Strengthening good governance

Project description

Title: Strengthening good governance
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kenya
Lead executing agency: Office of the Attorney-General and Department of Justice
Overall term: 2017 to 2018


Both Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and the World Bank’s aggregated Control of Corruption Index rank Kenya in the bottom one third of their global comparison. The generally high levels of corruption and maladministration in the public sector are the reason why Kenya significantly lags behind its own development goals, despite its high economic output and well-educated elite compared with the rest of the region. According to the UNCAC Peer Review, only 60 cases of corruption were recorded in the official statistics in the years 2012 and 2013. This figure, which is very low by international standards (Germany recorded 20,263 cases in 2014), illustrates the severity of the problems in Kenya’s law enforcement system.

Ineffectual handling of maladministration and corruption can be attributed to several causes. Efforts to improve integrity in the public sector are often frequently undermined by the impunity of the political elite. Thus the issue is not so much a lack of necessary laws and regulations, but a lack of enforcement. Existing supervisory and control mechanisms are not being applied adequately and the gradual devolution of competencies to county level is simply decentralising the problem of maladministration and corruption – to the detriment of the poor and marginalised members of society. These deficiencies not only make public services more expensive, they also lower their quality, increase inequality and deny people efficient and effective access to justice. As a result, the core problem is the ineffective manner in which maladministration and corruption are addressed at all levels of the Kenyan state.


The service delivery at the national and county level is improved in line with the principles of Good Governance (ethical conduct, fairness, efficiency).


The programme will continue working with partners along the corruption chain. Major implementing stakeholders include the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP), the justice system, 5 selected county administrations (Kisumu, Mombasa, Elgeyo Markawet, Kwale and Vihiga) and various civil society organisations. The political partners are the Office of the Attorney-General and the Department of Justice which, together with the Ministry of Interior, also coordinate the governance, justice, law and order sector where the fight against corruption is essentially based. The programme consists of three mutually complementary areas of activity:

Area of activity 1 addresses the capacity of the Kenyan state to register and appropriately process citizens’ complaints.

Area of activity 2 deals with the devolution of state functions to county level.

Area of activity 3 assists the main actors in the criminal justice chain to expand their capacities and better coordinate their activities.


  • The GDC-supported Anti-Corruption Civilian Oversight Committees – a joint initiative of state and non-state organisations mandated to monitor the use of local public money and to expose corruption – came to the rescue of three new school buildings. Construction of the schools in Pokot, Busia, and Kakamega was resumed after having been stopped due to the misappropriation of funds.
  • Through its support to non-state actors, the programme extended its presence into 25 counties across the country in a bid to enhance the framework for social accountability.
  • In the period between 2009 and 2016, a total of 198 cases were concluded, resulting in 94 convictions, 82 acquittals, and 22 withdrawals. This translates into a 54% conviction rate for corruption cases. In 2016 alone, there were 18 convictions – the highest number of convictions ever in a single year. Some of the notable convictions included a former MP and senior official as well as Education Ministry officials. Another first in 2016: the hearing and conclusion of a corruption case in less than a year.
  • Through the establishment of a decentralised one-stop-shop system of public complaints in nearly all 47 counties, over 2,000,000 people had an opportunity to lodge a complaint about corrupt and abusive behaviour in the public administration in their region.