In 2005, forward-thinking planners from government and the private sector began to develop an ambitious strategy to transform Kenya into a middle-income nation with a high quality of life by 2030. Although the East African country’s economy had begun to recover from decades of stagnation under authoritarian rule, deep inequalities festered and governance challenges abounded. The coalition government elected in 2002 had promised growth, improved social services, and public sector reforms, but those changes would take longer than a single five-year term.

Through public consultations, guidance from experts, and input from the private sector, the Ministry of Planning and the National Economic and Social Council identified priorities, selected high-impact projects, and built support across political, ethnic, and regional divides. Near the end of the strategy development process, the disputed 2007 presidential election triggered a national crisis. However, political rivals agreed to share power and adopted the strategy, called Kenya Vision 2030, as a joint agenda. In 2015, after seven years of implementation, more than a hundred projects were under way, and the document stood firm as the road map for Kenya’s future development.

Maya Gainer drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2015. Case published July 2015.

Continue reading