Opportunities, Good Practices and Challenges of Implementing Devolution under the New Constitutional Order in Nairobi County, Kenya

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Addis Ababa University


This thesis looks into the system of devolution as a major component of the constitution Kenya adopted in 2010. Aimed at examining opportunities presented by devolution, good practices recorded so far and challenges that hinder its implementation, it set out to consult stakeholders on the ways forward. Qualitative research design was found to be best fitted to the work and as such, purposive data collection and snowballing were utilized to analyze data through narrative analysis. Citizens in Nairobi county, having voted for the coming into effect of the constitution through a referendum, had their own expectations of what devolution means for their communities and country as a whole. As such, they have identified how devolution can benefit their country given, it is implemented well. While they have witnessed good practices ranging from improved health care services to improved infrastructure; they have also been disappointed by outcomes of devolution in many regards. Inadequate levels of public participation, corruption, tribalism, poor and politicized governance, and lack of human/financial resource and proper coordination between national and county governments have been identified as the main challenges threatening the success of devolution. Some of the recommended solutions include devolution of oversight bodies, capacity building of county leadership and core county staff, depoliticizing of county offices, and putting efficient and capable leaders in elective posts at the county level. Suggestions towards improving public participation as well as coordination between national and county governments have also been made



Challenges, Constitution, Decentralization, Devolution, Opportunities