Fiscal Decentralization in Kenya: A Small Step or Giant Leap?

Brief

Fiscal Decentralization in Kenya: A Small Step or Giant Leap?

May 6, 2011

Abstract

The Constitution that Kenyans adopted in September 2010 represents an important step in the process of national reconciliation and an important attempt to make Kenya's public sector more efficient and more accountable through devolution. The new Constitution assigns a prominent role in the public sector to county-level governments, as it transfers detailed functional responsibilities to the county level and provides that at least 15 percent of national revenues are to be shared with county governments. This IDG Policy Brief discusses whether the implementation of the Constitution will bring about a sea-change in intergovernmental fiscal relations and public empowerment in Kenya, or whether the changes in Kenya's intergovernmental structure in practice will represent a smaller and more incremental step towards a more decentralized governance structure.

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