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Purity Kanja Kamiru - Master of Economics, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Shadrack Mwilaria - Department of Economic Theory, Kenyatta University, Kenya


A government of any country has a major role of making available public goods for its burgesses. There are however emerging Concerns about whether governments are really efficient as they carry out the task of providing public services to citizens. Investigating efficiency levels for a government is vital as it enables one to obtain useful information that can enable policy makers reduce possible inefficiencies. Different ways of reducing public expenditure include reducing the quantity of the goods supplied and by looking for other revenue sources.  Countries also can try to lower public spending by minimizing inefficiencies. This study aimed at estimating the technical efficiency levels in provision of public goods and services by Tharaka Nithi County Government using stochastic frontier analysis. The study concentrated on four devolved sectors of Tharaka Nithi County; Agriculture, Health, Transport and Pre-primary education. These sectors are the most devolved and the major drivers of the county’s economy. Data was collected from a sample of 86 sub locations. This sample was picked from 134 sub locations within the county by means of multi- stage sampling technique. In addition, the study compared efficiency levels across different devolved sectors of Tharaka Nithi County. Different studies related to efficiency of governments, both central and local, were reviewed. The study findings were that efficiency scores of the four sectors were very low, with none of them reaching 50%. Education sector was the most efficient with an efficiency score of 37.68%, followed by the transport sector with an efficiency score of 30.60%. Agricultural sector had an efficiency score of 27.83% while the health sector was the least efficient with a score of 18.52%. Different approaches of measuring efficiency are also looked at. The research methodology used was descriptive survey design where schedules were administered to the target population.  This study faced the limitation of inadequate local empirical literature since not much has been done regarding efficiency of county governments in Kenya since devolution. This present study is cross-sectional in nature. Longitudinal studies can be done later so as to examine how efficiency changes with time.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)