Resource allocation strategies in devolved system of governance in selected counties in Kenya
Devolution involves the transfer of functions, resources and power to sub-national levels of governance. It is regarded as a means of achieving greater efficiency in a globalized environment. Successful devolved systems of governance include the United States of America and India. Previously Kenya was divided into eight provinces and over one hundred districts and executive power was largely vested in the central government headquartered In Nairobi. On march 4, 2010,the country’s governance structure changed to be a devolved administration with forty seven counties. Resource allocation strategies in the counties face challenges in mobilization and utilization even where the resources are available. The objective of the study was to establish resource allocation strategies in the devolved system of governance in selected counties. Different theories related to resource allocation strategies were reviewed. The theories include Economic and market based theory and devolution theories. Various strategies were also brought out. they included the objective based allocation strategy, policy based allocation strategy and priority based allocation strategy. The research methodology used was descriptive survey design where questionnaires were administered to the target population. The target population was drawn from departmental heads of 5 counties which were Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Nakuru and Machakos. The findings of the research reveal that resource allocation strategies is based on the need to optimize some objective function or objective in the county, thus maximizing efficiency and drawing the greatest benefit from the resource allocated meeting the set development objective. The findings also showed that allocation of resources is also based on strategic objectives arising from the changing environment and needs of the county. The county governments use various strategies to allocate resources to various operations like development projects. Resources are also allocated based on the government policy like long term projects rather than short term projects. The limitations of the study were inadequate cooperation from the some respondents who were unwilling to provide full information for fear of being reprimanded by their superiors. The sample of the study comprised of only 90 respondents drawn from 47 counties. This sample is only a small proportion of the entire population of the target population. There is need for future research to explore other moderating effects of other variables. The present study was cross-sectional I nature. Longitudinal studies should be carried out in future to test the proposed model so as to re-evaluate directions of causality among the study variables.