Section 91 of the County Government Act (2012) stipulates that county governments shall facilitate the establishment of modalities and platforms for citizen participation such as town hall meetings, ICT based technologies, establishment of citizen fora at county levels and decentralized units.
Additionally, Sections 94, 95 and 96 require counties to establish mechanisms to facilitate public communication and access to information using media with the widest public outreach. Every county is required to designate an office for ensuring access to information.
Through the Every Citizen Counts - Participatory Budgeting Project (ECC-PB), the Embu County Government has partnered with Fahamu Africa, with the support of HIVOS, to develop the Embu County Open Governance Digital Platform. The platform aims at promoting access to information as well as create a feedback mechanism for engagement between the county government and its citizenry.
The ECC-PB project seeks to improve participatory mechanisms for monitoring and influencing decision-making processes at county level. This is through addressing systemic information asymmetry between citizens and county governments that result in weak planning and delivery of quality services. The project utilizes the County Open Governance Digital Platform to support citizens influence policy processes and support the county government in improving planning, budget making and service delivery.
The overall goal of the project is to contribute towards improved budget and fiscal transparency; address information gaps between citizens and county officials; and enhance citizen demand for accountability and service delivery responsiveness.