Since 2011, PEN has been running a governance project "Enhancing citizens' voices and participation in the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010" aimed at increased citizens' capacity in participation and decision making in Machakos and Makueni Counties in the lower Eastern Kenya. The project has had an overall objective of ensuring that Development and reforms reflect Citizens' priorities, improving their participation in local and national decision making processes. Its specific objective has been to enhance the capacity of Citizens', CBOs and other citizens' organisations to facilitate community participation and influence on area development priorities, decision making and policy formulation. This project is also aimed at creating a vibrant culture of public participation, transparent, accountable and inclusive governance practices for effective service delivery and development prioritization at county level.
The project has led to the formation of a county CSO Network in Machakos which has been engaging the county government on legislation and county development plans.
Achievements of the project:

  • Trained over 100 community resource persons who have been steering community actions and acting as change advocates
  • Increased awareness of the constitution and improved participation in its implementation. For example during the 2012-2013 general elections period, voter education resulted to the higher voter registration and turnout in Machakos county as reported by the IEBC office, Machakos at 87%
  • A vibrant Civil Society Organizations Network championing the rights of citizens in Machakos County
  • Established a working partnership between the CSO Network and the County Assembly Machakos where a MOU was submitted and discussed by the deputy clerk and the Assembly legal officer awaiting signing and implementation
  • The CSO Network prepared and submitted five Memos to the Taskforce on the PBO Act amendments initiated by the Ministry of Devolution and National Planning
  • Prepared and submitted a memo on the Machakos County Public participation Act
  • Members of the Network participated in all the county public participation forums and mobilized citizens in the Sub counties to participate and contribute in the decisions being made
  • Increased transparency and equity in resource allocation by the County government especially CDF projects and bursary allocation at the local levels
  • A petition prepared by Kalama citizens to the County Minister for Education on unprocedural appointment of the Ward Bursary committee in Kalama ward
  • Machakos County CSO Network prepared and submitted a Memo on the 2015/2016 County Budget

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