Citizen Participation in the Government Budget Process: The Case of Kibaha District Council, Tanzania
Keywords:Citizen Participation, Government Budget Process
AbstractThe study aimed at examining citizens’ participation in the government budget process. Specifically, the study intended to find out the local government officials’ perception on involvement of citizens in the budget process and establish the challenges hindering citizens’ participation in the budget process. This was an exploratory research which used qualitative research methods to explore respondents’ opinions and perception towards citizen participation in the budget process. Focus group discussions (6) were employed using small groups of 10 participants; whereby a total of 60 respondents were involved. Besides, the study employed Key Informants Interviews (27), Observation and Desk Reviews to further triangulate the findings from the Focus Group Discussions. The respondents were purposively selected based on their experience and knowledge on government budgeting process and citizens above the age of 18. The findings revealed that, local government officials believed in the importance of citizen to participate in the budgeting process but Obstacles and Opportunity to Development (O&OD) was not fully implemented, O&OD process was not well understood by the local government leaders at the lower level; and the average citizens generally lacked knowledge on the budgeting process since the whole process was monopolized by the leaders. The study recommended that, citizens should be educated and sensitized on the budget process along with improved service delivery to the citizens in order to persuade them to participate in the budget process; and lastly, the government should allocate more resource to implement O&OD at the government local levels.