Six years ago, Kenyans voted to decentralize government, ushering in a new era of leadership with 47 governors and their teams taking up the reins of power in newly-created counties. County governments negotiated a working relationship with the national government in terms of power and revenue sharing, and have encountered political, fiscal and administrative challenges in the delivery of services to Kenyans.
As new entities, county governments lacked the capacity, knowledge and resources to effectively deliver the devolution dividend of shared prosperity, enhanced delivery of vital services and improved management of public resources.
With devolution as one of the three pillars of the World Bank Kenya Country Partnership Strategy, the Bank prioritized strengthening of national and county level institutions through two main programs: the Kenya Accountable Devolution Program (KADP) and the Kenya Devolution Support Program (KDSP). KADP is a World Bank-managed multi-donor trust fund with funding from the governments of Denmark, European Union, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. KADP has mobilized financial, technical and partnership support for initiatives to develop stronger institutions, enhance service delivery and increase citizen engagement in governance.
The capacity building, analytical and technical assistance provided by KADP has contributed to the gradual streamlining of devolved functions and resources for enhanced revenue generation and service delivery. This assistance is coming of age to include facilitating public financial management reform; supporting the implementation of public participation initiatives; enhancing the revenue allocation formula aligned with urban priorities and leading the mainstreaming of gender and climate resilience dimensions in key sectors.