The Types and Purposes of County Plans in Kenya

County plans in Kenya are essential for the planning and development by the 47 county governments. County plans are especially essential for the budgeting process in the counties.

Every county should prepare a development plan to fulfill Article 220(2) of the Constitution of Kenya.

Part XI of the County Governments Act deals extensively with County Planning. This is in Sections 102 to 115 of the Act. Sections 107 to 111 of the Act deal with the types and purposes of the county plans.

The purpose of the county plans is to guide, harmonize, and facilitate development within each county.

No county should spend its funds without a planning framework. The County Executive should develop the county plans. Thereafter, the County Assemblies should approve these county plans according to the law.

The county planning framework should integrate economic, physical, social, environmental, and spatial planning.

The county government should designate county departments, cities and urban areas, sub-counties and Wards as planning authorities of the county.

The authorities should incorporate non-state actors in their planning processes to fulfill the principle of public participation. The county plans should apply to all sub-county units for development activities within the county.

The functions of the county governments and relevant national policies should be the basis of county plans. The functions are in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution.

The county plans should recognize the financial viability of development programmes. County planning should also provide for public participation.

Types and purposes of county plans

The county governments should come up with the following plans:

  • county integrated development plan;
  • county sectoral plans;
  • county spatial plan; and
  • City or municipal plans – cities and urban areas plans as provided for under the Urban Areas and Cities Act (No. 13 of 2011).

The County plans above should form the basis for all budgeting and spending in a county.

County integrated development plan (CIDP)

This is a five-year plan (also known as the medium term). The Ministry of Planning issued planning guidelines for CIDP in May 2013.

The five-year county integrated development plan should have:

  • clear goals and objectives;
  • an implementation plan with clear outcomes;
  • provisions for monitoring and evaluation; and
  • clear reporting mechanisms.

Each county integrated development plan should identify:

  • the institutional framework, which shall include an organization chart, required for—
    (i) the implementation of the integrated development plan; and
    (ii) addressing the county’s internal transformation needs;
  •  as informed by the strategies and programmes set out in the plan—
    (i) any investment initiatives in the county;
    (ii) any development initiatives in the county, including infrastructure, physical, social, economic and institutional development;
    (iii) all known projects, plans and programs to be implemented within the county by any organ of state; and
    (iv) the key performance indicators set by the county.

The county integrated development plan should:

  • have attached to it maps, statistics and other appropriate documents; or
  • refer to maps, statistics and other appropriate documents that are not attached but held in a GIS based database system:

Provided that the plans above are open for public inspection at the offices of the county in question.

The county integrated development plan should also reflect a resource mobilization and management framework. The framework should at least:

  • include the budget projection required under the law governing county government financial management (The Public Finance Management Act);
  • indicate the financial resources that are available for capital project developments and operational expenditure (development and recurrent expenditure respectively); and
  • include a financial strategy that defines sound financial management and expenditure control: as well as ways and means of increasing revenues and external funding for the county and its development priorities and objectives, which strategy may address the following—
    (i) revenue raising strategies;
    (ii) asset management strategies;
    (iii) financial management strategies;
    (v) capital financing strategies;
    (vi) operational financing strategies; and
    (vii) strategies that would enhance cost-effectiveness.

In summary, the CIDP should contain the strategic midterm priorities of the county governments. That is, the priorities for the county during the tenure of a county government (5 years).  The CIDP especially informs the budget priorities for the coming year contained in the County’s Annual Development Plan.

Public participation is mandatory and important in the preparing the CIDP. The reason is that the public defines their priorities for the next five years from which the county develops its plans.

County sectoral plans

The county sectoral plan is a 10-year plan. A county department should prepare the county sectoral plan as component parts of the County Integrated Development Plan.

The County sectoral plans shall be:

  • programme based;
  • the basis for budgeting and performance management; and
  • reviewed every five years by the county executive and approved by the county assembly, but updated annually.

County spatial plans

This is a 10-year county geographic information system (GIS) based database system spatial plan. It should be a component part of the county integrated development plan providing:

  • a spatial depiction of the social and economic development programme of the county as articulated in the integrated county development plan;
  • clear statements of how the spatial plan is linked to the regional, national and other county plans; and
  • clear clarifications on the anticipated sustainable development outcomes of the spatial plan.

The spatial plan, which should be spatial development framework for the county, should:

  • give effect to the principles and objects contained in sections 102 and 103 of the County Governments Act;
  • set out objectives that reflect the desired spatial form of the county taking into account the development programme of the county as articulated in its county integrated development plan;
  • contain strategies and policies regarding the manner in which the objectives referred to in paragraph (b), which strategies and policies shall—
    (i) indicate desired patterns of land use within the county;
    (ii) address the spatial construction or reconstruction of the county;
    (iii) provide strategic guidance in respect of the location and nature of development within the county;
    (iv) set out basic guidelines for a land use management system in the county taking into account any guidelines, regulations or laws as provided for under Article 67(2)(h) of the Constitution;
    (v) set out a capital investment framework for the county’s development programs;
    (vi) contain a strategic assessment of the environmental impact of the spatial development framework;
    (vii) identify programs and projects for the development of land within the county; and
    (viii) be aligned with the spatial frameworks reflected in development the integrated development plans of neighbouring counties.
  • indicate where public and private land development and infrastructure investment should take place;
  • indicate desired or undesired utilization of space in a particular area;
  • may delineate the urban edges of the municipalities within its jurisdiction and mechanisms of dealing with the rural urban interfaces;
  • identify areas where strategic intervention is required
  • indicate areas where priority spending is required;
  • clear clarifications on the anticipated sustainable development outcomes of the spatial plan; and
  • indicate the areas designated to conservation and recreation.

The county executive committee shall develop each county spatial plan that each respective county shall approve according to the procedures approved by the respective county assembly. Each spatial plan shall be up for review every five years by the respective county assemblies.

City or municipal plans

Each city and municipality should have the following plans—

  • City or municipal land use plans;
  • City or municipal building and zoning plans;
  • the City or urban area building and zoning plans;
  • location of recreational areas and public facilities.

A city or municipal plan is the instrument for facilitating development and controlling development within a respective city or municipality.  A city or municipal plan should, within a particular city or municipality, provide for:

  • functions and principles of land use and building plans;
  • location of various types of infrastructure within the city or municipality;
  • development control in the city or municipality within the national housing and building code framework.

The City or municipal land use and building plans are binding on all public entities and private citizens operating within the particular city or municipality.

The City or municipal land use and building plans are the regulatory instruments for guiding and facilitating development within the particular city or municipality.

Each county government should review its city or municipal land use and building plan every five years. The respective county assemblies should approve the revisions.

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