Devolution and Security Governance – Technical Assistance

Kenya’s devolved governance structure introduced by the 2010 Constitution has precipitated significant changes, not only in service delivery and administration at county levels, but also in security governance and deployment. Devolution has handed the day to day running of counties to 47 elected county governments, which include the governors and the county executive committees as the executive branch and county assemblies as the legislative branch. The overall governance of security remains a national function managed by the national government. However, devolution introduces new variables to the processes that generate both security and insecurity as well as to the management of security in general.


The CHRIPS Technical Assistance Project (TA Project), undertaken with financial support from the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), contributes to the improvement of security governance in the Kenya by providing technical advice, capacity strengthening and evidence-based policy advice to the national government and selected County Governments, strengthening their capacities to  identify, evaluate and invest in the most viable security management approaches towards effectively delivering on security. The specific project objectives are:

  • To provide technical input into the conceptualization, design and roll out policy and programmatic interventions in the areas of community policing; crime prevention; counter-radicalization; and security management in counties;
  • To strengthen the capacity of the intended recipients to design and roll out of effective policy and programmatic interventions in the foregoing areas;
  • To create opportunities for state and county officials, civil society and private sector players to share and critically evaluate options for security management from an evidence-based perspective; and
  • To provide accessible and usable technical information and data on security management to state and county officials, civil society and private sector players that can help them to take into account contemporary ideas and evidence in the planning and implementation of their interventions.

Project Progress

  • National Community Policing Policy draft and National Crime Prevention Strategy draft – CHRIPS technical input and work with the National Task Force on Community Policing Policy enabled the development of comprehensive drafts of the National Community Policing Policy and the National Crime Prevention Strategy, which were core aspects of the Task Force’s legal mandate.
  • Production and dissemination of county security governance analyses – consultation with World Bank officers, on development of a research design for a mapping study on security and conflict in Kenya.
  • Publication of the report, titled, Security the Counties: Options for Security after Devolution, following a study in Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi and Turkana counties on the current security governance infrastructure, including the formal and informal institutions and actors. The report was published in December 2014 and has been made available to the Council of Governors and various counties. The technical assistance to counties builds on this work, exploring options, possibilities as well as obligations for security governance in the counties in view of the security and insecurity realties in the counties.
  • Nyeri County consultation on state of security in the county, factors affecting security and insecurity and identifying priority issues in the county that would be a focus in developing security strategies. This was followed up with an initial induction training of the newly appointed County Policing Authority officials in Nyeri county.
  • Security and conflict mapping study in four (4) counties: Isiolo, Kisumu, Kwale and Nyeri. The study was centred on mapping the security context and prevalent conflict factors in counties after devolution and the county infrastructure in place to respond to challenges and facilitated safety and security in each county

Upcoming activities

  1. Three Policy briefing papers on
    • (A) policy options for county governments on how address violent extremism in view of the county realities and challenges, as well as possibilities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of former terrorism recruits.
    • (B) Managing security and conflict during the 2017 General Elections in Kenya, including approaches that the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Devolution should take into account.
    • (C) Lessons on polycentric security governance from jurisdictions with multi-sectoral community policing mechanisms towards strengthening the role and work of County Policing Authorities.
  2. Technical consultation for Security Advisors and County Officials on county security management, particularly on the legal community policing structures (County Policing Authorities) and engagement with the national government as well as community involvement in security governance.
  3. International conference for policy makers and academics on devolved/ decentralized and polycentric security management with participants drawn from national and international research institutions and key security sector agencies. The conference will allow in-depth discussion with the benefit of academic analysis and operational experience from the participants towards identifying practical, county-relevant approaches and issues for consideration. Actors from South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania where decentralized security governance has been in operation for years will participate in the conference.
  4. A peer-reviewed book on polycentric security management in Africa