CLD Perspectives in Decentralization and Localization

Reflection Piece by Steve Ogutu, MCLD Kenya Executive Director

The Local Public Sector Alliance (LPSA), a global professional network of advocates for inclusive and efficient decentralization and localization, convened government representatives, CSOs, academia and development agencies in a three-day workshop on Elevating the Debate on Decentralisation and Multilevel Governance in Africa.

During the workshop, MCLD Kenya Executive Director Steve Ogutu shared perspectives on the need to meaningfully integrate citizen voices in the localization and decentralization discourse for inclusive and sustainable outcomes.

In Kenya, MCLD is working with county governments to make devolution work for its citizens. MCLD is actively involved in shaping appropriate policy influence and is working with counties like Makueni, Taita Taveta, Bomet and Kisumu to establish a Public Participation Policy that provides a framework for engaging communities and CSOs in all phases of development projects.

The policy also establishes Village Development Committees that comprise CBOs, community leaders, county representatives and development partners working in the county. This social accountability structure has a say in prioritizing development projects that matter to communities and hold the government accountable across project life.  According to Makueni County Governor, HE Mutula Junior, “This approach has created ownership of government projects and reduced vandalism and corruption,”

Since 2019, MCLD has been at the forefront to promote the “Kenya Devolution Model” for replication by other countries in Africa and beyond.