USAID Kuza is an Associate Award under the Feed the Future Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity, a Leader with Associates (LWA) contracting mechanism, held by ACDI/VOCA. This LWA enables USAID missions in the East Africa region to access specialized services. Learn more here.

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Background Narrative

In the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Northern Kenya, households have low resilience to external shocks, particularly because of drought and depletion of assets. Conflict over natural resources and historic inefficiencies in Kenya’s central governing authority have exacerbated these issues.  

However, Kenya’s 2010 constitution created a devolved, county-led government system and an Ending Drought Emergencies Framework. This framework, as part of the GoK’s Vision 2030 strategic plan, has led to increased economic confidence and growth. USAID Kuza will build on the recent success of efforts by the Kenyan government and USAID to increase resilience by accelerating public-private investment, expanding and deepening county-level capacity to build resilience, foster self-reliance, and reduce the need for humanitarian assistance. The activity is implemented by ACDI/VOCA, supported by an investment manager in collaboration with Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) and select financial institutions. 

Project Objectives

  • Facilitate an enabling environment for expanded economic opportunities in areas of recurring crisis for women, youth, and marginalized groups 
  • Strengthen county-level institutional and governance capacity of both county government and non-governmental organizations through FCDC. The effort will facilitate capacity strengthening to counties on budgeting, public financial management, and planning processes  
  • Develop more extensive and robust private-sector partnerships to expand investment through an incentives fund aimed at increasing financial access for SMEs in the 10 FCDC Counties. 
  • Advance progress and accelerate outcomes by integrating monitoring and evaluation with shared learning 

Project Activities

  • Establish a regional investment fund to promote public-private partnerships 
  • Support the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) to advance important policy issues, such as land tenure and animal disease control 
  • Through FCDC, provide demand-driven, tailored training and support to counties in areas such as public policy, budgeting and resource mobilization, ward development planning, community engagement, advocacy and accountability, and other demand-driven topics 
  • Through FCDC, establish a regional M&E system and provide training to FCDC county governments 
  • In partnership with ACDI/VOCA’s Resilience Learning Activity, coordinate shared learning studies through FCDC 
  • Provide institutional capacity building to FCDC 

Anticipated Project Results

  • Strengthened policies to expand economic opportunities, including enhanced inter-county collaboration, improved natural resource management, and deepened community engagement
  • Enhanced capacity of FCDC county governments and NGOs, including strengthened disaster risk management and enhanced institutional and governance capacity
  • Expanded private sector partnerships to expand investment, including the development and management of Impact for Northern Kenya Fund and enhanced partnerships between county governments and the private sector
  • Integrated monitoring, evaluation, and shared learning to advance progress and accelerate outcomes in the FCDC region

Project Leadership

Project Specialist: Elbridge Boardman

USAID Kenya,

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