Effects of Devolution on the Restructuring of the Provincial Administration in Kenya: A Case of Nairobi City County

  • Cynthia M Mutinda
  • Patrick Mbataru, Dr
Keywords: Devolution, Devolved Government Structures, Restructuring of the Provincial Administration in Kenya


Devolution in Kenya is about decentralising political, financial and administrative powers to forty seven counties. Kenya had practised devolution through the one year Majimbo government which lasted in 1964, before the highly centralised provincial administration was established. The provincial administration was centralised and gained control over all decentralized ministerial functions in the country; as an extension of the executive office of the president in the field. The Constitution stipulates that the provincial administration be restructured to align with the devolved administrative structure. Little research has been done on the structural frictions that arise from the fact that central governments are keen to retain or recapture the same authority that have been devolved to the lower level governments. Therefore, on this basis this study sought to establish the effects of implementing devolution on the operations of the Provincial Administration. The study was anchored on the objectives of establishing how devolution had shaped the structure of the Provincial Administration in Kenya; examine the extent to which functions of both County and National Government Administrators are interlinked and to identify the challenges faced in the implementation of Schedule Four of the Constitution. Both primary and secondary data were used. The study was guided by the Structural Functionalism theory of Emile Durkheim, which compare the society to an organism comprising of structures that influence each other for its own existence. A case study design was used with Nairobi City County as the study area. A simple random sampling technique was used to select the sample size for the questionnaires from the sample frame. Further the study used purposive sampling technique to select key informants for the interview guide. SSP version 21 and Content analysis were used to analyse the descriptive data. Data was presented in tables, charts and prose form. The study found out that the provincial administration had restructured through change of tittles and administrative units but not functions, there were points of roles interlinkages some of which are not procedurally and devolution was facing challenges such as: - revenue allocation, administrative and bureaucratic culture, organisational capacity and stakeholder mistrusts. The study concluded that duplication of functions by both levels of government still exists and that the aligning of the provincial administration with the schedule four was yet to be fully attained. Devolution advance national unity by recognising diversity and that it promotes participatory and transparent exercise of authority. The study recommends the enactment of legislation on functions to regulate the constitutional functions of the two levels of government and that commission on Revenue allocation to focus on Wards as the point of reverence in budgeting as they happen to be the service delivery vocal point. It further recommends the need for concerted efforts in creation of awareness on matters devolution through a structured civic education program. The fourth schedule needs to be implemented in tandem with the county government act 2012, for separation of functions between the National and County governments. There is need further research on devolution in future and to widen the study by including a bigger samples size, widening its scope and other variables not covered by this study.       

Author Biographies

Cynthia M Mutinda

Master of Public Policy and Administration of Kenyatta University, Kenya

Patrick Mbataru, Dr

 Department of Public Policy and Administration, Kenyatta University, Kenya

How to Cite
Mutinda, C., & Mbataru, P. (2020). Effects of Devolution on the Restructuring of the Provincial Administration in Kenya: A Case of Nairobi City County. International Journal of Current Aspects, 4(2), 50-68. https://doi.org/10.35942/ijcab.v4i2.127