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County Government

County Executive County Assembly County Budget and Economic Forum

The Council of Governors

County Assemblies Forum

The Society of the Clerks at the Table

Regional Blocs

Sector Working Groups

Municipal Boards


There are forty-seven County Governments in Kenya. They were created with the 2010 Constitution to enhance equity in resource distribution, bring decision making and service delivery closer to citizens and enable the realization of the right to self-determination. The County Government consists of two arms: the County Assembly, which exercises the representative, legislative and oversight authority of the government; and the County Executive which exercises the executive authority of the county government. Their administrative structure comprises of the Sub-County, Ward and Village. Appointed Municipal Boards play a role in the administration of cities and urban areas.

To learn more, visit the Toolkit page on Basics of Devolution


County Executive

The County Executive is responsible for the execution of county government’s functions as per the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya (2010). The Executive manages, coordinates and is accountable for all county government resources, functions of the county administration and the delivery of devolved services and is required to facilitate and engage citizens in the process.

The County Executive consists of the Governor and the Deputy Governor elected every five years by the citizens of the county. The Governor appoints County Executive Committee (CEC) Members; CEC appointments are approved by the County Assembly. The executive authority of the County Government is vested in the CEC comprising the Governor, the Deputy Governor and the CEC members. The Governor is the Chief Executive of the County Government and the head of the CEC. The Governor’s role is to provide leadership, represent the county and assent or dissent bills passed by the County Assembly.

The CEC is responsible for the preparation of county policies, plans and budgets for approval from the County Assembly; and the submission to external regulatory offices of the National Treasury and Office of the Controller of Budget. The CEC is responsible for implementation of all laws passed by the County Assembly and National Assembly; it also may prepare laws for consideration by the County Assembly. The CEC provides regular non-financial and financial reports to the County Assembly; and to external regulatory and oversight offices of the Controller of Budget and the Office of the Auditor General.

The County Executive comprises county departments with delegated responsibility for the county functions headed by CEC Members. Each department has a Chief Officer reporting to the CEC also appointed by the Governor, and county public service staff recruited through the County Public Service Board.

To learn more, visit the Toolkit page on Basics of Devolution


Constitution of Kenya (2010)

County Government Act (2012)


County Assembly

The County Assembly roles are to represent citizens, exercise the legislative authority of the County Government and oversight the County Executive. It comprises elected and nominated members referred to as Members of the County Assembly (MCAs). The elected members represent and are elected by the citizens at the County Ward. Nominated members are appointed by the political parties to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the members are from the same gender and to include representatives from marginalised groups i.e. persons with disabilities and youth.

A Speaker elected by the Members, but not from among its members, heads the Assembly. The County Assembly Speaker presides over all assembly sittings. The Assembly administration is headed by a County Assembly Clerk and is appointed by the County Assembly Public Service Board. The County Assembly Clerk is responsible for day to day administration of the County Assembly.

The County Assembly makes and passes all county laws required for the effective performance and exercise of the powers of the County Government. It also approves county policies, plans and budgets and oversights implementation by the County Executive. The Assembly is also responsible for vetting and approving nominees for appointment to county public office.

The County Assembly is required to engage the public in the performance of all its functions and to hold committee sittings in public.

To learn more, visit the Toolkit page on Basics of Devolution


Constitution of Kenya, 2010

County Government Act, 2012

County Assembly Services Act, 2017

County Budget and Economic Forum

The County Budget and Economic Forum (CBEF) is regulated by Section 137 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012. CBEF is set up to coordinate and collect views from the public during the budgeting process and function as a think-tank for the County government in terms of financial and economic policy and management. The CBEF assists the county to analyse and identify its priorities as they budget for programs, improve coordination between the citizens and government and improve harmonization of project implementation and funding. Chaired by the Governor, CBEF is composed CEC members and at least an equal number of persons nominated by organisations representing professionals, business, labour issues, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly and faith-based groups at the county level.


Guidelines for formation and functioning of CBEF, Commission on Revenue Allocation, 2018 

Council of Governors

The Council of Governors (CoG) is established under Intergovernmental Relations Act (IGRA 2012). It comprises the 47 County Governors and provides a mechanism for inter-county and inter-governmental consultation. The Council offers leadership and a collective voice on policy issues affecting counties. It plays an important role in advocating for devolution policies and laws required for the effective performance and exercise of powers of County Governments.

COG provides a platform for sharing information and best practices amongst County Governments and capacity building of Governors. It hosts the Maarifa Centre, a knowledge sharing and learning platform. The Maarifa Centre gathers and publishes lessons and experiences from the 47 County Governments. It provides a useful multi-media repository of reference materials relevant to devolution, county governance and devolved functions, including county and sector specific documents, guidelines and training material.

Learn more about COG: https://cog.go.ke


Maarifa Centre

Intergovernmental Relations Act (IGRA), 2012

County Assemblies Forum (CAF)

The County Assemblies Forum (CAF) is the coordinating body of the 47 County Assemblies in Kenya. Registered as a society, its membership includes County Assembly Speakers and Members of County Assemblies. CAF’s primary role is to provide leadership, coordination and promote networking among the 47 County Assemblies. CAF works to enhance good practice in legislative development, promote a conducive working environment for all its members and coordinate intergovernmental relations.

Learn more about CAF 


Society of Clerks at the Table

The Society of Clerks at the Table in Kenya (SOCATT (K)) is a membership organisation of the Clerks of County Assemblies and their officers. It provides a platform to enhance, harmonise and share best practice in legislative procedures and practice across county assemblies in Kenya. 

 Learn more about SOCATT


Model County Assembly Procedure and Practice Manual, First Edition. Society of Clerks at The Table- Kenya (SOCATT)

Model County Assemblies Committees Manual. January 2018. Society of Clerks at The Table (SOCATT)

The County Assembly Gender Responsive Budgeting Guide. 2018. Society of Clerks at The Table (SOCATT) 


Regional Blocs

Over the past few years, neighbouring Counties sharing historical, political and economic similarities have formed regional economic blocs to find common solutions, attract investments and gain a greater voice in negotiations with the national government and other stakeholders. Below there is the list of six blocs created to date, their membership and links to corresponding websites:

  • Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) comprising of seven (7) counties namely; Garissa, Wajir, Mandera,Isiolo, Marsabit, Tana River and Lamu. Read more: https://www.fcdc.or.ke/
  • North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) comprising of seven (8) counties namely Uasin Gishu, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo, Samburu and Turkana. Read more: https://noreb.go.ke/
  • Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) comprising of thirteen (14) counties namely Migori, Nyamira, Siaya, Vihiga, Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Nandi, Trans Nzoia and Kericho. Read more: https://lreb.or.ke/
  • Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani comprising of six (6) counties namely, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa
  • South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc comprising of three (3) counties namely Kitui, Machakos and Makueni. Read more: https://www.sedc.org/
  • Kenya and Aberdares Region Economic Bloc Comprising of ten (10) counties namely Nyeri, Nyandarua, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Laikipia, Nakuru and Kiambu.
Sector Working Groups

Sector Working Groups (SWGs) are meant to facilitate government coordination (across departments) in the design of programmes and preparation of budgets and represent the main mechanism for counties to engage with the public on technical matters. Stakeholders with a specific area of interest can engage with county officials in the identification of sector priorities, formulation of strategies and programs and implementation of activities. Well-functioning SWGs can do much more than improving participation and transparency, they can become vital spaces for the establishment of partnerships between government, private sector and civil society at large, for the mobilization of technical and financial resources and the improvement of service delivery and sector outcomes.

Municipal Boards

Regulated by the Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011, Municipal Boards are appointed by the County Government to oversee the organic development of urban areas and provide for a governance mechanism that allows residents to participate in determining the social services and regulatory framework which will best satisfy their needs and expectations and enable economic activity and job creation. 


Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011