Strengthening Devolved Governance in Kenya



In Kenya, devolution has progressively shaped the way resources are allocated to meet priorities of communities within the jurisdiction of the 47 county governments. Similarly, administrative processes at the county level have progressively improved, enabling the establishment of systems and processes that seek to govern in the long-term the realization of the objectives of devolution at the national as well as the county levels and below. Although overall progress on devolution has been significant, more remains to be done especially for counties where previous marginalization, low penetration of infrastructure, structural and other socio-economic challenges and their geo-location with respect to the climatic zones of the country has made them and their inhabitants particularly vulnerable.

Counties in the northern and north-eastern part of the country have been particularly vulnerable, many of these counties have performed poorly year-on-year on key indicators of poverty, health, governance, economic performance amongst others. The current project, aligned to national and county development priorities, seeks to contribute to accelerated realization of the dividends of devolution in at least 15 counties, through targeting contributions to improvement of county performance against some of the key development indicators. 


Project objectives

This project will target 15 counties, including the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) counties, with a focus on improving county government capacity - namely, Garissa; Wajir; Lamu; Turkana; Tana River; Mandera; Marsabit; Isiolo; Samburu; West Pokot; Kilifi; Elgeyo Marakot; Kwale; Narok; and, Taita Taveta. The project will also aim to improve the efficiency of support to Turkana County which can serve as a model for the other counties both individually and collectively.

UNDP will work together with the county governments and relevant national level institutions, including the FCDC, and Ministry of Devolution and ASALS, towards improving service delivery at county levels. UNDP will place specific attention and invest in the participation and engagement of marginalized groups - such as women, youths, and persons living with disabilities - in county level development so that these communities can claim their rights, accelerating progress towards realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The project contributes to: the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) Strategic Priority 1, Transformational Governance, focused on Outcome 1.2: By 2022 people in Kenya access high quality services at devolved level that are well coordinated, integrated, transparent, equitably resourced and accountable; Outcome 1 of the UNDP Kenya Country Programme Document; and the Big 4 Agenda.