Policy Making Menu block


Programming provides the critical link between policy and the rest of the PEM cycle. Programmes underpin the whole cycle as they (a) are designed to achieve desired policy objectives and outcomes (b) represent the building blocks of plans and budgets; (c) combine services delivered through the recurrent and development budget; and (d) are monitored and evaluated to determine if policies need review. The County Executive bears the core responsibility for ensuring that programs reflect the county’s policy intent.


Upstream: County Policy, County Law/Statute, County Regulations

Downstream: Planning and Budgeting, Implementation and Service Delivery, Monitoring and Reporting, Oversight, Evaluation and Review


Unlike the rest of the PEM cycle, programming is not a discrete “process” or “step”. It is better described as the “vehicle” that drives the PEM cycle, from policy to planning and budgeting, to service delivery, monitoring and reporting, and finally, evaluation and review. From a County Government perspective, programmes translate ideas and plans into results. Given this perspective, programming has three dimensions, rather than phases. The first dimension is design, through which policy objectives, outcomes and measures (including laws, regulations and administrative actions) are translated into programmes. At this level, programmes are made “actionable” through discrete projects (which have a specific start and end date) and changes to ongoing operations (day to day service delivery and administrative tasks).. Discrete projects represent development, or capital, expenditure, while ongoing operations relate to recurrent expenditure. The second dimension is application. All planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, reporting, evaluation and review is programme-based (i.e. it is linked to, and marked against policy objectives, and effected through projects, service delivery and/or general administrative support). Since programmes are built up from long-term plans, they are not necessarily destabilized or otherwise affected by institutional changes in the County Government. Evaluation is the third dimension. Because programmes emerge from policy, policy evaluation and review may affect programme design. Equally, lessons or challenges emerging in subsequent parts of the PEM cycle may also call for changes to programme design, or overall programming. 

For a more elaborate description of Programming, follow this link:

Programming and its Dimensions Explained


Laws and Regulations

County Government Act, No 17 of 2012

Public Finance Management Act, No 18 of 2012

Guidelines and Tools

County Budget Operational Manual – National Treasury, 2014

Other Resources

Summative Presentation on Sector-Based Programming (AHADI)