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Monday, 02 December 2019 13:31

Public Participation and Civic education

In a bid to involve citizen to participate in the decision making process of their County, Lamu County Government has begun the process of developing their Citizen Public Participation Policy. Following a request on technical support to the Council, the process was a continuation of efforts already put in Lamu County in 2017. In a meeting supported by the Council of Governors and the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), the meeting was officially opened by the Deputy Governor Lamu County H.E Abdulhakim Aboud Bwana who noted that the Constitution underscores the importance of public participation since the sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya. “The people have delegated this sovereign power through the executive and assembly,” said the Deputy Governor. He further noted that staff in government offices were exercising this power on behalf of the people of Kenya. This, therefore, mandates the County Governments to involve the people in planning and managing public resources and especially those allocated for County Development purposes.
In public participation, H.E Abdulhakim Aboud Bwana called for the County Officers to think about where there have been lapses in terms of public participation and the areas of improvement. While addressing participants, the DG reiterated that public participation need not be only about meetings. Rethink the models that are cost effective and take care of wide coverage. He also called for the harmonization of public participation so that it is conducted all through departments. ‘...As we call upon citizens to participate, equally look at empowering the community on the matters being brought on the table for their attention. For effective Public participation, the people participating must be aware of what they need to participate in...’
Ms. Zainab from the UNDP made participants understand what UNDP looks at in assisting counties achieve their goals. Innovative approaches towards achieving Public Participation with a focus on marginalized and impoverished communities will help shape the next phase of support.
Mr. Shee Kupi, the director in charge of Public participation and Civic Education highlighted that Lamu’s draft public participation policy had not fully met the legal provisions of establishing citizen participation frameworks and this workshop was to build capacity and to refine their policy on the same. It was noted that the County Assembly committee members who had previously confirmed participation were not in attendance. However, the technical clerk of the committee concerned (Trade Tourism Information Cooperatives) was able to raise and deliberate on issues that touch of the county assembly.
Chief Kiunga noted that Chiefs are on the ground, called for County officials to make use of the existing administration system to enhance effectiveness of the public participation processes. “Unfortunately citizens are used to the handouts and thus the proposed PP model must find a way of reimbursing them,” he further stated.
Some of the key innovations arising from 3day discussions was the use of a “town crier’ as a form of sending out communication prior to the public participation forums.
Participants noted that for purposes of meaningful engagement the document for discussion needs to be in the public domain before it reaches the actual day of Public participation. Further, technical documents need to be simplified for easy consumption of the citizen.
The meeting was represented by County officials from the departments of trade, tourism, youth, communication, Legal, Audit, budgeting, Public Service management & Admin, Economic planning, social team lead. Equally in attendance were representatives from Lamu County Assembly, Civil society team, the Chief Kiunga and UNDP.

The Council of Governors held a learning forum with Governors, CECMs of Finance, Chief Officers of Finance/Economic Development and County Directors in charge of Planning and Budgeting, Finance, Revenue, Procurement, and Internal Audit, as well as County Directors in charge of Partnerships and/or Resource Mobilization on 4th -5th November in Nyandarua County on upholding accountability in public finance management with financial support by the World Bank. The learning drew from three perspectives, namely; the County Audit Process; the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Assessment and Open Government Partnership (OGD) Initiative.
Nyandarua and Makueni County were the first counties to ever get a clean audit report from the Office of the Auditor General and this platform was therefore important to enable them share their experience and what other Counties can borrow to be able to achieve the same.
Why addressing the delegates at the conference, HE Francis Kimemia, emphasized on the importance of ensuring that Counties learn from each other to improve service delivery and especially in management of public resources and enshrine in the supreme law of the land. “ The aim of this conference it to ensure that we all can share our difference experiences in management of public resources and ensure that they are effectivel, efficiently, ethically and lawfully utilized.” Said Governor Kimemia.
Participants also benefitted from insights from key stakeholders, including the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), the Office of the Controller of Budget, and the Office of the Auditor General. Others were the Institute of Economic Affairs, the World Bank, the NEPAD/APRM Kenya Secretariat, and a NEPAD/APRM/NPA Ugandan delegation from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
The PFM Peer Learning forum under the theme Upholding Accountability in Public Finance Management, was meant to guide structured improvement in public finance practices by County Governments, to improve PFM standards and increase the number of Counties that receive clean (unqualified) financial audit reports from the Auditor General.
Resolutions from the forum;
1. THAT prudent public finance management is the key determinant of a County’s overall performance, the County’s image and value for money in service delivery to citizens. In this regard, Counties shall progressively seek to improve PFM practices for improved service delivery and as part of corruption risk mitigation.
2. THAT Counties shall strengthen County Internal Audit Units by ensuring their independence, allocating a dedicated budget, adequate staffing with professional personnel and providing logistical support to facilitate the units to discharge their mandate effectively. In this regard, Counties shall also establish an effective mechanism for coordinating activities of Internal Auditors.
3. THAT Counties shall support/undertake structured capacity strengthening of Officers in charge of facilitating PFM in priority areas in collaboration with the National Government, other independent offices such as the Commission on Revenue Allocation, the Office of the Controller of Budget, the Kenya School of Government, local universities and Development Partners. In this regard, Counties will prioritize PFM capacity needs, including Internal Audit, procurement and IFMIS.
4. THAT as part of strengthening the capacity of Counties, County governments shall adopt supportive strategies, initiatives and innovations that strengthen governance and accountability in PFM. These may include but are not limited to implementing recommendations of audit reports, Open Procurement, digitization of financial records, County Peer Review Mechanism and supporting the scaling up of Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Assessments.
5. THAT Counties shall ensure PFM-related risk-mitigation measures during all forms of transitions, to minimize vulnerability of PFM systems and processes to abuse.
6. THAT County governments shall set aside adequate funds for implementing initiatives that seek to improve PFM in counties.
7. THAT Individual Counties shall make reference to the report of the PFM Learning Forum held in Nyandarua County to support implementation of the recommendations in this Communiqué.
8. THAT the PFM Peer Learning Forum for County Governments should be convened at least once in a financial year to provide a platform for sharing information, lessons, new knowledge and strategies for continuous improvement in County Financial Audit and IFMIS, among others.
9. THAT the Council of Governors will convene a high-level meeting to deliberate on how to support Counties to improve PFM in view of the recommendations herein.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 13:43

TRAINING OF GENDER FOCAL PERSONS AT THE COUNCIL

Gender talks have in the recent past drawn so much traction. Gender issues get rapid, dynamic and complicated as days pass hence more need to bring this issue at the table. It’s against this backdrop that the Gender committee at the Council of Governors organized a training for the gender focal persons on the 19th of November, 2019, at the COG Offices to discuss gender mainstreaming and social accountability.
“When we talk of gender, many of us would naturally peg it on women, which is not a true thing’’, said Migide, the program officer - Gender at the council. “ I am therefore glad that this day has come so that we can unravel some of these things and know that gender is an all-inclusive concept as we delve deeper in to gender mainstreaming”, she continued.
Gender mainstreaming refers to a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women and men an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality. It is basically a question of: are we gender responsive in all our endeavors? Is it in our language, is it in our roads, and is it in our everyday undertaking?
Whereas there are many other basic tenets in the gender space, there are those that would naturally pop up in any gender conversation including: Gender vs sex; Gender equity vs gender equality where the latter refers to ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender; including economic participation and decision making whereas the former refers fairness of treatment in treatment of women and men according to their respective needs.
“To work effectively on ending violence against women and girls, it is especially important to become familiar with and be responsive to the specific gender dynamics and social an ad cultural reference points that prescribe the roles of men and women in any given society. This requires socio-cultural research and analysis to understand what the norms and expectations are for men and women in any given context and how this might affect the programme, so that interventions can be designed accordingly”, said Mr. Paul Kuria the facilitator, who is also from the National Gender and Equality Commission. Gender analysis refers to a type of socio-economic analysis that uncovers how gender relations affect a development problem. It examines the differences in women's and men's lives, including those which lead to social and economic inequity for women, and applies this understanding to policy development and service delivery.
“If we don’t take guard in the issues pertinent to gender, it might be very easy to forget about them. We are gender champions should match ahead and lead the others. We should also strive to be gender progressive in our endeavors including our individual roles in our homes’’, advised Ms. Mogeni, CEO, Council of Governors, who is also a gender expert.
In this era, any organization both Government, Private and Non-profit must take into consideration Gender sensitive programming into all its programmes and activities. Gender sensitive programming refers to programmes where gender norms, roles and inequalities have been considered and awareness of these issues has been raised, whereas gender progressive programming is where gender norms, roles and inequalities have been considered, awareness raised and something done about it. “Gender sensitive programming is just knowing about gender norms and roles whereas Gender progressive programming is about knowing about the gender issues and doing something about it. Gender progressive programming should therefore be the way to go in order to salvage the gender boat’’, concluded Mrs. Mogeni.
The training equally covered issues on social accountability which is the actions initiated by citizen groups to hold public officials, and service providers to account for their conduct. It also considers their performance in terms of delivering services, improving people's welfare and protecting people's rights. It is important in enhancing the efficiency of public service delivery.
To conclude the training was a gender power walk which served to show that all should be treated equally regardless of their status. Gender is one of the contributors of development and hence should be given the seriousness it deserves.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 12:42

ENHANCING PARTNERSHIPS FOR IMPACT

The United Nations (UN) Kenya Resident Coordinator’s Office and Council of Governors on 25TH November convened a high-level meeting that brought together County Governors and the leadership of the UN Kenya Country team in order to discuss ways of enhancing a common understanding on the Kenya United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2018-2022 and further exploring areas on deepening collaboration.

In his opening remarks, Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya, lauded the Government of Kenya for its leadership at both National and County levels. “I am happy with the deepening collaboration that the UN in general has received from the leadership in both levels of governments”, he said. Siddharth called for a stronger partnership between the UN Kenya Country Team and Kenya’s County Governments in order to fulfil the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda in Kenya so as not to leave no-one-behind.

The Resident Coordinator highlighted that over the period 2018 – 2019 the UN had provided US $205 million catalytic support towards UNDAF programming in support of Kenya’s Big Four agenda and the achievement of Kenya’s Vision2030

H.E Wycliffe Oparanya, Chairman of the Council of Governors, and Governor of Kakamega, speaking in the meeting shared his deep appreciation for Kenya’s long-standing partnership with the UN, and encouraged the UN to continue to advance its programming at County and grassroots levels in order to address the root causes holding back Kenya’s social economic development. “As County Governments we appreciate the major support the UN has given us since devolution began and we are hoping it will be long lasting and would help elevate Kenya’s economic and social development especially at grassroots level”, said Oparanya.

The current UNDAF has three Strategic Priority Areas that are aligned to the MTP III Pillars (Political, Social and Economic) of the Government’s Vision 2030 : 1) Transformational Governance encompassing respect for the rule of law, improved security, and effective implementation of devolution, 2) Human capital development comprised of education ,training and learning, health, Multi-sectoral HIV and AIDS response, access to safe water and sanitation, social protection, gender based violence and violence against children, access to adequate housing and strengthening capacities for addressing disaster and emergencies and 3) Sustainable and inclusive growth focusing on a competitive and sustainable economic growth that is increasingly resilient, green, inclusive, equitable, and creating decent jobs and quality livelihoods for all.

Through this framework, the UN in Kenya will in the coming five years, commit a total of Ksh.197 billion (approximately $1.9 billion) to support the government realize development needs of the country. 58% of the estimate budget (about Ksh.116 billion) will support human capital development contributing to two of the GOK Big Four Agenda, namely housing and universal health coverage. 27% (about Ksh.50 billion) will support sustainable development and growth contributing to the other two agendas of food security and manufacturing. The remaining 15% (about ksh.30 billion) will focus on transformative governance, which is a key enabler of the Big Four Agenda as well as the MTP III.

The UNDAF 2018-2022 is building on innovative approaches, strengths, lessons learnt, and efforts initiated by the UN, National and County Governments, and development partners in Kenya. As such, the new UNDAF speaks to and intend to advance the UN Secretary General’s agenda on repositioning the UN system. Regarding strategic change and reforms, the new UNDAF will make even greater strides towards, expanding public private partnerships for SDG realization; deepen integrated programming, supporting counties and bordering countries going to the furthest first, to enhance the roots of cohesion and socio-economic transformation.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 12:20

THE 11th IBEC MEETING

The Council of Governors led by the Chairman, H.E Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, on Monday 11th Nov 2019 attended an Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) meeting at Deputy President’s Residence. This being the 11th Session since the inception of the devolved system of Government, the meeting was chaired by the Deputy President, H.E William Samoei Ruto to have discussions on budgetary issues affecting the Country.

Critical issues on the agenda like County Assets and Liabilities, Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee presented the report on County Assets and Liabilities from the Defunct Local Authorities. The report provides for liquidation options like; Counties to budget for the offsetting of the liabilities from their own equitable share of revenues, National Government to consider allocating conditional grants for payment of the liabilities as a strategic intervention mechanism, National Government and County Governments to consult and agree on offsetting the liabilities jointly through an agreed percentage, Government institutions to consider writing off debts owed, where applicable, current assets be used to off-set the liabilities on County to County basis or Debt swap as a liquidation option should be used to consider based on framework that determines actual values as established through an appropriately developed legal framework.

On County Pending bills, the meeting noted that that Counties had cleared Ksh.23 Billion which is 45 per cent of the total pending bills audited by the Office of the Auditor General and declared eligible. County Governments were requested to continue with clearing of pending bills as a first charge on their budget. The remaining eligible pending bills amounts to Ksh.28 Billion.

Speaking during the meeting the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto Counties are committed o settling the pending bills owed to suppliers. “I applaud the County Governments for their bold commitment to addressing the problem of pending bills; the decrease from Sh108 billion as at June 2018 to Sh34.5 billion in the end of the 2018/2019 financial year is commendable.” Said the Deputy President. Dr. William Ruto assure the County Governments the support of the National Government to ensure that their obligations are honored in time to spur the country’s economic growth.

While in the same meeting, the Chairman of the Council of Governors, H.E Wycliffe Oparanya noted, “This is one of the meetings that has unlocked some of the issues facing Counties, we are glad that through such a forum, we are able to discuss as the two levels of Government to ensure matters of National interest are well attended to.” He reiterated what the Deputy President said and added, “County Governments are committed to ensure that eligible pending bill are cleared and supplier get their due diligence.”

Additionally, during the meeting, The Chair of CRA, Dr. Jane Kiringai presented a report on issues on the Counties borrowing framework as directed by IBEC to the Joint Legal, and Loan, and Grant committee. It was agreed that Counties can borrow up to 20% of the County most

recent audited revenues as debt ceiling. Counties were called to consolidate borrowing need for the FY 2020/2021.

The meeting also resolved that the Deputy President will endeavor to call for quarterly IBEC meeting as per the calendar of events.

Thursday, 14 November 2019 13:07

NIGERIAN GOVERNORS PEER LEARNING VISIT TO KENYA

“We need to learn from each other and see what works in one country and replicate in the other. We cannot be going to other parts of the world to look for African solutions when we have our brothers with whom we share many things in common close to us”, said Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong during his recent visit to Kenya.
The Plateau State Governor and his delegation, were in the country upon invitation by the Council of Governors, on a Peer Review visit on behalf of the Northern Governors Forum which saw him visit Murang’a, Nakuru and Kericho Counties in order to explore areas of collaboration that both devolved jurisdictions can learn from.
Furthermore, H.E Lalong held various discussions on issues dwelling around Agriculture Value Addition and tackling poverty through the utilization of cooperatives.
In Murang’a County, H.E Lalong was received by the Governor and CoG Vice Chair H.E Mwangi Wa Iria at his County office, where they held discussions on H.E Lalong’s mission in areas of collaboration for the countries.
Accompanied by the host Governor H.E Mwangi Wa Iria and Kericho Governor H.E Prof. Paul Chepkwony, the Nigerian delegation first stop was at the Murang’a Diary Processing Factory where they were shown round the whole milk production chain and packaging processes respectively. The projects is a value addition initiative by the County Government that provides farmers with ready market for their milk. Since its inception, farmers have recorded minimal losses and better returns from the milk they sell to the factory.
H.E Lalong echoed that the Northern part of Nigeria had similar characteristics with many Counties in Kenya which were mostly agrarian and relied on food production for income and employment opportunities.
It is noted that Plateau State shares similar topography and weather with Murang’a and as such will be interested in forging closer relations that will yield positive results for the benefits of the citizens of both States.
The delegation then proceeded to Naivasha in Nakuru County where H.E Lalong and his delegation visited Oserian Flower Farm Limited and held discussions with the MD Neil Hellings on prospects for training and investments that can be adopted in Plateau State and other northern Nigeria States. Before leaving for Kericho, the delegation paid a courtesy call to Nakuru Governor H.E Lee Kinyanjui at his office.
While in Kericho County, both Governors initiated talks in gearing towards identifying and establishing trade opportunities between the two governments This was as a result of a tour of the Chepseon Dairies Ltd, Toror Tea Factory and later Kenya Tea Packers (KETEPA) where both governments made a commitment of entering into partnership aimed at exploring and exploiting possible trade opportunities between Kericho and Plateau State with Kenyan tea being the main focus.
The two leaders agreed to push for the expedition of the ongoing registration of KETEPA products by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria. Currently, Nigeria imports 4.2m kgs of Kenyan tea, and with this new engagement, the leaders said the volumes are expected to rise.
The Nigeria – Kenya visit by the Nigerian Governors is the initial peer learning visit by Nigerian Governors to Kenya where both Countries have adopted a devolved system of Governance. Though Nigeria has had the system for longer, Kenya enjoys global recognition as one of the most rapidly devolved countries in the world. The only Country to devolve 14 function at once. Nigeria, even as elder brothers have a lot they can adopt from Kenya.
Governor Lalong who is representing 19 other Governors from the Northern part of Nigeria agreed to deliver the message to his counterparts about Kericho's tasty tea among other products.

Monday, 18 November 2019 14:09

ICPD +25 NAIROBI SUMMIT

“My government will eliminate gender violence and child marriage by 2030”, Committed President Uhuru Kenyatta during the official opening of the 3- day ICPD+25 Summit which began on the 12th of November, 2019 and ended on the 14th of November, 2019 at the Kenyatta International Conventions centre, Nairobi. “My government will increase budgetary allocations to sectors that guarantee advancement of the well being of Kenya”, he added.
The International Conference on Population Development seeks to put population issues at the centre of development. The first ever conference of this kind was held in 1994 in Cairo, Egypt where the delegates present clearly rolled out the relationships between population, development and individual well-being. A programme of Action was adopted by the 179 countries present in the Cairo Summit which recognized that reproductive health, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are the pathways to sustainable development.
This year’s summit under the theme accelerating the promise saw governments, UN agencies, civil society, private sector organizations, women’s groups and youth networks coming together to discuss and agree on actions to accelerate the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action of 1994 as well as to recommit and speak to what can further be done to break the barriers that are yet to be broken.
The Summit presented attendees with sessions including “Delivering the ICPD Promise through devolution’’: Acknowledging the role of Sub-national governments towards realizing zero maternal mortality, zero unmet needs for family planning and zero violence” which was hosted by the Council of Governors (COG). The main aim of this session was to provide an opportunity for sub- National Governments to share experiences and learn from each other. The session looked at Ending maternal & child mortality in Counties, Milestones in legislation and health sector revenue allocation to devolved governments in Kenya, Ending violence against women and girls under devolved system of governance in Nigeria, Bridging unmet needs for family planning, Landscape of global financing of health services, global medical supplies procurement hubs and implications to devolved governments.
“Devolvement of the health sector to counties was one of the best things to ever happen in Kenya since counties have been able to share best practices and this has therefore generally improved the quality of health care offered to the citizens” said H.E Proff Anyang Nyong’o who was one of the panelists in the COG Concurrent session moderated by Prof. Marleen Termmerman of Agha Khan University. Other panelists included H. E Adelina Mwau, the deputy governor Makueni County, H.E Peter Ndambiri, the Deputy Governor Kirinyaga County, Susan Otchere, Senior Director of Health, World Vision and Dr. Sk Sikdar, additional Commissioner, (Family Planning) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.
The session was very engaging and a lot of peer learning took place as there was exchanges in experiencrs between all the countries represented. The session ended with the Council of Governors presenting resolutions as follows: Sub-national governments are committed to implementing policies and programmes that promote zero cost for delivery to expectant mothers, Sub-national governments shall implement policies and programmes that break barriers to promote voluntary use of contraceptives, Implementing innovative, sustainable strategies for financing achievement of the 3 zeros while involving communities, Use experiences of sub-national governments to influence national policies, regional and global health agendas that promote achievement of the 3 zeros, That sub-national governments will strive to learn from one another, share best practices and adopt models and solutions that are working
Other sessions at the Summit included drawing on demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development, in which H. E Chepkwony gave his views regarding empowering youth through devolved government units, as well as harnessing the power of cities with H.E Nyongo speaking on the same.
The Summit was a beneficial one for Kenya and all the other Nations represented through the various commitments made that will see efforts being intensified to ensure the wellbeing of all citizens. H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta committed to ending FGM by the year 2030, accelerating women’s equal participation and equitable representation at all levels of the political, public and corporate sphere.

The Council of Governors, with support from the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), has been providing technical support to the County Governments towards the rollout and implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum at the Early Childhood Development and Education level. Further, since the 2017/18 financial year, County Governments have been beneficiaries of the KShs 2 billion annual Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant from the National Treasury to enhance access and quality of vocational training in the country.
On 24th and 25th October, the Education Committee convened a sectoral forum with the Chief Officers in charge of Education at Radisson Blu Nairobi to address emerging issues regarding the rollout of the Competency Based Curriculum and the ongoing review of the Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant Guidelines. The multi-stakeholder forum included representation from the Ministry of Education, the TVET Authority and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.
The Chief Officers underwent capacity building to understand the need for enhanced resource mobilization and allocation towards effective ECDE programming in the implementation of the new Curriculum. This is in line with the Basic Education Act, 2013 and its subsidiary legislation & policies including the National Curriculum Policy, 2019 and the National Pre-Primary Education Policy, 2018. The integration of pre-primary education into the basic education system is one of the key reforms in the education sector hence the need to enhance support to the County Governments in the effective implementation of early childhood education. Through this forum, the Orange Book Addendum was disseminated, which lists all the approved learning resources to guide purchasing and acquisition of the resources by the County Governments.
On the other hand, the National Treasury in consultation with CoG and the Ministry of Education established the Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant in the 2017/18 financial year to support the County Governments in the rehabilitation and equipping of the Centres to enhance enrollment and uptake of vocational training. The Grant was accompanied by its utilization Guidelines to elaborate on the roles of each concerned National and County office in the National and County Governments to ensure the smooth utilization of the Grant. However, the 2017/18 financial year financial reports did not adhere to the Guidelines. Given the role of the Chief Officers as accounting officers for the Education Department and for the Grant, their input towards the review of the Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant Guidelines was captured to ensure that the COs fully understand the need for timely financial and narrative reporting on the utilization of the Grant to the National Treasury through CoG.
The following were the resolutions from the meeting;
1.The Vocational Training Centres Conditional Grant Guidelines to clearly delineate the various voteheads in line with the actual costs. This is particularly important in the Examinations Fee and Local Travel & Transport voteheads which need to be higher to cater for the various national examination charges and the geographical vastness & inaccessibility of Centres in the Counties.
2.There is need for clear demarcation of the differences between Public Technical and Vocational Colleges (National Government) and Public Vocational Training Centres (County Government) by the Ministry of Education to enable the County Governments effectively mobilize youth to enroll into the Vocational Training Centres and not to suffer poached trainees from the VTCs.
3.The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, through CoG, is to fast-track technical support to the County Governments to capacity build the ECDE teachers during the November-December holidays. A compiled training schedule with data from all the Counties will be developed and shared with KICD to hold the user-demand driven workshops.
4.Escalate education issues to the full Council to seek political goodwill towards prioritization of sector issues for effective service delivery, including staffing. This includes the implementation of the ECDE teachers’ Scheme of Service and the review of the Vocational Training Instructors Scheme of Service. Further, this includes the absorption of the County ECDE Field Officers devolved from the Teachers’ Service Commission
5.CoG is to lead the harmonization of ECDE School Feeding Programme Guidelines to rationalize existing feeding programmes. This is to provide a standard costing plan for the implementation of School Feeding Programmes and to enhance investment into child health.
6.Fast implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum; need for teacher training and capacity building on the Curriculum, political goodwill, instructional material, learning materials to implement the Curriculum; costing and financing the Curriculum’s implementation (financing capacity building for curriculum implementers and the entire CBC)
7.A capitation grant, similar to that for the Vocational Training Centres, was proposed to supplement the County Governments’ current resource allocation and investment in ECDE programmes. This is to mark up on current ECDE teachers’ remuneration and infrastructure development in the ECDE sector.
8.Sensitization of the Excellency Governors on scaling down of County bursary allocations as this reduces allocations for ECDE and Vocational Training. The prioritization of bursary allocations is counterintuitive towards the implementation of the two devolved functions in the Education sector.
9.The County ECDE Resource Centres should be revived and strengthened to make them centres for capacity building of the County Officers and ECDE teachers on the Competency Based Curriculum. This will enhance all County Governments’ capacity to address emerging issues in ECDE and effectively cascade continuous training on matters in the sector.

Friday, 25 October 2019 12:59

THE KENYA ACCOUNTABLE DEVOLUTION PROGRAM II

The World Bank in collaboration with the Council of Governors and the National Treasury has been working on the accreditation of COG to Green Climate Fund under the Devolution and Locally-led Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Programme. COG through the National Treasury requested the World Bank to support its effort to be accredited in order to tap into the Green Climate Change Fund (GCF) and other climate funds to support Counties. The Institute of Law and Environmental Guidelines (ILEG) was contracted to undertake the process. The GCF is the most promising international fund for climate change action, hence the reason CoG is looking to tap into the fund. The CoG will receive the funds as a grant manager hence the fiduciary standards have to be put under considerations.

The Institute of Law and Environmental Guidelines has carried out a gap analysis on the COG as an initial requirement towards the Council of Governors secretariat’s capacity to be accredited as an executing entity. From the assessment, CoG has come out as the most suitable organization to undertake this activity. COG rightfully forms a platform for collective bargaining as it plays a coordinating and facilitative role in the devolution space. Some of the issues arising include; Key climate challenges including limited resources, policy and legislative gaps since most get stuck at the County Assembly, training needs among others.

In the fight against climate change, Counties have established devolved frameworks for Climate Change such as ward adaptation committees, developing proposals to raise funds as well as mainstreaming climate in development planning.

During a meeting where ILEG did a presentation to the Council of Governors secretariat on the findings, the Council of Governors CEO called for ring fencing of the grants. She also urged that access to the climate funds to be pegged on performance and improvement of the money allocated to the sector.

ILEG also held a meeting with Excellency Governors and CECMs in Charge of the Tourism and Natural Resources Management Committee and took them through the progress made so far in accrediting COG to Green Climate Fund and lauded the process which will be supported under the KADP II as a defining moment for Counties towards enhancing up scaling climate action.

Further experience sharing on the implementation of KADP II program in the pilot counties ; Narok, Siaya, Kwale and Makueni took place with counties highlighting critical milestones accomplished under the programme and the need to scale it out to more other Counties in KADP III.

Under this backdrop, Tourism and Natural Resources Management Committee held their quarterly meeting to discuss the sector issues such as; the need for Counties that have not signed TIPs to finalize and implement, counties to operationalize County Environment Committees as well as the Climate Change units in order to address the threats emanating from Climate Change and environmental management, role of counties in management of county forests, the operationalization of the intergovernmental framework on water, implementation of the Mining policy brief, Compensation schemes for victims of human wildlife conflict and Transfer of ownership of museums.

Various sector institutions represented in the partners engagement session include; The Word Bank, The National Treasury, NEMA, Kenya Forest Service, Water Sector Development Partners Group, Kenya School of Government, and Water Sector Trust Fund.

Friday, 25 October 2019 11:22

COOPERATION IN THE ENERGY SECTOR

“Energy being a key enabler to the big 4 agenda should be taken seriously at the County level. What can you do without energy?’’, said Dr. Shadrack Kipkemoi as he gave his opening remarks during a two day quarterly meeting for Energy CECMs held on the 14th and 15th of October at the COG Offices. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the role of Counties in the Energy act and possible areas of partnership between counties and various stakeholders in the energy sector among them Ministry of Energy, KENTRACO, KPLC, REREC, BIO- NET, World Energy Council, Petroleum Institute of East Africa as well EPRA all of whom were present in the meeting.
The Energy Act, 2019 and the energy policy was one critical area that was deliberated on during the first day of the meeting where the CECs and other stakeholders present were sensitized on their roles regarding the new act. The other areas were on electricity transmission infrastructure in the country, plan for sufficient electricity generation and transmission, implementation of rural electrification projects and possible areas of partnerships between county governments and stakeholders in these areas.
The way forward from the meeting was that the Ministry of Energy in partnership with the Council of Governors to organize a workshop to sensitize counties further on the Energy Act 2019, County Development plans need to be harmonized with National Energy plans to determine future power demand, work with KETRACO in marketing counties to potential investors in generation, manufacturing, mining, counties should set aside public land for future substations and create way leave corridors for transmission lines, preparation and update of the country electricity distribution master plans as well as sensitize the county residents on the benefits of reliable transmission infrastructure.
On the second day Counties focused on how they can promote use of bio gas and possible areas of partnerships with the Kenya bio- gas stakeholders Network (BIO- NET) on data collection and data analytics for energy investment planning and policy. The participants were further sensitized on the Legal Notice 100 on Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG) Regulations. It was resolved that counties will come up with clear master plans and liaise with the National Government to be able to tap on to the benefits from the biogas sector.
Counties were also encouraged to consider establishing energy centers in their respective counties. Therefore, a meeting to sensitize counties on biogas issues will be conducted to enable them come up with concrete action to get this running in counties.
To cap it all, the consensus from the meeting was that Counties have been given more responsibility in the Energy Act 2019 to ensure energy efficiency and conservation is implemented at the county level, participants called for the Council of Governors assistance in mobilizing resources from donors to support capacity building and sensitization on the energy potential.

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