MDP team in Nairobi studies revenue collection & enforcement

In June 2016 four MDP students (Antony Maikuri, June Nkwengem Johanna Tatlow, Moses Waiswa) and one Masters of Human Rights (Marin Phelps) began their field experiences in Nairobi, Kenya. The objective of the study was looking at revenue streams under the new county governments. Kenyans voted for the new constitution and it was implemented in 2010. Under the new constitution, the Central government would cede its powers to the counties similar to the system in the U.S.

With the help of International Center of Policy and Conflict (ICPC) and Center for the Enhancement of Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) we had planned to study three counties. After deliberating with our partner organizations, we chose two counties, Nakuru and Machakos, due to their proximity to Nairobi and the connections our partner organizations had with these counties.

As the new system is being implemented, we planned to examine the mechanisms that have been put in place for revenue collection by national legislation. Additionally, we compared practices in revenue collection and enforcement between the two counties in our study. The transition to the new system of government has not been without hiccups. There is a lack of resources, lack of public participation, and 'growing pains' associated with the implementation of the new constitution. Even though the implementation of the new constitution has been frustrating at times, most of the officials we spoke to agreed that the new constitution has made government more accountable and inclusive.

After conducting background research and data collection, we concluded our project after two months and presented our findings to the county governments and partner organizations. We hope that our findings will contribute to the work that has already been done in revenue collection, and will improve systems as Kenya works to fully implement devolution. 

Sent by Moses Waiswa

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