ABOUT THE INDEX
Increasingly, demands are being made on analysts to simultaneously consolidate and correlate data from multiple sources into easily digestible statistical measures that provide an indication on how governments, institutions and even students are performing over time.
“A performance index is a powerful management tool that can allow multiple sets of information to be compiled into an overall measure which then provides a quick snapshot of performance. It could also be based on one key parameter on overall performance”
As a management tool, the performance index works optimally where the indices are correlated to set institutional targets and where differences between performance and plans exist, factors that may be prohibiting achievement of targets are ascertained and dealt with. The index also allows for benchmarking over time to determine whether desirable gains are being recognized periodically.
Furthermore, the report contains approval ratings of all elected leaders operating within the County namely; Governor, Senator, Women’s Representative, and Member of the County Assembly. The Member of Parliament’s approval ratings were also included in the overall survey much as they operate under the ambit of national government.
The Index that was first launched in 2015 still remains the first of its kind and magnitude in Kenya. It provides an excellent baseline from which other evaluation tools can be developed and more importantly provides the county governments and other interested stakeholders with robust statistics on the perception of county residents over county governments’ performance of the devolved functions by ward and other demographics like gender, age, level of education etc.
The CountyTrak Performance Index was designed with the core objective of ascertaining county residents’ assessment on the performance of their County Governments against set Key performance indicators and to develop a Citizens Scorecard on the performance of their County governments.
The CountyTrak Index will continue being conducted periodically to provide a reliable palate for benchmarking. Owing to the extremely vast nature of the data, mining of the information shall be done by demand. Over and above this, an executive summary for general consumption is available.
The CountyTrak Index was conceptualised and funded by Infotrak Research and Consulting.
Kenyans overwhelmingly ushered in our current constitution on the promise of devolution which they felt result in increased grass root access to resources and political power. Indeed people’s expectations of county governments continue to be extremely high.
While most county governments tend appreciate this fact and try to capitalise on low hanging fruits as soon as they kick off, others prefer to spend the nascent stages laying the ground work and planning elaborately for delivery. Irrespective of leadership style, what remains critical is that people feel the impact of devolution in their daily lives.
County governments need to fully decipher the perceptions of their residents and develop strategies that are concomitant with their expectations. It’s against this back drop that Infotrak Research developed The CountyTrakTM Index to provide an objective Citizens’ Scorecard on the performance of their County governments against set key performance indicators.
The study covered all the 47 counties, 290 constituencies and 1450 wards with an overall sample of n=37,600.
Each county was treated as an individual universe and assigned a cluster sample which ranged between n=600 and n=2000 which translated to into a margin of error of between +/- 4 and +/-2 at 95% degree of confidence.
The CountyTrak Index was conducted between October -December 2019 & January 2020
On each quota county sample, the 2019 census was then used to stratify the sample using Population Proportionate to Size (PPS) across the respective wards within the county. The random stratification using a CATI predictive dialer was designed to ensure that each adult Kenyan in the respective wards with access to a mobile phone, had an equal chance of being interviewed. The ward was used as the key administrative boundary.
The predictive dialer settings also ensured fair distribution by age and gender provided the mother database is robust and representative of the universe. Data processing & analysis was done using SPSS.
For the inaugural Countytrak Index, Infotrak adopted a participatory approach in designing the research instruments and training manuals. Between March and August 2014, various questionnaires were adopted and county reports prepared for select counties. These reports were shared with the governors of those counties and their critique and objective comments internalised to design the optimal tool that encompassed what would be deemed by them as a fair assessment of their performance. The refined tool and reporting was also shared with development partners and donors working on devolution. Their comments were also internalised and adopted. Finally, the tool was subjected to rigorous refining and crystallizing of indicators that would fall under each devolved function. In the end the CountyTrak Index tool consisted of thirty three indicators and five approval rating questions. The tool also asked residents to indicate the key issues of concern for the county amongst other things.
The final questionnaire was structured with likert type ranking questions applied on each key performance indicators; ie on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent.
In July 2019, the tool was further refined to rename the functions to mirror the adaptation that most counties currently use.
The final draft CountyTrak questionnaire was piloted between August and September 2019. After the pilot, necessary changes were made to ensure the survey was expedited with efficiency. To begin with, the Swahili version of the questionnaire was simplified for easier consumption. Also the questionnaire length was shortened to ensure that respondents do not suffer irritation or fatigue during the questioning.
Data Collection team & Training
The data collection team/CATI interviewers were selected from a pool of nearly two hundred individuals who had prior experience in CATI research. The team was trained using both classroom method and hands on approach to gauge their suitability for the survey. During the pilot, their dummy interviews were listened to by professional researchers and best practice recorded and used for illustration whilst weaknesses were rectified but also recorded and used for correction. In the end, the CountyTrak CATI team consisted of individuals who were well versed with the tool, well prepared to handle all types of telephone conversations and well-motivated to handle any challenges that emanated from the calls.
During the training, the team was also provided with a training manual that consisted of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and any other critical issues about the survey that they needed to remember.
The CATI team had on call supervisors and IT support to assist them with any challenges that they faced.
Data was collected through Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews and data processing & analysis was done using SPSS.
Kenya with a current subscriber base of 33million and mobile penetration of 82.6% (according to CAK) provides an excellent opportunity for the adoption of technology in data collection.
Each Infotrak CATI interviewer (ICI) sits behind a CATI station and initiates the interview sessions.
The ICATI uses a predictive dialer which randomly selects and assigns numbers to each ICI.
Limitations of the Study
Like every evaluation tool, the CountyTrak Index isn’t without limitations.
To begin with, comparing counties is a challenging effort because county governments are operating from different starting points.
Secondly, the perceived notion that respondents from marginalised and rural communities have lower comprehension of issues is often argued to imply that because they are less exposed they are also less informed. Whilst this argument is valid, it’s imperative to note that illiteracy doesn’t equate unintelligence. Just because someone can’t to read doesn’t mean they can’t opine on issues that affect their lives within the county.
Thirdly, the introduction of technology in data collection has naturally been met with scepticism both from some respondents and stakeholders alike who are yet to fully synthesize how the CATI technology works. Further still, there are those who erroneously believe that mobile phone ownership is the preserve of the rich.
With a current subscriber base of 33million and mobile penetration of 82.6% (according to CAK) Kenya’s landscape provides an excellent opportunity for the adoption of technology in data collection.
CATI still has other limitations which include the fact that the questionnaire cannot be long as respondents get impatient with interviews longer than 15 minutes. The call rates are still extremely expensive making the method only slightly cheaper than face to face. The advantages of CATI are accrued more in accuracy and quality control because it is easier to establish with certainty when, how and with what quality the interview was conducted.
Despite all the limitations mentioned, we believe that the pros for a study of this nature far outweigh the cons. Good information that can assist our leaders to make decisions is much better than misinformation.
|County Planning & Development|
|County Infrastructure ; Roads & Transport|
|Making it difficult for people to access drugs and pornography|
|Ensuring county services are available upto the ward level|
|Control of Pollution|
|Conservation of Environment and Natural resources Functions|
|Cultural activities, Public Entertainment and Amenities|
|Education: ECD and Polytechnic education|
|Trade Development & Regulation|
|Animal Control and welfare|
|Making it difficult for people to access drugs and pornography|
|Management of public funds|
|Empowerment of youth, women & persons with disability|
Condition of life of county residents
Happiness index of the county residents
Optimism index of the county residents