Governance and Accountability

Student from Mukuru Reuben, Nairobi, fetching clean water from a tap at the school bio centre. Photo Credit: Abraham Ali

Taxes paid to the government should go to the provision of essential services for its people. 

Kenya raises 20% of GDP in tax revenue. Tax revenues are the biggest source of long-term financing for sustainable development and the Kenyan constitution clearly specifies equity as an expected outcome. With the positive economic growth and investment opportunities, Kenya has a great potential to mobilise more tax revenues, provide public services to its people, and reduce inequality. In order to realise this, there is need to improve governance and accountability within civil society organisations so that they and citizens can influence progressive tax mobilisation, gender responsive allocation and effective utilisation of resources for public services.

Through our Governance and Accountability programming, Oxfam in Kenya is working with partners to ensure equitable raising, gender-responsive allocation and spending of financial resources at national and county level and a vibrant and dynamic civil society that is maximising its space and effectively mobilising citizens, 
advocating for citizen’s rights and holding government to account on equitable raising, allocation and spending of financial resources.

What does success look like?

National and County Governments increasingly prioritise the specific needs and priorities of vulnerable and marginalised women in the allocation, raising and spending of Government resources by 2020.
  2. Citizens are actively engaged and significantly influence decision making on resource raising, allocation and spending by the National and County Government by 2020 .
  3. National and local Civil Society Organisations have improved transparent and accountable governance system and are able to influence and hold National and County governments to account to effectively deliver their responsibilities. 

Over the next five years, Oxfam in Kenya will focus on supporting a movement of citizenship in Kenya that is informed and active on tax mobilisation, budget allocation and spending. We will also be bold and brave in challenging taxation policies and practices and grounding our influencing work on research, power and gender analyses. Emphasis will also be placed on linking community, county, national and global level interventions, particularly on tax justice and inequality. 

The Tax Justice Project

In the quest for poverty alleviation and reducing the economic inequality in Kenya, one of the ultimate issues to address is the provision and accessibility of quality essential public services. To ensure all Kenyans receive quality essential public services, Oxfam in Kenya is focusing on ensuring that the government can mobilise and manage domestic resources. The project is focusing on ensuring the Government is mobilising sufficient domestic resources by broadening its tax base and having everyone pay their fair share of tax. By also creating citizen awareness on how to engage with their taxes, with the National and County budgets and thereafter use this knowledge to hold duty bearers to account. This will ultimately ensure that the citizens know their taxes, how they are taxed, what they are taxed on and what or how their taxes are being spent. The interventions will also look at building evidence for legislative and policy reforms. It is envisioned that ultimately citizens will take a lead in influencing the Government to provide quality public services and thereby increasing the quality of life for the poor and marginalised.

Vincent's Plight: Taxes for essential services