We never approach politicians for favourable CountyTrak Performance rankings – Infotrak

Opinion polling and research firm InfoTrak has come out to dispel accusations that it seeks bribes from politicians adversely mentioned in its CountyTrak Performance rankings for a possible compromise leading to a favourable ranking.

In a statement, Angela Ambitho, the InfoTrak CEO, denied the allegations, stating that the company has never approached any politician with the intent of compromising its CountyTrak Performance rankings in their favour.

“Infotrak is guided by the principles of honesty and transparency as well as the industry ethics and code of conduct in all its undertakings,” stated Ms Ambitho. “The company denounces any allegations of this nature in the strongest terms possible. The company recognizes that an act of bribery is criminal, and that failure to report any solicitation to the authorities is also punishable by the law of the Republic of Kenya. The company urges those spreading falsehoods about the intentions and outcomes of the report to avoid cheap propaganda and use the right mechanisms to address their complaints. Instead of crucifying the messenger, they should go to the ground and find out what informed the poor ratings by their electorates.”

The statement added that Infotrak will institute the appropriate legal proceedings against those spreading such falsehoods in order to protect.

Infotrak’s CountyTrak Performance Index, developed in 2014, is a syndicated study which seeks to provide periodic and objective citizens’ scorecards on the performance of their respective County governments against set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on the one hand, and the performance rating of elected leaders in each county on the other.

The Index 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 by ward on the perception of county residents over county governments’ performance of the devolved functions.”

The CountyTrak tool consists of twelve core functions with thirty three key performance indicators and five approval rating questions. The functions included: Agriculture, Health, Education, Roads & Transport, Energy, Water management, Environment & natural resources management, Trade & Tourism, County Planning & Development, Housing, Lands & settlement, Culture & Sports and Social Services.

Infotrak CEO Angela Ambitho explained that: “Opinion polls, while by no means infallible, are the only reasonably reliable way to measure public opinion. Only through the publication of polls can a society ensure that leaders and decision-makers in government and the private sector know and understand what the public thinks.” She went on to explain that “While governments and elected leaders may or may not be assisted to make better decisions by the availability of poll data, it is reasonable to suppose that their having a good knowledge and understanding of public opinion is better for democracy than their not having it. Good information is better than misinformation.”

The study which covers all the 47 counties, 290 constituencies and 1450 wards with an overall sample of n= 28,200 in the 2015 index and n=37,600 in the 2019/20 index is perhaps currently the only one of its kind and magnitude available in Kenya. Data was collected using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI). The reporting structure appreciates the importance of the devolved government units, treating each county as an individual universe with an assigned cluster sample ranging from n=600 to n=2000, and with an error margin of between +/- 4 and +/-2 at 95% degree of confidence.

This current CountyTrak Index was conducted between during the last quarter of 2019 and January 2020. Public release of the index was set for June 2020 but was delayed to October 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the current rankings in the Index, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya is the best performing county chief for the 2019-2020 period.

Oparanya had a mean score of 82.3 per cent followed by Kwale’s Salim Mvurya (77.1 per cent) and Makueni’s Kivutha Kibwana (74.4 per cent).

Kisumu’s Anyang’ Nyong’o was fourth followed by Alfred Mutua (Machakos), John Longangapuo (West Pokot), Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) and Josphat Nanok (Turkana). Bomet’s Hillary Barchok closed the top 10 list.

Residents rated the performance of their governors in agriculture, health and education sectors.

Kakamega County was also ranked the best performing county with a score of 57.4 per cent followed by Kwale (54.8 per cent) and Makueni (54.7 per cent).

Tana River was ranked the worst performing county (39.5 per cent) followed by Wajir (41.3 per cent) and Isiolo (42.0 per cent).

In the agriculture sector, Kakamega also emerged the best followed by West Pokot, Makueni, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu.

Infotrak aid 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.

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