The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), chaired by Mr. Micah Cheserem, launched marginalization Policy on 27th, February, 2013 at Stanley Hotel, Nairobi.
The Commission on Revenue Allocation was established under Article 215 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 with the main mandate of recommending the basis for equitable sharing of revenues raised nationally between the national and the county governments, and sharing of revenues among the county governments.
Article 216(4) of the Constitution, requires the Commission to determine, publish and regularly review a policy on which it sets out the criteria by which to identify marginalised areas for purposes of the allocation and use of the Equalization Fund.
Marginalization Policy aims to set out the criteria for identifying marginalised areas and counties in Kenya and provides a framework that shall guide in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in the use of the Equalisation Fund.
In setting out the criteria for identifying marginalized areas, the Commission identified reasons for marginalisation, which include:
1. Legislated discrimination;
2. Geographical location;
3. Culture and lifestyles;
4. External domination;
5. Land legislation and administration;
6. Minority recognition groups;
7. Ineffectual political participation; and
8. Inequitable government policies
The Commission further highlights the consequences and impacts of marginalisation. These include high levels of absolute and relative poverty, food insecurity, poor infrastructure, poor state of basic social services and poor governance.
The primary criterion chosen for identifying marginalized counties in the policy is the County Development Index (CDI), which is a composite index, constructed from indicators measuring the state of health, education, infrastructure and poverty in a county. The CDI is complemented by two other approaches, namely: expert analysis on historical and legislative discrimination and results of the Commission’s county marginalisation survey.
Based on these criteria, the following fourteen (14) counties have been identified as marginalised.
1. Turkana 2. Mandera 3. Wajir
4. Marsabit 5. Samburu 6. West Pokot
7. Tana River 8. Narok 9. Kwale
10. Garissa 11. Kilifi 12. Taita Taveta
13. Isiolo 14. Lamu
The Policy further makes the following recommendations;
- i. The Equalisation Fund be appropriated as conditional grants to marginalized counties. Thus, the Fund should be spent when county governments are in place;
- ii. The Fund should be appropriated in a single budget line instead of the sectors under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF);
- iii. The Fund should be managed by an Advisory Committee.
- There should be clearly defined linkages between Fund management, county and local level structures and line ministries; and
- iv. This policy is effective for three (3) years before it is reviewed.
The policy recognises that there are marginalised communities living in counties which are classified as non-marginalised and thus do not benefit from the Equalisation Fund. Both the national and county governments should, therefore, institute affirmative action programs targeting minorities and marginalised groups within counties to enable them realise their social and economic rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
All actors in government are expected to rally around this policy in order to ensure that we make the country an equitable society as envisaged in the Constitution.
The Equalisation Fund is pegged at 0.5 per cent of the last audited national revenue, in this case the Sh.608. 063 billion shareable revenue collected in the 2012/2013 financial year.
The money is allocated to counties needing extra resources to provide basic services like water, roads, health and electricity until they are close to those of other counties.
Under the criteria released Wednesday 27th February 2013 by CRA chairman Micah Cheserem, Turkana will receive Sh271 million while Lamu county will get Sh186 million annually.
Others are; Mandera, 249 million, Wajir, 240 million, Marsabit, 228 Million, Samburu, 224 million, West Pokot, 223 million, Tana River,221 million Narok, 208 million, Kwale, 205 million, Garissa, 202 million, Kilifi, 197 million Taita Taveta194 million and Isiolo 1992 million each annually before the formula is reviewed in 2016.