Challenges affecting devolution of public sector services in local authorities in Kenya: case of county government of Kericho
Korir, Viola Chebet
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Decentralization has not only transformed the structure of government but has also essentially altered the political scenery in Kenya. The country has witnessed a gradual but comprehensive transfer of power, responsibilities and resources from the central to local governments. The exercise began as a shift from appointed to elected councillors and leaders, initially of residence committees, and then later of local councils that have been formed in rural areas and urban wards as vehicles for county government and popular participation. Decentralization has also appeared in the form of devolution of major functional responsibilities such primary education, health, water, and sanitation, and rural feeder roads from the central to local governments. This study is important in pointing out the various challenges devolution might face in Kenya. The findings of this study can be applied to other counties in the country. This is because they have similar structures and system of governance. This can help in finding and applying solutions as intended. The population under this study is constituted by the entire political, technical and civic leadership of Kericho County who are residing within the bounds of the said county at the time the study is carried out. Stratified random sampling was employed to select 84 respondents from the categories of sub-counties. Primary data sources were used in this study. The research established that training of staff as well as empowerments of the residents have not been effectively carried out. Resource mobilisation locally to generate resources is lacking despite the poor funding of devolution services from the central government. In order for devolution to succeed it is recommended that training, empowerment and mobilisation of resources should be encouraged by the authorities. Systems should be established at local level to ensure the devolved services reaches the ordinary citizens.