Participatory Development Using Devolved Fury, s: An Attempt to Develop Public Property via Politics in Kenya
Swazuri, Muhammad A.
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The responsibility of ensuring that national development takes place has been largely left to the government through its systems, organs, policies and officials. Direct government involvement in development is usually complimented by private initiatives and/or public/private partnerships. The general understanding by governments is that they have to spur development for the benefit of their citizens. Development policy in Kenya has traditionally been initiated and eventually implemented by the Central Government. In practice, most of the development initiatives have suffered from negative characteristics that make development objectives difficult to be achieved as desired. This paper intends to explore the performance of one development initiative by Kenya, the Constituency Development Fund, to initiate and intensify general economic development in the entire country. The data used for this paper was collected from one political constituency in the Republic of Kenya, namely Mathira Constituency in Central Province. A combination of methods was used to gather information from a variety of sources. The study found that there have been positive impacts arising out of CDF allocations. For example, land values in most rural areas have increased after water; electricity and sewerage projects were initiated. Access to and provision of services and facilities has been enhanced and some difficulties previously encountered, such as travelling long distances in search of services, have been reduced. However; almost a half of the projects are incomplete, meaning that there is poor utilization of development funds, and there is little or no community participation in almost all the phases of implementing CDF projects. The study recommends public awareness campaigns on the utilization of development funds. It also recommends amendments to the CDF Act of 2003 to ensure democratic processes in implementing and managing CDF projects.