Flag of Kenya

Democracy, Governance and Conflict

Sarah Alouch, an educator with the Kenya Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, provides information to voters.
Sarah Alouch, an educator with the Kenya Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, provides information to voters.
Faith Njunge / USAID

From the inclusive reform process that birthed a new Constitution in 2010 and credible and legitimate elections in 2013 until today, Kenya has achieved many democratic milestones. Among them was the creation of 47 new county governments, effectively creating a new devolved system of political power. 

USAID’s development strategy is centered on the implementation of devolution, a long and challenging process at the core of Kenya’s constitutional reform agenda. If done right, devolution can put the country on a path toward more inclusive, transparent and accountable governance.


Devolution and Support to County Governments

USAID supports county governments as they strive to operate with greater transparency, accountability and inclusivity, as well as provide better public services to residents. At the national level, USAID partners with ministries and Parliament to strengthen national policies and advance and guide the devolution process. We also work with 12 intergovernmental agencies to enhance communication and coordination between the national government and county governments.

The Agile and Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions activity uses training, on-the-job mentoring, and experiential learning at all levels – national, county, sub-county, and civil society – to advance the work of government and citizens. We also partner with the United Nations Development Program and other donors to support devolution, thereby ensuring that national and county governments and the constitutional commissions have the technical, financial and functional assistance needed to strengthen the legal and institutional framework necessary for an effective transition to devolved governance.

Supporting Free and Fair Elections

Kenya’s 2017 election is a critical one for the country. To support credible, transparent and peaceful elections, USAID and other international development partners provide training and expert assistance to support key institutions involved in preparing for the election, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal, the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, as well as local civil society organizations. Support is focused on administering elections, providing election observation, conducting voter registration and education to expand the participation of women, youth, and vulnerable populations, and reduce the likelihood of elections-related conflict.

Empowering Civil Society 

USAID’s support for civil society contributes to constructive citizen engagement in areas of strategic focus, especially in regions that have had a long experience of marginalization. New activities in the coastal counties are helping Kenyans work together and with their local governments to address development challenges, such as access to land, corruption, conflict and violent extremism.

Deep historical issues continue to affect land-property relations and politics along the Kenyan coast. The Coast Conflict Intervention and Action activity is reducing conflict by helping communities gain access to land tenure and lobbying for progressive legislation around community land, evictions and resettlement. The Strengthening Civil Society’s Voice in County Governments activity is helping CSOs increase citizen participation in local government, as well as improving their understanding of devolved governance.

Countering Violent Extremism

To support the Government of Kenya, USAID is expanding conflict mitigation and countering violent extremism activities to address the increasing insecurity and growing influence of Al-Shabaab, a militant group based in Somalia. The Strengthening Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism activity improves the ability of CSOs along the Kenyan coast to address the drivers of conflict and violent extremism in their communities. 

Fact Sheet: Democracy, Governance and Conflict - Kenya

Countering Violent Extremism

Strengthening Civil Society in Kenya

U.S. Government Assistance to Kenya Elections 2017

Democracy, Governance and Conflict Activity Fact Sheets

Agile Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI)

Kenya Electoral Assistance Program


Strengthening Community Resilience against Extremism (SCORE)

Building Effective Assemblies through Mentorship

Supporting Kenya’s Election Processes: Lessons from Past Evaluations

The Carter Center Final Observation Report November 2013

The Elections Observation Group (ELOG) Report, The Historic Vote: Elections 2013 

Final Evaluation of Conflict Mitigation Activities

USAID Support for Kenya's 2013 Elections: Rapid Assessment Review