Improving Performance of Urban Areas in the Context of Kenya's Devolved Government (TTI)
In 2010, Kenya reformed its constitution and introduced greater decentralization of powers to lower levels of government. According to Kenya's Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya), decentralization will contribute immensely to Kenya's economic performance because of the key role that cities play in the provision of public services, business growth, and the related issue of expansion of opportunities for employment of Kenya's youth. Given that some urban areas in Kenya are growing at far higher rates than overall population growth, and that many local governments struggle with inefficiencies in service provision, strengthening the performance of governance in urban areas is key to Kenya's longer term growth. The proposed project seeks to implement a 15-month period of research and policy engagement to focus public attention on an index that measures the performance of urban areas in the provision of public services. Its main objective is to facilitate the monitoring and assessment for greater efficiency, competitiveness, transparency, accountability, accessibility, citizen engagement and integrity of public officials. IEA-Kenya intends to use an adapted version of the Municipal Performance Index that it will call the Urban Area Performance Index for this analysis. The project's findings will provide the basis for the development of social and economic policies tailored to each of the six urban centres under review and for building public support for reforms to promote private-sector entrepreneurship and the efficient use of scarce public resources in Kenya. IEA-Kenya is implementing this project, which is funded through IDRC's Think Tank Initiative, a multi-funder program dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions, or think tanks, in developing countries. The program aims to enhance their ability to provide sound research that informs and influences policy. This second TTI phase will fund 43 institutions, helping them consolidate their role as credible development actors in their countries, and in some cases, regionally and internationally.