Comparing institutional frameworks for urban sanitation in decentralising countries: lessons for Kenya

Project Duration September 2017 - July 2018 Category: Institutional frameworks and capacity Country: Kenya Delivered by: ODI AguaConsult IDIAfrica
Themes: Research Sanitation Urban Sanitation Research Initiative


To support sector thinking and decision-making about appropriate design of the institutional framework for urban sanitation in post-devolution Kenya as the Ministry of Health develops the new National Environmental and Sanitation Bill.


Important limitations in Kenya’s newly decentralised sanitation frameworks were identified:

  • There is considerate overlap and competition for sector leadership at national and devolved levels
  • County governments are not adequately incentivised to commit attention and finance to sanitation
  • There is limited oversight of on-site sanitation

Next steps

Continuous engagement with the government will be required as the Bill continues to be developed, ensuring that: commitment to pro-poor sanitation service delivery at decentralised levels increases; a new national sanitation coordination and regulatory body (NESCRA) is designed and structured appropriately; and proper oversight of on-site sanitation service provision is ensured.

As of early 2019, a number of important steps have been taken at the sub-national level in Counties like Nakuru, where a Countywide Inclusive Sanitation Strategy has been introduced and new Countywide Sanitation Steering Committee (NACOSTEC) is co-ordinating efforts to improve services.

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