Factors influencing the implementation of county government mandates in Kenya; a case of Bungoma county
The implementation of devolved governments has been growing all over the world. The trend seems to indicate that many governments do not fully implement their devolved systems due to limitations that arise in the course of their implementation process. The purpose this study was to investigate on the factors influencing implementation of county government mandates in Bungoma County. The study was guided by the following objectives; to establish how public participation influence implementation of county government mandates in Bungoma County, to assess the extent to which human resources influence implementation of county government mandates in Bungoma County, to determine how financial management influence implementation of county government mandates in Bungoma County and to determine how legislations influence the implementation of county government mandates in Bungoma County. The researcher employed a descriptive survey design and targeted ward and sub-county administrators, MCAs, County director-Human Resource, Chief Officer-Finance, Chief Officer-Public administration, County Legal Officer and the Chairman, County Public Service Board. The target population was 123, which was also the sample size. A census sampling procedure was used to select the respondents for the study. Questionnaire and interview schedules were used as data collection instruments. Validity and reliability of the research instruments were tested prior to actual collection of data. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in the tables showing frequencies, percentages and averages. The findings show that public participation in governance is still low; the county government is still facing challenges in delivering essential services coupled with hiccups of human resource and manpower. It was revealed that financial management systems to manage devolved funds and revenue collection in the county are still in progress and yet to pick up. Efforts to legislate laws and statutes to support county government mandates are time consuming and tedious and involve many other institutions which are yet to harmonize their acts. In conclusion, public participation through radio talk shows and forums, adequate, skilled and well motivated manpower, prudent financial management procedures and focused, clear and supportive pieces of legislation all influence the implementation of the county government mandates in Bungoma County. The study recommends that continuous civic education should be considered to bring the public on board in matters of governance, well structured human skills needs assessment and measures to institute a skilled labor force for the county government should be enhanced. It also recommends that transparency and accountability should be paramount in financial management of county resources and the organs charged with enactment of legislations to support devolution and county government should be empowered in all aspects. This study will therefore be useful to the national government and other county governments in their quest to fulfill their mandates within their jurisdictions.