Factors influencing community participation in constituency development fund projects in Langata Constituency, Nairobi
Juma, Aziz M
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This study explored factors that influence community participation in the planning and management of CDF projects in Langata Constituency, Nairobi. The specific objectives were to assess the effect of socio-economic and political factors as well as the institutional frameworks on community participation in the CDF projects in Langata Constituency. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research design was employed in the study. Data were collected with the aid of a semi-structured questionnaire administered to residents of the Constituency at the households. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were also conducted. Quantitative data were analyzed with the aid of SPSS for windows and results summarized using tables and graphs. Qualitative responses were analyzed thematically and results harmonised with those descriptive. The picture borne out the analysis is that community participation in the CDF projects in Langata Constituency is generally very low. This apathy is occasioned by the massive political influence on the decisions regarding the management of the funding kitty as well as the weak institutional and regulatory framework for promotion of community participation in the inherent processes. Although the statutory provision establishing the CDF is clear on its detachment from political meddling in the key decisions like appointment of the committee members, procurements and disbursement of funds and beneficiaries, this has not been effectively adhered to in the Langata Constituency. As a result, the projects are yet to register the benefits associated with active community participation in the life of the CDF projects. However, the analysis of the responses has revealed a very weak linkage between community participation in the projects and socio-economic circumstances of Langata Constituency. This is to the degree that both education and occupation were found to be not strongly associated with participation in the planning and implementation of the CDF projects. These findings lead to the conclusion that institutional and regulatory frameworks upon which the CDF is anchored as well as the political factors fundamentally bear on the extent of community participation in the planning and implementation of the inherent projects in the Constituency. However, socio-economic perspectives like level of education and occupation of the residents are not likely to have a strong effect community participation in the CDF projects. Thus, it is recommended that various actors in the CDF planning and management realm ranging need to develop appropriate strategies for promotion of community participation in the CDF projects, notably focusing on campaigns and awareness creation about the importance and means of local people's participation. Also, possible directions for further research about the phenomenon pointed out.