A comparative study of Governance Process in Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning in Kenya and Malawi

Project Leader: Gladys Nyachieo
Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology, Multi Media University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya.


The objective of the proposed study titled “A comparative study of Governance Processes in Sustainable urban mobility in Kisii (Kenya) and Mzuzu (Malawi) is to interrogate the role played by governance actors and dynamics in transport planning for sustainable urban mobility. The study is motivated by limited evidence based scholarly work in sub-Saharan Africa and in the two countries on governance institution, politics and financing in relation to urban transport and mobility. This study therefore fills a gap in knowledge concerning the governance processes in African secondary cities. This study attempts to move away from main cities where most transport researchers have conducted their studies and focus on smaller upcoming cities where early interventions can bring some change in the overall governance and therefore improve transport planning and financing.

The proposed study will focuses on the following objectives; (1) to assess role of institutional structures and processes of local governments that influence transport planning in (2) to identify political and governing barriers of transport financing (3) to analyze policies that affect the adoption of equitable sustainable urban mobility (4) to identify external stakeholder’s role in influencing policy choices and outcomes. The study seeks to answer some of these questions: who makes decisions about transport planning? How are these decisions made? What is the role of informal actors?

The comparative study will utilize a qualitative case study design and will adopt the Multi-Level Governance theory (MLG) by Gary Mark (1993). Effective urban planning depends on the interplay of power between three key sectors – politicians, landowners/investors and civil society-hence the relevance of multilevel governance theory. In addition, the study intends to use transport governance indicators developed by Christie et al. (2013). The indicators highlight ten pointers that are to be considered in transport governance by countries in sub–Saharan Africa