For five years, I have been analyzing state budgets both at the national and at the county levels in Kenya. This is a practice that I am determined to continue pursuing with singularity as my small contribution towards social change in Africa.
States have many policies but budget is one of the most important policies which we should all care about and hence interact in the entire process. It is through budgets that we can tell the true priorities of any government. When it gets into budgets, the chances that it will be done increases tremendously. Period.
Just to give you a background into my professional life, starting from September, 2008 I studied economics and statistics in my undergraduate at Kenyatta University. After graduation, I was privileged to work as a researcher and budget analyst at Hakijamii. This is a national human rights organization based in Nairobi, Kenya. I worked here for nearly five years. This position helped me build my skills and networks across many counties in Kenya.
There is a very special phase in my analyzing of public policies which I remember with a lot of nostalgia. This was in 2016 when I was privileged again to be part of a national shadow budget training project put together by International Budget Partnership Kenya and Uraia Trust. I was part of the first cohort of budget facilitators from across Kenya. We exchanged ideas with Locas Fondo (Mombasa), Peter Rono (Nakuru), Duerence Onyango (Kisumu), Shabo Ibrahim (Isiolo), Omole Opinya (Homa Bay), Evans Kibet (Baringo), Janney Kariko (Nyeri), Christine Kalikanda (Kitui) and Francesca Marabu (Eldoret) among others. The ship was steered by Dr. Jason Lakin, John Kinuthia, Mokeira all of IBP Kenya and Caro Nyamu of Uraia Trust. The budget facilitators’ forum was built around what is working and what is not and more importantly how to facilitate capacity training forums at the counties.
I particularly remember Dr. Jason Lakin reminding me that we are operating under a new environment and no one know much about the new laws on public finance management. Not even the most experience bureaucrats in government. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 had made a level playground for all of us. Sometimes it sounded like people speaking in tongues at the Tower of Babel when it came to interpretation of some laws and regulations. This always called for a sound of reason which was at times provided by the budget facilitators.
The Shadow budget training forum came at a very good time when everyone was grappling with the new laws and regulations brought about by the promulgation of Constitution of Kenya 2010. Hence, there were a lot of new areas and practices to discuss with policy makers at the county and national level.
During my sojourn at that national human rights organization, I developed further interest in many areas of governance. I undertook short training courses from other organizations such as Africa Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) and Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance Project (KEPTAP) among others. I am truly grateful for the quality of networks that I interacted with during those times including with Kenya Civil Society Platform for Oil and Gas (KCPOG).
As from January 2019 I started my postgraduate work at Kenyatta University’s School of Humanities under the Digital School programme. I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Public Policy and Administration or MPPA. I will complete my course work in the next couple of weeks and hence start my project. Through this training, I’m confident I will be more articulate and more analytical in my work.
Just like old wine, my personal blog is becoming better and better every day. This is due to the skills and knowledge that I am accumulating every single day. I count this website as an incubator where new ideas are first tested before they are rolled over to the regional, continental or global arena.
Blogging is not easy, it involves explaining myself to all who care to listen about what I am doing, why I am doing it and my future plans. I do not mind doing this every single day. The world is quite dynamic and hence there is need for us to keep up with the world in our own terms instead of getting trampled upon by the world.
Going forward, I promise that you will read more content on public finance in East Africa and more especially how budgetary allocations of resources has an implication on your level of access to basic services such as health and education.
I am determined to be razor-sharp in my focus as I analyze and present my ideas through this blog and many other platforms.
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