Devolution Without Disruption Pathways To A Successful New Kenya

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Publisher World Bank
Year of Publication
Category Consitution of Kenya Papers and Articles Policies and Guidelines
County All/General
Description 1. Kenyas new Constitution marks a critical juncture in the nations history. It is widely perceived, by Kenyans from all walks of life, as a new beginning.  Indeed, many feel that postIndependence Kenya has been characterized by centralization of political and economic power in the hands of a few, resulting in an uneven and unfair distribution of resources and corresponding access to social services; the opposite of an inclusive state. Born of the political opportunity created by the 2008 post-election violence, the Constitution finally adopted, after almost a decade of unsuccessful reform attempts, presages far-reaching changes.  Its vision encompasses a dramatic transformation of the Kenyan state through new accountable and transparent institutions, inclusive approaches to government and a firm focus on equitable service delivery for all Kenyans through the newly established county governments.  
2. Devolution is at the heart of the new Constitution and a key vehicle for addressing spatial inequities.  A more decentralized government makes eminent sense, given Kenyas diversity and experience with political use of central power.  Decentralization has been increasingly seen and adopted worldwide as a guarantee against discretionary use of power by central elites as well as a way to enhance the efficiency of social service provision, by allowing for a closer match between public policies and the desires and needs of local constituencies. Kenyas Constitution entrenches devolved government by guaranteeing a minimum unconditional transfer to countyies under the new dispensation.
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