International Development Law Organization

Kenya

English

While Kenya's economy continues to steadily grow, it remains one of the most unequal countries in the world (ranked 146 out of 188 on the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index in 2016). The country has, since August 2010, been implementing a new Constitution with an expanded Bill of Rights and one of the most ambitious devolution processes anywhere in the world. A large number of functions transferred to 47 newly-created county governments has strengthened accountability and public service delivery at local levels. Looking back on the last seven years, there has been significant progress made over a relatively short period. However, much more still needs to be done to align pre-existing laws with the Constitution and to enact new laws to implement it. Other persistent challenges miring the constitutional implementation process include: corruption, ethnically-based political rivalries, gender inequality, security concerns, and climate change. 

Kenya is a Member Party of IDLO, and since 2010 there has been collaboration with the key agencies in the country responsible for the implementation of key provisions of the Constitution, particularly relating to the Bill of Rights, land and environment, devolution, the judiciary, access to justice and representation of the people. A key component of IDLO’s work also relates to advancing gender equality across the country and operationalizing the gender provisions contained in the Constitution. 

  An overview of IDLO's work in Kenya

 

Access to Justice in Kenya

The Constitution of Kenya requires the Government to facilitate access to justice for all citizens, as it remains a critical pillar for poverty reduction and sustainable development. To this end, IDLO has been supporting the Kenyan judiciary since April 2012 to strengthen its capacity to administer and enhance access to justice for all Kenyans.

Supporting Devolution in Kenya

The Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, made way for a new governance system composed of a national government and 47 county governments. Most of the assistance provided to the county governments has been focused on technical support. However, there is also a need to support the preparation of quality draft legislation to the county assemblies so that it meets the constitutional requirements. 

Resolving Electoral Disputes in Kenya

In 2010, the people of Kenya overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new Constitution, following a protracted struggle for constitutional reform spanning over two decades. Under the new Constitution, the elections of 2013 were the first in Kenya’s multiparty history with Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) processes in place. With these mechanisms, disputes can be resolved legally, peacefully and speedily – as opposed to resulting in violence or being allowed to drag through the courts. 

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Key Initiatives

  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69, and over 86 per cent of these "premature" deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.The economic impact, including loss of income by people harmed by NCDs, the costs of treatment, and the impacts on families threaten international development. Through regulation and fiscal reforms, countries can promote healthy diets, physical activity, and other initiatives reducing the prevalence and harms of NCDs. 
  • Traditionally under the remit of environmentalists alone, biodiversity has now been recognized in the 2030 Agenda as a key element of global development that should be integrated across all sectors. Kenya’s Constitution includes provisions related to environment and natural resource management, which has given impetus to new laws, policies and other enabling legal instruments at the national and county levels.
  • The Constitution of Kenya requires the Government to facilitate access to justice for all citizens, as it remains a critical pillar for poverty reduction and sustainable development. To this end, IDLO has been supporting the Kenyan judiciary since April 2012 to strengthen its capacity to administer and enhance access to justice for all Kenyans.
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