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The politics of implementation or why institutional interaction matters: The role of traditional authorities in delivering pro-poor social policies in Kenya

  • The paper contributes to the debate on the political economy of implementation of propoor social policy. It argues for a broadening of the debate, which is dominated by technocratic arguments, emphasizing the lack of financial resources, technology or skills as the major barriers for effective implementation. Describing the dynamic interplay of ‘formal’ operational programme structures and ‘informal’ traditional institutions in delivering the CT-OVC – the largest and oldest cash transfer programme in Kenya – it argues for the need to look more closely into the local political economy as an important mediating arena for implementing social policies. Implementation is heavily contingent upon the local social, political and institutional context that influences and shapes its outcomes. These processes are highly dynamic and ambivalent evolving between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ structures and institutions. They may change over time and place, challenging the implicit assumption that programmes are evenly implemented across geographic and political entities.

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Document Type:Working Paper
Author:Barbara Rohregger, Katja Bender, Bethuel Kinuthia, Esther Schüring, Grace Ikua, Nicky Pouw
Number of pages:32
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2018/05/16
Funding:This research was supported by funding of the NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development Framework, through the INCLUDE knowledge platform 'Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa' research programme. The funding covered a period of two years, from April 2015-July 2017.
Series (Volume):IZNE Working Paper Series (Nr. 18/2)
Keyword:Kenya; Social policies; devolution; local political economy; traditional authorities
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Fachbereich Sozialpolitik und Soziale Sicherung
Internationales Zentrum für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (IZNE)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):3 Sozialwissenschaften / 36 Soziale Probleme, Sozialdienste / 360 Soziale Probleme und Sozialdienste; Verbände
Series:IZNE Working Paper Series
Entry in this database:2018/05/16
Licence (Multiple languages):License LogoIn Copyright (Urheberrechtsschutz)