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World Bank approves Sh20 billion support for Kenya's devolution

By Yvonne Kawira Mutisya | March 17th 2016

The World Bank has approved a Sh20 billion loan to support devolution in Kenya. The International Development Association (IDA) credit will support both the national and county governments to improve results in five core areas.

The funding will help citizens in counties by improving the way key devolved services such as health care and local road maintenance are delivered to them. The credit facility will support; public finance management systems, human resource management, planning and monitoring and evaluation systems. It will also fund civic education and public participation and intergovernmental relations.

World Bank Kenya Country Director Diarietou Gaye. The funding will help citizens in counties by improving the way key devolved services such as health care and local road maintenance are delivered to them. (PHOTO: BEVERLYNE MUSILI/STANDARD)

World Bank Country Director for Kenya Diarietou Gaye said the programme presents a great opportunity for both national and county governments to work together to deliver services to ordinary citizens, efficiently and effectively. “Kenyans want devolution to work, and so do we at the World Bank,” she said.

The programme is aligned with the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which identifies devolution as one of the three top priorities. It seeks to support all counties that opt to participate in it, and is significant as it offers a dedicated effort and financing for Kenya’s devolution. Also, the programme will be implemented through governments’ own systems and policy framework to ensure sustainable impact and scale.

“The annual capacity and performance assessment will provide a systematic review of capacity strengths and weaknesses, and will enable capacity providers at national and county levels to more directly target support to gaps that emerge,” said Christopher Finch, Senior Social Development Specialist and Task Team Leader.

The performance-based grants, which are 80 percent of the credit, create incentives for counties to participate while providing additional resources for investment. “These results will provide a foundation for counties to deliver devolved services, and leverage the $2.5 billion (Sh254 billion) that county governments receive annually via the equitable share,” said Jane Kiringai, Senior Economist and Co-Task Team Leader. 

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