Support for Devolution in Kenya: A Multilateral Analysis

Kenya is in its most long-lasting decentralization period in its independent history. The 2010 Constitution created 47 counties to improve service delivery in the periphery, promote minorities’ rights and unite the country. But is it working for everyone? This paper uses social, economic and political data to analyze the impact of county governments. Its short life span makes it difficult to find abundant and homogenous data and draw conclusions with precision, but available surveys and data give a good grasp of its trajectory. Overall, devolution has improved living standards and a majority of Kenyans support it all across the country. However, it has worked more in favor of larger communities than those minorities it aimed to promote. Most importantly, decentralization has fostered a national identity whilst reinforcing ethnic sentiment, proving both are not mutually exclusive and a peaceful coexistence between communities is possible.

Devolution, Decentralization, Development, Politics, Ethnicity