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Interest group representation on government committees in Kenya

Authors
  • Irwin, David
  • Kyande, Mercy
Type
Published Article
Journal
Interest Groups & Advocacy
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication Date
Feb 09, 2022
Volume
11
Issue
3
Pages
315–332
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1057/s41309-021-00149-6
PMCID: PMC9374897
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Original Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Business associations engage in dialogue with policy makers—and sometimes succeed in influencing policy outcomes. One strategy—largely overlooked by researchers—involves seeking appointment to government boards and committees. This is an important omission since many committees review, draft and implement policies and regulations. Securing representation on government committees could thus lead to considerable influence but little is known about the extent to which interest groups seek such appointments. And very little is known about dialogue in developing countries, especially those that seek a consensual rather than an adversarial approach to policy formulation. This research, based on desk research of government committee membership and interviews with business associations, thus addresses two gaps. It has been undertaken in a developing country, Kenya, since there is a relatively small number of interest groups compared to other countries of a similar population. This research focuses on the efforts of interest groups, and business groups in particular, to place nominees on government committees. This article highlights the level of regulatory activity in Kenya effectively delegated to government boards and committees and demonstrates the apparent success of business associations in securing participation in a majority of the committees with a regulatory function. It argues, however, that interest groups could be more professional and more strategic when they are represented on government committees.

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