Factors influencing effective implementation of devolution: a case of Meru county, Kenya
To many Kenyans, devolution, the newly adopted form of governance system in Kenya presents an opportunity to address the diversity of local needs, choices and constraints. It carries the promise of a more equitable system of sustainable economic development for the nation. Forty seven (47) new counties were established by the new constitution through which governance will be executed in the country. The degree of preparedness of the new counties to be strategically managed to guarantee self sustainability is, however, a subject of much concern for Kenyans who argue that poor preparation might frustrate their dreams of improved livelihoods. This study investigated the influence of availability of resources, existing systems, legislation and staff training in the effective implementation of devolution in Meru County. The study was guided by three theories; Resources Based Theory, Human Capital Theory and McKinsey 7-S Framework. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. Target population was 280 county staff, 61 elected officials and 50 county ward administrators. The sample size was of 56(n=56) county staff, 18 (n=18) elected officials and 10 (n=10) ward administrators. Cluster and purposive sampling techniques were employed in the study. Questionnaire instruments were used in the collection of data. Qualitative and quantitative data collected from this study was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0. The study established the county government should enact laws that would promote mobilization of local resources and revenue collection to boost its income. Also the county assembly should expedite the time it takes to develop necessary legislation so as to encourage investment. The study also established that funding is still a major issue as both the central government and other donor agencies have only provided the bare minimum of the resources to kick start the development agenda of the county.