Does it matter if money for free maternity care is given on the basis of population?

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By Jason Lakin

Posted  Saturday, February 7   2015 at  18:27

The money set aside is 15 per cent of the RMLF. This should also raise questions for public debate: currently, roughly 15 per cent of RMLF is set aside for the Kenya Urban Roads Authority, but another 32 per cent goes for link/constituency roads under the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KRRA).

Altogether, this is as much as half of the RMLF that goes to what should be considered “county roads,” so why is the grant only for 15 per cent? Part of the reason may be parliament’s unwillingness to devolve KRRA, and if so, let us discuss this openly.

Of course, the main thing everyone wants to know is how much money the counties are going to get compared with previous years. And, as usual, everything depends on definitions.

By adding in free maternity this year, Treasury has taken the right approach to conditional grants, but has also complicated our ability to compare funding across years in a consistent way. I will analyse this in my next column.

Jason Lakin is Kenya country director for the International Budget Partnership. E-mail: [email protected]

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