A case study of the constituency developement fund Wajir district
Hussein, Osman Adan
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The focus of this research is in the area of participatory development; a case study of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Wajir District. It takes particular interest on howthe CDF is being implemented and assesses the level of participation of the local community and their influence on the development agenda. The study takes cognizance of the Government's ingenious innovation to channel funds to the local levels. The fund provides an opportunity for individuals at the grassroots level to make expenditure choices in line with their needs and preferences. This research project was guided by the reflective practice model which advances the need to blend the local and expert knowledge with field experiences. It is a model that enhances community participation. A total of 138 respondents and 17 key informants were interviewed using structured questionnaires, opinion scales and focus group discussion guide. The findings underline that community participation in the CDF is low and communities are only drawn to implement pre determined programs. The CDF plans and decisions are externally conceptualized and projects are drawn by experts and handed down to the community. It also established that power brokers form the link between communities and the CDF patrons. The local leaders also appear to disregard the capacity of the local leaders to comprehend development agenda or make choices. The leaders decide for the community and coerce them into accepting their views. The study also observed the supremacy of the elites on the management of the funds; the locals seek guidance from the elites who basically decide for them. The Members of Parliament use the fund to meet political pledges and use the fund to reward their cronies through contracts. In conclusion it was evident that the fund offers opportunity for the community to participate and get involved in all its stages and is appreciated all by the local community at large. Nevertheless the challenge lies with the implementers who adopt unorthodox means to individually gain at the expense of the majority. As a recommendation the government should involve the communities in totality and communities should promote community participation and more importantly link peoples felt needs with the CDF project goal.