plenty of food to the drought affected Counties;
6. Development partners to ensure equity in distribution of development support to cover all the 47 Counties and prevent further marginalization of some parts of the country.

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