Support to Devolved Governance in Kenya

Implementation of Devolved System of Government to Achieve Improved Governance and Socio-Economic Development in Kenya

DevolutionResidents of Narok County display their wares at an inter county exhibition

The project supports three short-term “quick win” devolution-related interventions including i) support to the devolution process; ii) capacity on peace building and collaborative leadership; and iii) support to the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA). The broad interventions and activities were jointly identified by UNDP and the Government of Kenya to address the immediate needs of the Government while the mid- and longer-term interventions in devolution were being developed.

Back ground


The UNDP Devolution Programme “Making Devolution Work: An Integrated UNDP Support Programme To the Devolution Process in Kenya aims at providing technical support on the policy, legal and institutional programme in the implementation of devolution. The 2013-2014  programme output areas deliberately focused at policy and institutional alignment, and to provide effective interface with meaningful citizen participation.

The Programme has also earmarked key support to selected Counties on specific areas aligned to the broad objectives of providing capacity building and technical support. These objectives are realized through the five pillars outlined in the Programme Document:

i) policies, laws, and institutional reforms for effective implementation of the Constitution at national and county levels adopted;

ii) strengthened institutional and human capacities at national and county level evident in supporting national and local development;

iii) improves service delivery mechanisms

iv) response to opportunities to ensure effective and equitable service delivery, transparent and accountable use of resources;

v) an integrated service delivery framework pilot implemented.

The integrated programme is implemented by national partners including Ministry of Devolution and Planning, the Council of Governors, the Transition Authority, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council and the Kenya School of Government. The Civic Education element also seeks to support the efforts of civil society.

Support to Counties

UNDP has been supporting county governments embrace change and institutionalize a performance culture in the county public service. The three pilot counties supported in the past year are Turkana, Kilifi and Kisumu Counties.


  1. UNDP/UN Support to review Turkana County Integrated Development Plan

The UN system under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative selected Turkana as a model county for development assistance under the UNDAF 2014-2018. The UN engaged with a cross section of leaders from the county including the Governor, Senator, Speaker of the Senate, Members of Parliament (MPs), members of the Turkana County Assembly and civil society groups and the business community. The various engagements were in form of high-level consultations, technical meetings, workshops and field assessment missions towards finalizing Turkana County Integrated Development Program (CIDP). These events culminated in the launch of the County development plan and the first ever Turkana County Partners and Investors Forum.

Through the joint program, the UN will support the Turkana County Government in the area of development coordination and partnerships, as well as in institutional capacity strengthening. UNDP will therefore begin to actualize this recommendation initially through the secondment of a senior level Programme Officer embedded in the office of the Turkana County Government.

The UN is also in the process of developing a Joint Programme of Support for Turkana County.  The UN Country Team intends to reinvent its methodology of work in the County by  a) learning decentralized development by doing; b) introducing real budgetary resources at the County thus allowing the local community real involvement through local capacity building; c) accessing the local development facility, and d) capitalizing on real policy issues; and building upwards, downwards and horizontal accountability. Support on transformative Governance will thus be informed by the new UN approach under ‘Delivering as One’     and pulling on UN resources jointly to support the County under the ‘Area Based Development Approach’.


2. Supporting Counties to institutionalize a Performance Management Culture


Kisumu County Government became the first county to sign publicly Performance Contracts in August 2014. Signing the contract signified the county’s commitment to ensuring service delivery. The signing of the contracts was preceded by support from UNDP and the Ministry of Devolution and Planning to train 54 Senior County Government Officials to equip them with knowledge and skills on change and performance management, monitoring and evaluating results. During the training, the Governor called on his officers to be committed to embrace a performance management culture as a mechanism to unlock service delivery bottlenecks that the County was experiencing. He committed to institutionalize a performance culture, through training of the officers and putting in place tools and systems to monitor performance for greater accountability at all levels.

               3.  Strengthening  monitoring and evaluation capacity of development projects in Kilifi County

Kilifi County requested UNDP to provide technical support on monitoring of development projects in the County. The support provided include a Rapid Results Approach Coach to strengthen the capacity the implementation of targeted development projects and  two Project Officers to support the County undertake monitoring and evaluation of development projects.  

UNDP Around the world