A Political Economy Analysis of Devolution in Kenya

IEA Kenya and University of Notre Dame

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Post Date: 17 January 2019

This paper explores the diverse viewpoints of stakeholders on devolution and examines the implications of these recent changes in the micro- and macro-workings of Kenya through a political economy analysis framework. In what follows, interview results, are grouped into four thematic areas:

  1. Public service delivery and development outcomes;
  2. Revenue allocation and inter-governmental relations;
  3. Inclusion, public participation and role of civil society; and
  4. Expectations for devolution and possible future scenarios.

Key recommendations include:

  • Conducting a Kenya-wide but county-specific needs assessment to identify priorities for each region while ensuring a sense of ownership for projects and empowering citizens to increase government transparency, monitor project implementation and hold stakeholders accountable to their roles and responsibilities within devolution.
  • Continue to strengthen partnership between and among counties and encourage forward-thinking leadership to foster an optimistic outlook on devolution.
  • Clarify roles between the counties and national government to prevent overlaps/duplication in functions and inefficient use of revenues.
  • Follow best practices in the implementation of revenue allocation and public participation mechanisms.

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