The effects of donor conditionality on EU/ACP policy implementation: the case of Community Developement Fund (CDTF)
Odondi, Lynette Adhiambo
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The liaison between the African, Caribbean and Pacific states on the one hand and the European Union (ACP-EU) on the other is designed to facilitate provision of development assistance to the ACP states by the EU. In Kenya, the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF) is one of the development agencies through which the EU provides this technical assistance and aid. The EU however in the implementation of the CDTF programme, employs rules and guidelines which rather than enforcing the objectives and principles of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, seem to undermine them. These rules and guidelines make certain assumptions and end up causing undue tension as a result are sometimes referred to as donor conditionality. This research study attempts to explain these assumptions and their implications for CDTF within the framework of the Modernisation Theory. The Modernisation Theory is impinged on the premise that Third World states go through a specific series of developmental stages which lead to industrialization and higher economic development and its attendant benefits, one of which is literacy. It is based on this premise that the European Union assumes a certain level of development among CDTF's project communities and therefore expects them to have the capacity to participate in a complex project application process. Low literacy levels and lack of capacity characterize the poor communities in Kenya. In effect therefore, she argues that the poorer communities are therefore cut out of the CDTF project application process. A category of communities who are not really the neediest and are therefore not the ones CDTF intends to target with its funding, are the ones who end up receiving the project support. This study carries out a review of the principles of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement and their application in CDTF. It also reviews the specific instruments and tools used to implement EU policy. Some of these are the project application strategy and formats used. Views of stakeholders who are the EU, the CDTF Board of Trustees, Technical staff from CDTF and a community which has previously received funding under the Community Development Programme and CDP and are sought through questionnaires. A personal interview was conducted with the Programme Co-ordinator. This provides useful historical information which is not available anywhere else and serves to fill in gaps in the study. Findings confirm that poorer communities in the ASAL areas receive less funding from CDTF. Demographic data and statistics also reveal that the literacy levels and poverty have a converse relationship. Stakeholders who participated in the study overwhelmingly chose poverty, human development and other relevant indices as a basis for targeting the poor. They also suggest that CDTF takes affirmative action to enable poorer communities to participate in the project application process. Findings of the study however confirm that the sectors in which CDTF focuses are the appropriate ones and are also in line with the Government of Kenya country strategy. Recommendation is that the EU reviews the project application tools with a view to making the process simpler to promote access by the poorer Kenyan rural and peri-urban communities.