Integration of Solid Waste Management Policies in Kenya: Analysis of coherence, gaps and overlaps

 Introduction: There are different types and levels of policies addressing solid waste management in Kenya. These include sector-specific, general, stand-alone and embedded solid waste management policies. The alignment, overlaps, and gaps among these policies has not yet been systematically investigated.  Objectives: To examine the integration among the current solid waste management in Kenya, particularly as they addressed associated health challenges among vulnerable populations in urban areas of Nairobi and Mombasa. Methods: This study was a critical interpretive synthesis of the contents of the existing policies on solid waste management in Kenya, Nairobi and Mombasa. Selected policy documents were reviewed for pre-determined areas of integration in general and how they addressed health in particular. Information from the reviewed policy documents was re-abstracted using a matrix. The resulting information was synthesized using interpretive synthesis.  Results: This analysis looked in to horizontal, vertical, and diagonal dimensions of policy integration as well as internal (within policy domain) and external integration (with other related policies). While general solid waste management policies are broad and looks more integrating than specific ones, the institutional and implementation mechanism proposed by these policies are more centralized. The sector-specific and embedded solid waste management policies are coherent with the overall theme of the policy document they are in, but they lack mechanisms of implementation within the same policy framework. Major gaps exist in stipulating clear policy strategies and implementation mechanisms.   Conclusion: Existing solid waste management policies clearly state the policy directions in terms of the required outcomes. But explicit articulation of policy strategies and implementation mechanisms is insufficient.