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Into the light | Citizens and access to information in Kenya

A large majority of Kenyans think that their opinion does not matter at all or matters very little when it comes to national and county level decision-making. At the county level, 6 out of 10 citizens (61%) say their opinions matter very little when authorities make decisions and 2 out of 10 citizens (21%) think their opinions do not matter at all. At national level 64% say their opinion matters little and 21% again say their opinion does not matter at all. Almost six years into the new Constitution, and three years into devolution, it seems that Kenyans have not yet tasted the fruits of greater participation.

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief entitled Into the light: Citizens and access to information. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. The findings are based on data collected from 1,818 respondents between 23 February and 19 March 2016.

Citizens also lack confidence that they will be given information by government officials. Citizens are most confident about getting information on how to formally complain about a broken water point. But even then only 4 out of 10 (42%) think they could get this information. When it comes to more sensitive information, citizens are even less confident: only 27% think they would be given information on how to report corruption; 31% think they would get information on the availability of medicine from a health centre; and 32% think they could get information about receipt of the Free Primary Education funds from their local school.

Below are a selection of images for media use (right click on the image and select 'save image as'), the publications being released and the full dataset.

    

    

Read more: access to information governance Kenya Sauti za Wananachi

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