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Feedback Mechanisms

Feedback is a two-way process, with citizens giving input on governance and service delivery processes, and the Government providing feedback to citizens on their views in public engagement processes and any issues raised by the citizens. Feedback is important in public participation as it contributes to trust and confidence building between government and citizens. However, to be effective it should be timely and communicated clearly in formats and means that are mutually accessible to citizens and the government.

What are the ways that citizens can give feedback to the county government?

Citizens can provide feedback to their governments, both the executive and assembly through various ways. Citizen feedback is important as it helps to inform and guide the county government on what is working, what is not and areas that require attention or improvement. These mechanisms can be meaningful only if they are easily accessible, affordable and appreciated by the government. Some formal mechanisms for citizen feedback are listed below. You should also read the section on Social Accountability on other ways in which counties provide feedback on county service delivery

How should the County Government feedback to citizens on the outcomes of public participation?

The public should expect the County Government (both the County Executive and the County Assembly) to inform them of the results of public participation processes. This may be done through reports or media briefing that outline the nature and number of views received, the views incorporated or ignored, and on what basis.

The Governor is required to do an annual ‘state of the county’ address on county affairs (CGA 2012, 30(2)(k)). Counties are required to have information officers and complaints mechanisms as a way to both give and receive feedback. Sub-county and ward level administrations play an important role in this area. These feedback methods are important for enhancing public confidence in the County Government.

Complaints Process

  1. A complaint may be received by the county either by telephone, e-mail, e-platform, a letter, in person, or a duly filled form by a complainant to the assigned complaints office.
  2. Once a complaint is received, it shall be recorded and assigned a reference number to facilitate follow-up. A record of a complaint shall include the name and contact details of the complainant, full details of the complaint including the date, as well as details of all communication with the complainant and any actions to resolve the complaint.
  3. The complaint shall then be forwarded to the appropriate county officer who is authorised to deal with the complaint.
  4. The county should resolve all complaints promptly and written complaints shall be acknowledged.
  5. Where the complaint cannot be resolved immediately, complainants shall be informed of the time frame at the time of making their complaint. Complainants shall be informed of the progress of their complaint regularly, especially if there are any delays or changes to what has been agreed upon between the appropriate county officer and the complainant.
  6. Where appropriate, customers who have had a complaint resolved shall be contacted at a later date to find out whether or not they are happy with how their complaint was handled.
  7. Where a complaint cannot be resolved by the above complaint handling procedure, it shall be referred to the County Executive secretary or County Assembly clerk and the complainant shall be informed and given an amended time frame for resolution.
  8. The county government shall report to the public on the complaints filed annually.

Source: County Public Participation Guidelines, Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MODP), Council of Governors, 2016

Where a complaint cannot be resolved by the above complaint handling procedure

The following remedies are available to county residents:

  • Redress within the judicial system;
  • The right to assemble, demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions as per Article 37 of the Constitution;
  • Right to recall as provided by Article 104 of the Constitution and the County Government Act; and
  • Letters to the County Executive or County Assembly.


Complaints mechanisms should adhere to the following principles:


What does this mean?

Public focus

The county is committed to effective complaint handling and values feedback.


Information about how and where to complain is well publicised to the public, county staff and other interested parties.


The process of making a complaint and investigating it is easy for complainants to access and understand.


Complaints are acknowledged promptly, addressed urgently, and the complainant is kept informed throughout the process.

Objectivity and fairness

Complaints are dealt with in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner. This will help ensure that the complaint handling process is fair and reasonable. Unreasonable complainants are not allowed to become a burden.


Personal information related to complaints is kept confidential.


If a complaint is upheld, the organisation provides a remedy.


There are opportunities for internal and external review or appeal about the organisation’s response to the complaint, and complainants are informed about these avenues.


Accountabilities for complaint handling are clearly established, and complaints and responses are monitored and reported to the county government and other stakeholders.

Continuous improvement

Complaints are a source of improvement for county governments.

Source: County Public Participation Guidelines, Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MODP), Council of Governors, 2016


Writing a Petition

Writing a petition involves:

  • identifying the target
  • carrying out research on the issue of concern
  • clear communication
  • identify ways of promoting the petition e.g. sending messages to friends, networks and media forums

Identifying the Target Audience

Some of the possible targets include:

  • national and county governments, parliaments, and politicians
  • political parties, the President, Cabinet Secretaries, Governors, Senators and Ambassadors
  • Media organisations
  • neighborhood authorities
  • business associations

Content of the Petition

  • Begin with a request, followed by well researched reasons for making the request.
  • Provide a description of relevant circumstances and links to documentation or facts that support the description.
  • The description should contain information that suggests that the petition is feasible.
  • Do not clutter the petition with information or requests that have no clear connection to the main message.

How to Promote a Petition

  • To promote a petition, send the message to friends, family, networks and the media (Social media; electronic and print media).
  • Raise issues in forums and discussion groups and share with as many relevant people as possible.

Source: Devolution and Public Participation in Kenya: Civic Education Handouts for Participants, Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MODP), 2016.

Petitions to County Governments

Sections 15 and 88 of County Government Act states that citizens have a right to petition the County Assembly to consider any matter within its authority including enacting, amending or repealing any of its legislation. The public may petition on issues affecting a group of people, through village committees, ward, sub-county and county committees.

A county government should indicate the manner and form in which a petition may be done. Information that the petition may include is:

a. Be addressed to the County Executive Committee or the County Assembly;

b. Have its subject matter indicated on every sheet if it consists of more than one sheet;

c. Confirm that efforts have been made to have the matter addressed by the relevant body and that there has been no response on the matter from the relevant body or that the response has not been satisfactory;

d. Confirm that the issues in respect of which the petition is made are not pending before any court or other constitutional or legal body;

e. Conclude with a clear, proper and respectful request, reciting the definite object of the petitioner or petitioners in regard to the matter to which it relates;

f. Contain the names, addresses, identification numbers, signature or a thumb impression of the petitioner or of every petitioner, where there is more than one petitioner; and

g. Contain only signatures or thumb impressions, as the case may be, and addresses and identification numbers written directly onto the petition and not pasted thereon or otherwise transferred to it.

The county government should indicate to the petitioner the period and manner the petition will be replied to. This also means that the county should keep a register of petitions that should be made available for public scrutiny.

Source: County Public Participation Guidelines, Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MODP), Council of Governors, 2016


  • This is a brief on written records to the government and other stakeholders that hold power or influence.
  • The basic function of a Memorandum is to make the recipient aware of specific information as conclusively as possible.
  • A memorandum can be written to inform, to persuade, or to give specific feedback on a particular topic.

Download a Memorandum template 


Example Format for a Written Memorandum—giving feedback on a county document


Personal Details: Name, contact details (if any) e.g. Phone number, postal, email address

Policy/legislation/development plan up for public participation:

Specific proposals to policy/legislation/development plan:

Justification for the proposal (what will be achieved if the proposal is implemented):


Public litigation

In situations where a citizen feels they do not have an adequate response, there is the option to escalate through the court system, if the issue can demonstrate public interest.


A guide to public litigation in Kenya. Kenya for Peace with Truth and Justice, AFRICOG, Katiba Institute  

Source: County Public Participation Guidelines, Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MODP), Council of Governors, 2016