The Impact Of Constituency Development Fund In Kasarani Constituency
Mugwongo , GC
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This study was conducted to establish and document the impact of CDF in Kasarani constituency. Kasarani constituency is one of the constituencies amongst 8 constituencies in Nairobi province. It is ranked as the 77th out of 210 constituencies in the poverty index, with an estimated population of 500,000 most of who live below the poverty line. CDF is a development initiative by the 9th parliament under President Mwai Kibaki to address poverty alleviation at the constituency levels. Its main objective is to increase wealth and stability at the grassroots with a strong motto of"Maendeleo kwa Wote" by enhancing transparency, accountability, equity in resource distribution and participatory approaches by all the stake holders. The study particularly sought to recommend if the CDF initiative is meeting its objectives because prior decentralization initiatives that had been adopted have overwhelming evidence that they were unsuccessful due to some chronic challenges. Since the CDF is founded on the same background will it face the same challenges like the other programs or will it overcome. The study sought to answer/report if the constituents benefit from the CDF and what strategies/policies/measures can be adopted to make the programs impact more viable in Kasarani constituency. The study objectives were to i) To evaluate the impact of constituency development fund in Kasarani constituency ii) To identify ways of improving the management of CDF in Kasarani constituency The research questions were: 1) Have the CDF objectives been achieved in Kasarani constituency? 2) Is there participatory decision making in the CDF ofkasarani constituency? 3) What are the factors affecting the management of CDF in kasarani constituency? 4) What is the overall impact of CDF in kasarani constituency? 5) What is the general attitude towards CDF from the main stakeholders in kasarani constituency? The study was conducted through a survey research design, data been collected between October and December 2007 using questionnaire, interviews, and documentary analysis as the main tools of data collection. The target population was the Kasarani constituents who are estimated to be 200,000.Since the target population is large an accessible population of7 people from each of the 7 divisions that comprise Kasarani constituency. 5 members of the Kasarani CDF committee, 6 projects funded by the CDF and the M.P comprise the sample. Stratified random sampling was used because the population was not homogenous on some certain characteristics. The data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential analysis. The main findings of the study were that 48% of the constituent respondents were the youth (18-40 years), 32% were female thus depicting gender imbalance while 84% of the respondents were literate thus high literacy levels in the constituency. There is a high CDF awareness of 96% amongst the constituent respondents with 70% of the respondents agreeing that the CDF was beneficial to them. H~ever, a substantial 68% said there was low community involvement into the CDF affairs in Kasarani constituency, with 68% of the respondents saying their priorities were not the CDF committee priorities. 58% of the constituents echoed a concern of poor management of the CDF in Kasarani constituency, although68% of the constituency respondents agreed the CDF had a positive impact in Kasarani constituency. With 96% of the constituents having an overall positive attitude towards CDF in Kasarani constituency. Most of the constituents (68%) agreed there was political interference in CDF issues which was the main reason why the former MP was not reelected. Regrettably, out of the 6 projects observed; only 1 project was complete with the other 5 projects ongoing. The study concludes that CDF has had a positive impact with enormous benefits to the grassroots; however greater success is achievable if the challenges cited in the report are well addressed. The study recommends that there should be adequate training of the CDF committee to encourage professionalism in addition to enhancing transparency and accountability through constant monitoring and evaluation, as well as more punitive measures for any misappropriation. Minimization of political interference especially in the composition of the CDF committee to ensure harmonization of project priorities. This will reduce the clash between community projects and political projects. Endear towards more balanced representation in terms of gender and age in the CDF affairs. This, coupled with frequent community consultation will improve the level of popular participation and bring a sense of belonging to the community. f Increase funding for the CDF kitty to avail adequate funds to address the various socio- economic needs, and the relocation of the CDF offices to within Kasarani constituency would go along way in the achievement of the success of CDF initiative The researcher suggested further research should be carried out to evaluate the achievement of the CDF objectives in the country and to establish the challenges and viable solutions to the CDF initiative in Kenya.