Edwin Orero

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

258 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this PhD Research Study is to investigate the reasons behind the adoption of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Kenya, within the context of sub-Saharan Africa, as a policy option in infrastructure financing. Using Broadbent, Laughlin and Read’s (1991) interpretation of Habermas (1984, 1987) as the theoretical framework, the thesis uses the concepts of “steering” and “steering mechanisms” and seeks to determine, at a macro level, why Kenya has decided to adopt the use of PPPs.

The Research Methodology used is “middle range thinking” (Laughlin, 1995; Broadbent and Laughlin, 2009). Middle range thinking argues that theory presents the researcher with a “skeletal framework” that can then be “fleshed out” using the empirics (Laughlin, 1995). In this thesis, the skeletal framework is the theoretical framework on steering, advanced by Broadbent, Laughlin and Read (1991). Kenya has been selected as the case study and the use of interviews and documents analysis have been employed as the research methods.

This study finds that with a large infrastructure deficit in critical areas, Kenya has decided to employ the use of PPPs to bridge this gap. Moreover, Kenya has also adopted the use of PPPs for macro-economic reasons, the need to provide for services within budgetary constraints and to rein back on the increasing percentage of debt as a proportion of GDP.

In addition to economic factors, the empirics suggest that Kenya’s PPP policy has been established due to “supranational steering” by the World Bank and its associates through various “steering mechanisms”. Through consultations with the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) of which the Bank is a member, Kenya has been able to establish the PPP regulatory framework and set up its PPP Secretariat. Through funding from the World Bank’s Infrastructure Finance Public Private Partnerships (IFPPP) project, Kenya has been able to boost the capacity of the PPP Unit and to roll out its PPP programme. The national government, on the other hand, has carried out societal steering by passing the required PPP laws and creating the necessary institutional framework.

This thesis contributes to the increasing literature on why different countries are increasingly adopting the use of PPPs. It also contributes to theory by adding to the concept of “societal steering” (Broadbent, Laughlin and Read, 1991) and suggesting that with respect to PPPs in developing countries, there is also “supranational steering” by the World Bank.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
Award date1 Sept 2019
Publication statusUnpublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Public Private Partnership
  • PPP
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • PPPs
  • Kenya
  • Africa
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • steering
  • societal steering
  • supranational steering
  • developing countries
  • Low-income countries
  • Infrastructure
  • Financing
  • Infrastructure financing
  • PPP Unit
  • World Bank

Cite this