In 2004, Permanent Secretary Joyce Nyamweya faced a daunting task when she took over Kenya's Public Service Reform and Development Secretariat. President Mwai Kibaki had charged Nyamweya with building both capacity and a results-oriented culture in ministries and other government institutions unaccustomed to providing quality public services or delivering on medium and long-term targets. With the help of Stanley Murage, special adviser to the president, Nyamweya focused on ministries that provided key public services and pushed them to apply Rapid Results, a management technique that breaks long-term plans into 100-day projects. In 2008, after Nyamweya's departure, a competent team trained in the Rapid Results methodology continued to advance its use in government institutions. By 2012, Rapid Results initiatives had helped improve services in more than 25 ministries and had boosted the government's capacity to implement projects. The technique also helped improve the performance of 175 local authorities, 45 state corporations, and three public universities. This case documents Kenya's success in applying Rapid Results across the public sector and looks at how this management technique proved to be an alternative to traditional methods of building capacity.
Rushda Majeed drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Nairobi, Kenya, in June and July 2012. Case published October 2012.
Associated Interview(s): Nadim Matta
Public Sector Reform and Development Secretariat
Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation
Results for Kenyans
Performance management system
Capacity (capability traps)
Principal-agent problem (delegation)
Country of Reform