Public Particpation

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 05:23

Public Participation

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The public Participation Project is a two-year project that seeks to develop and pilot a Public Participation Disability Inclusion Index (PPDII) for public entities in Kenya using a collaborative Social Design process.

The Index is a tool that benchmarks existing programs against best practices for promoting the participation of PWDs in Governance processes. The Social Design Lab brings together diverse stakeholders to develop, test document and scale up the use of the Index. The learning and sharing project seeks to design, test and document experiences gained from the deployment of the Index.

The Index and shall provide a basis for self-assessment by County Governments and Public Institutions. From this assessment, it would be possible to identify structural and social barriers to participation by PWDs in Governance and recommend appropriate strategies for compliance, capacity development measures as well as a review of existing public participation approaches and programs.

Project Objectives

  1. Co-Design a Public Participation Disability Inclusion Index with 5 County Governments, 5 public entities, PWDs, DPOs and academia.
  2. To prototype, test and document an inclusive Public Participation Disability Inclusion Index using a social lab design.
  3. To develop and test best practices of including youths with intellectual, mental, visual and speech impairments in public participation at County level.
  4. Identify clearer opportunities and more transformative approaches and technologies for involving youths with mental, intellectual, visual and speech impairments, their parents / care givers and community in County Public participation.
  5. Lobby for adoption of the Disability Inclusion Index for public participation by County Governments and public entities.

Project Context

Devolution has set an unprecedented stage for citizens’ development aspirations to be equitably incorporated in the county and urban development plans. While recognizing the right of communities to manage their own affairs, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 promises to reverse inequalities, promote equitable access to basic services and reconfigure skewed power relations. One of the National Values that have been enshrined in the Constitution is Public Participation. This value vests the power to determine and manage the affairs of the state on the citizens. It means that all decisions in terms of resource allocation, legislation and appointment to public offices requires input by citizens.

To achieve this, there are National Guidelines on Public Participation. These guidelines provide a framework through which citizens can be involved, how they can be involved, what they can be involved in and at what time they can be involved. Further, a series of legislations have been developed in order to align them to the Constitution and a number of Counties have developed legislations on Public Participation.

Despite these efforts, participation is hardly as effective as envisioned in the Constitution and other written laws. A recent report confirms the dismal numbers and suggests that over 60% of the public does not participate in governance spaces. Lack of information on the spaces and places for participation was cited as one of the main reasons for low turnout. While there isn’t accurate data on the participation of PWDs, it can be inferred that majority of women and men living with disabilities are marginalized. It is for this reason that ADDA is implementing a project that shall contribute to increased participation of PWDs especially those with mental, intellectual, visual and speech impairments in public participation.

Project Locations

The project is implemented in 5 Counties (Nairobi, Kajiado, Makueni, Kitui and Kwale). The scale-up phase shall be implemented in 20 additional Counties.

  1. Kwale County is located in the former Coast Province of Kenya. Its capital is Kwale, although Ukunda is the largest town. Kwale has an estimated population of 649,931. The County is mainly an inland county, but it has coastline south of Mombasa.
  2. Kitui County is part of the larger Eastern Province. Its capital and largest town is Kitui. According to the 2009 Population census, the County has a population of 1,012,709 and an area of 24,385.1 km².
  3. Nairobi County is smallest yet most populous of the 47 Counties in Kenya. It is also the only City County and is the capital and largest city in Kenya. Nairobi County was founded in 2013 on the same boundaries as Nairobi Province, after the establishment of the 47 counties.
  4. Kajiado is a county in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It has a population of 687,312 and an area of 21,292.7 km². The county borders Nairobi and extends to the Tanzania border further south. The county capital is Kajiado but the largest town is Ngong. Other major towns in Kajiado include Rongai, Kitengela, Namanga
  5. Makueni County (formerly Makueni District) is part of the former Eastern Province. Its capital and largest town is Wote. The County has a population of 884,527 according to the 2009 census and an area of 8,008.9 km².


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