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Regional themes > Governance Last update: 2020-11-27  

Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector Programme: Fourth programme review

David Everatt, Karuti Kanyinga


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This is the fourth Review of the Governance Justice Law & Order Sector reform programme (GJLOS). Unlike previous Review Advisory Team (AT) reports, we have tried to make this less of a technical report and more of a narrative, where possible, so as to make the whole report more accessible (and shorter!). Whether we have succeeded or not is up to the reader.

Similarly, we have refrained from making many, detailed recommendations in preference for a few, key strategic recommendations. A great many recommendations made in AT reports for Joint Review Meeting (JRM) I, II and III remain pertinent today, and we shall not repeat them. We suggested then that the Joint Review Meeting (JRM) appoint a small group to revisit all prior recommendations to see which remain relevant and action them, but that did not occur. This time, we focus on key themes and develop them; for example, the whole of the final section of the report – our suggested strategic way forward – is one extended recommendation.

An important observation that we must make at the outset is that GJLOS is constantly evolving. A significant development was recorded just as the Advisory Team was finalising this report, GJLOS achieved MTEF status. The replacement of PSLO by GJLOS and bringing on board new governance institutions that were not part of GJLOS, represents a massive step forward for the programme, with new challenges as well as significant potential for major strides forward. The transition is gaining speed and as a result some of what is said in the report may already be out of date – unavoidably so.

Terms of Reference

Our terms of reference are attached at Appendix A. The Advisory team was asked to assess the implementation of MTS 1 and 2 and planning for MTS 3, as well as ‘consider and propose modalities and means for sustaining any successes and addressing any lessons and challenges for the GJLOS Reform programme going forward’. This included an analysis of the overall management and co-ordination of the programme, looking particularly at efficiency and learning capacities; how the reform content has and should be broadened; and how to manage the context in which GJLOS finds itself.


In order to meet our Terms of reference (ToR), the advisory team used the following methods:

  • Documentary analysis/secondary data analysis: this informed all aspects of the AT work, and included documents, reports, minutes, data sets and the like.
  • 3 MDA-level case studies: all aspects of the ToR were studies in minutiae in focused department-level case studies.
  • Site visits: as part of both the case studies and the broader review, site visits were undertaken in and beyond Nairobi to assess issues in situ. This also allowed us to interview end-users of GJLOS services.
  • GJLOS-wide MDA survey: a survey of all MDAs allowed all MDAs to answer questions dealing with all aspects of the AT ToR.
  • Group meetings were held with civil society organisations (CSOs), donors, the PCO and others.
  • In-depth interviews were held with a wide range of key stakeholders including PSs, MDA staff, GJLOS staff (PCO/FMA), NSAs, donors, beneficiaries, commentators and critics, and others.
The review team thus used primary qualitative and quantitative as well as secondary data as sources of information. Where possible, triangulation was used to validate findings. Each researcher or team was given broad terms of reference (reflecting those of the AT) but were free to undertake their own research and reach their own conclusions. That all of us reached broadly similar conclusions is important and important in its own right. Of course much of what we do is analyse and interpret data in order to construct a narrative and analytic framework; and of course others may interpret the data in other ways and reach different conclusions.

Some observations on progress and achievements

We start by looking at some of the key achievements and progress by GJLOS in meeting its objectives. It is important to note where we are and how far we have come. This brief analysis of the road that GJLOS has travelled, recognises the success as a starting point for our tackling of the issues defined in our scope of work and the foundation for our recommendations at the end of this report.

When asked to comment on the “Road Map” currently in use to guide the programme, responses ranged widely from “GJLOS went on a journey without a map”, to “GJLOS has a map, but no one is reading it”, to “we’re still only half way through our journey and so far the map is ok”. Whilst the AT would expect different opinions on the quality and content of the programme’s “road map” it is nevertheless disturbing that some have even questioned the very existence of such a map. This section therefore sets about examining the map in more detail to assess the validity of these different claims.

In the second AT report (2005) it was recommended the MTS (2005) should be accompanied by a comprehensive sector-wide implementation plan (3 – 5 years) in which key activities were prioritised and sequenced. The AT has also argued previously that such a plan/ Road Map should be grounded in a human rights based approach, should signal the key priorities within each KR and provide the sequence for these events to follow. The reasons for this recommendation were three-fold. One, it ensured that leadership clearly signalled to all in the programme what, from a multitude of important activities, needed to be addressed and in which order. Two, it would allow the programme managers to assess progress being made against the identified milestones and to act accordingly and appropriately when delays were encountered. Three, following on from the previous point, it would ensure that over time those steering the programme from the centre would develop a realistic sense of what can and what cannot be achieved over time.

The AT still firmly believes that it is essential to develop an overall, high level sector-wide implementation plan for the remaining years of the programme, particularly one that underscores a human rights based approach. The AT remains concerned that the “spray and pray approach” to workplan design, and consequent delivery, is unlikely to lead to the achievement of the programmes key results, and as a result, its overall purpose. However, the idea here is not to supersede existing workplans developed by MDAs or TGs, nor is it to dictate to MDAs or TGs what their workplans should contain. Rather such an implementation plan would serve as a guide from leadership within the sector as to what are the key priorities and by when these need to happen.

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