The EU-funded O4C19 program aims to improve transparency and efficiency in the use of public resources and in access to services during and after the Covid-19 crisis in Kenya.
Why Kenya’s Covid-19 management needs more transparency
Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the Kenyan government implemented drastic measures to protect citizens at risk and limit the economic consequences of the pandemic. Stimulus and safety net packages were allocated, intended to reach citizens and businesses in need. The government continues to plan and allocate significant resources to fund Covid-19 response and recovery. Against this backdrop, however, there is mounting evidence that the health emergency and subsequent rapid responses have created opportunities for bad actors to violate the principles of public finance management, seriously weakening the effectiveness of government action.
In addition, as the government transitions from addressing the immediate crisis to focusing on economic recovery, these challenges may continue to arise and undermine recovery efforts. It is therefore imperative that fundamental safeguards of public integrity, transparency and public accountability are not weakened or disregarded in both the immediate response as well as the longer-term recovery from Covid-19
The O4C19 program’s approach
The program follows an open governance approach, encouraging citizens and government to work together in tackling the impacts of the pandemic. This combines mobilizing citizen agency and action with producing actionable and reusable open data to enable scrutiny of public finances, keep institutions in check, and demand accountability. It includes concrete actions that address information access and power imbalances, and that enhance equity and accountability to ensure a just and fair response and recovery to the pandemic.
Specifically, the program will strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) and community accountability mechanisms to monitor, influence and participate in auditing public spending during the Covid-19 response and recovery. This will be done through:
- enhancing the capacities of CSOs and community accountability mechanisms to monitor and provide feedback on Covid-19 spending towards inclusiveness and sustainability
- advancing the progressive adoption of open contracting data standard and proactive disclosure of Covid-19 emergency contracting and procurement data by County governments
- strengthening legislatures, oversight institutions and CSOs’ capacity for effective public scrutiny of Covid-19 spending