OGI Kenya

The Journey from Plan to Budget_Role of Program-Based Budgeting (PBB)

This brief reviews Elgeyo Marakwet County Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2020/21. It looks at the process from which the document was developed and assess decisions taken by both arms of government regarding the content.

Traditionally, the county has adopted a blank-slate approach in getting communities to input into the budget decision making that generated a list of projects in August every year, two months after approval of another budget in June. In other words, citizens were being asked to identify projects for the coming year even before the implementation of the present financial year’s projects commenced. This approach also meant that budget programs, targets and performance indicators were designed on the basis of projects selected as opposed to such processes responding to broader policy goals.

In an attempt to streamline the budget processes, the executive submitted a program-based budget format ADP 2020/21 – with no projects this time. Assembly rejected the document on that basis that it did not contain projects. In summary, three things stand out from the review.

  1. Executive’s shift to begin the budget processes with program design, target and indicator setting presents a remarkable turning point resulting out of experience. Identification of projects is a budgeting stage function in the budget cycle that preceding the setting of program targets and indicators, thus, inverts the planning and budgeting processes to begin with budgeting. Ideally, good planning processes identify broad development and service delivery goals, set targets to be achieved over the year and identifying indicators to measure progress then follow the identification of suitable projects and interventions to achieve the set targets.
  2. Apparent misconceived definition of development in Kenya to imply capital projects by most leaders and citizens weaken the value of Program-Based Budgeting (PBB) and negatively affects the county’s planning and budgeting. In order to develop and deliver services sustainably, the county planning and budgeting must follow from a well-designed process.
  3. Inadequate or lack of shared understanding of the value of good planning and budgeting processes between assembly, executive and communities. Even as the executive attempted to shift and streamline the budgeting processes, there is very little evidence that both arms of government understand the shift, particularly the application of Program-Based Budgeting (PBB) approach and/or that executive has sufficiently caused the assembly and other stakeholders to understand its shift in approach. Read more>>>





2 thoughts on “The Journey from Plan to Budget_Role of Program-Based Budgeting (PBB)”

  1. Cynthia Chelanga

    Great work Timothy in researching and providing detailed information on how the counties(ElgeyoMarakwet) are tackling program based budgeting(PBB). The new approach of program based budgeting in its effort to turn around planning based on the overall program objectives rather project inputs, is quite effective in ensuring that that the programs put aside meets the targeted objectives.
    However, based on the county assembly rejecting PBB based of planning is that it is generally hard to quantify an objective of a program and very easy to quantify a project hence the decision to for the old traditional way of planning.

    1. Thank you Cynthia for the comment, much appreciated.

      Indeed, PBB has great value in designing effective public service delivery while facilitating assessment of impact and value for money. However, there is evidence of inadequacies in the application of the innovation which could be a result of many factors including inadequate knowledge of PBB among practitioners.

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