British aid policy, towards Kenya as elsewhere, exhibits a dichotomy. Decisions about the allocation of aid between countries are strongly influenced by precedent and original allocations were usually subject to political and commercial considerations. These may also be important in determining some of the general features of the aid a country receives, how far, for example, aid is tied to specific projects and how far it is tied to procurement of British goods. When a sum has been agreed, however, if it is to be tied to projects, as it generally is, developmental issues become much more important in determining which projects receive assistance. That is noticeable in the case of Kenya. While commercial and political pressures are sometimes brought to bear on individual project selection they appear to have become less influential at this level over the past decade. British project selection in Kenya has become more oriented to development, as it is conceived within the Ministry for Overseas Development (ODM). The changes reflect the varying importance of different Ministries and Departments of State at the different stages of aid policy formation. The institutional arrangements within the UK government machine have changed since aid to Kenya began and with them has changed the importance of different strands in aid policy. An analysis of aid policy, therefore, must be partly historical.