About Open County

In 2010, Kenya adopted a new constitution that established a new devolved system of government. This new system was ushered into reality in March 2013 and it has the following structures:

  1. 47 county governments led by a governor and deputy governor. In each county, a county assembly is established as well to make county level laws and to keep the county executive in check.
  2. Two houses of parliament - the National Assembly formed by MPs and Women representatives and a Senate of 47 senators - one from each county.

Through these structures, key functions of governments are progressively being devolved to the county governments. These functions include health, public works, agricultural development, trade development and other development functions.

The people of Kenya envisaged that by developing this devolved system of Government, they would achieve, among others, three key benefits, namely:

  • Better Service Delivery by bringing the Government services closer to the people as a means of making geographical spaces less amorphous to the service providers in Government.

  • A more Accountable Government that is easy to track and monitor for citizens, with a tighter feedback loop that would reduce cases of massive corruption and also increase confidence in the Government.

  • More Robust Citizen Participation in government by enabling citizen involvement in the identification of local priorities as well as the management of local projects.

The Open County Initiative is a project within the Devolution Programme implemented by Open Institute together with the Council of Governors. The Programmes broad objective is to work with county governments towards overcoming the challenges they face in actualizing their ambitions for good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability through three segments - Public Participation, Building Public Participation for accountability and innovating and building capacity



The Open Institute is a think-do tank that works with governments, civil society, private sector companies, media organisations and others to realize citizen driven open societies in Africa. We see a future with an open society that is managed by informed, fact-driven citizens. more...


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