An evaluation of the relevancy and efficacy of constituency development fund (CDF):a case study of rural Igembe constituency in Meru North District, Kenya

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Kampala International University, College of Economics and Management
This study is an evaluation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Igembe constituency as a case study. This fund for community development was established in Kenya by the government in 2003. At the constituency level, this fund is supposed to be supervised by a committee chaired by a member of parliament. By this fund, constituents are to be empowered to identify potential areas of development and fund them using this fund. The need for evaluation was necessitated by the fact that the media had repeatedly highlighted a suspected misuse of CDF’s fund in various constituencies. Disturbed by the fact that it was not the first time social funds had been misused, the researcher opted to carry out an evaluation to establish the reality on the ground. Already, it is common knowledge that in the earlier attempts of the 1980s,the transferring of the resources to the communities in Kenya, met challenges such as misappropriation of funds by the responsible committees, incompetent personnel and limited resource alkxations. I was therefore, eager to know whether the resources were getting down to the community members as intended and if not what may be the cause. I was also interested in knowing the mechanisms that have been put in place so as to achieve better results. In addition, the research wanted to establish both the challenges and opportunities that are being realized as well as to whether the community attaches any importance to this funi \sing a purposive sampling method the study selected the most informed ~tegory of respondents to answer questionnaires and ~ ~ and the analysis of documentary evidence were also used. Therefore, the y is based on both primary and secondary data. After gathering of the primary it was grouped into qualitative and quantitative dasses for thorough analysis ~erpretation. The study found that as much as CDF has made a significant contribution in Igembe constituency, there is little evidence that the poorest are benefiting. The findings established that a relatively good number of community members know the existence of CDF although their knowledge in regard to its operations is quite Iimited~ Both the collection and dissemination of information on CDF to the community was found to be relatively poor~ Monitoring and evaluation of projects has been done on a minimal scale~ Community involvement has also been rated poorly by the key informants and other respondents with a notion that they are not well consulted before projects are designed~ The informants also noted that there is a leakage of CDF funds due to poor tendering processes, corruption and tack of skills on the part of the implementers~ This reality has led to weak and minimal possibilities for promoting transparency and accountability~ Among the recommendations, it was suggested that it is necessary to inform the community members on their monitoring role and how they should demand for accountability~ The managers of CDF should co~opt other stakeholders and interested parties (modalities) such as civil society organizations (community based organizations and religious groups) in the process of implementation~ Again, proper and popular methods of project identification and design must be adopted. In addition, more frequent and well planned monitoring of CDF activities should be planned and funds for that purpose must be set aside~ And if possible, politicians must also be distanced from CDF funds as it was confirmed they are derailing the smooth runring of the whole process. Above all, a strategic development plan that indicates the vision, mission, objectives and performance targets to guide the constituency development plan should be put in place.
A thesis submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies in Partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management of Kampala International University
Constituency, Development fund, Kenya