Beyond CDF: Making Kenya’s Sub-Sovereign Finance Work for the Socially-Excluded

Heinrich Böll Stiftung, East & Horn of Africa Office
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9966 7172 0 X
Beyond CDF: Making Kenya’s Sub-Sovereign Finance Work for the Socially-Excluded
Kenya has embraced a variety of sub-sovereign financing schemes as key policy, administrative and technical financial instruments to provide solutions to the various manifestations of social exclusion, poverty and inequality. These schemes have provided socially-excluded persons and communities, as well as other actors working for a just society new hope, tools and avenues for re-assessment of the economic and state processes that promote social exclusion, inequality and poverty. Given the popularity and ubiquity of these financing schemes, what is the likelihood that they can be creatively employed to provide a competent system of sub-sovereign finance directed at helping local communities get to the bottom of the factors driving social exclusion, poverty and inequality? Put another way, how can sub-sovereign finance be used to supply the capabilities and asset-development needs that are centre of many an individual’s or community’s vulnerability to social exclusion, extreme poverty and inequality?

With this study, readers are urged to take a new and more systematic look at sub-sovereign finance in Kenya. Devolved funding schemes should be viewed within the broader perspective of human capital formation and asset-building. Once put into such a framework, new ideas and avenues evolve for devolved funding to become more productive for the vast number of Kenyans who have largely been excluded from the economic growth of this country in recent years. There is a vast, hitherto largely untapped potential for socially-inclusive development in Kenya, taking off from existing structures, organizations and institutions of the non-governmental sector, the social economy, and various governmental and semi-governmental agencies. This potential needs to be developed. In effect, devolved funding should become part of a wider approach in building social economy in Kenya, by taking off from a holistic understanding of what human development is all about, and by suggesting a comprehensive and innovative institutional and legal framework for socially-inclusive local economic and community development.