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Community Contribution

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: Adopting CLA to Roll Out Programme Based Budgeting in Kenya's Health Sector

Theresa Watwii Ndavi

USAID-funded Health Policy Plus (HP+) in Kenya and East Africa (KEA) provides technical support and contributes to increased sustainable, predictable, and adequate financing for programs and health policy implementation in Kenya. The project also harmonizes resource tracking tools to measure progress towards sustainable health financing and universal health coverage in the East African Regional bloc. The Constitution of Kenya (CoK), promulgated in August 2010, saw the decentralization of the government into national and county governments. The CoK also led to the emergence of the 2012 Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) that required the governments to employ the Programme Based Budgeting (PBB) system, for planning and budgeting purposes for the first time in Kenya's public sector. HP+ Kenya embarked on an activity to train selected county health team members in 26 counties on PBB and tracking county budgets to ensure adherence to the PFMA, 2012. This was to ensure that a strong team of experts and trainers was built in a county, who would be trained and mentored to spearhead PBB and the county budgeting process. The staff collaborated with key stakeholders at the national and county governments as well as the Kenya School of Government (KSG) and others. The team focused on expanding their knowledge base on the public sector's planning and budgeting processes; developing PBB training and implementation tools tailored towards health; as well as fine tuning their skills on training public officials. The team was presented with several opportunities to re-evaluate and adapt their strategy for optimal results. The team faced a few challenges such as stakeholder competition, the embargo that prohibited working with the Ministry at national level, hindering collaboration with a critical stakeholder. All in all, counties have dedicated PBB experts who champion the system and continually advocate for resources for health. HP+ continues to offer mentorship and technical support in planning and budgeting to counties.

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