Fighting Poverty through Parliament
York University; Africa Leadership Institute
The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is used to tackle poverty at the grassroots through financing development at constituency level through the elected Members of Parliament. It is seen as a new multi-faceted approach, which bypasses red tape, to allow people at the grassroots to decide their development priorities even in areas where Government programmes are not felt. It is a form of decentralization of development planning and a way to complement other governmental poverty reduction initiatives.
Uganda followed the footsteps of Kenya by introducing the CDF in 2005. However, on its operationalisation, the recommended laid down guidelines were not followed and there is, up to now, no regulatory framework to oversee the utililisation of the funds. Most MP's have not accounted for the first release of the disbursed CDF funds and yet they have received a second disbursement.
The CDF must be streamlined to be all-inclusive with various stakeholders being involved in its formulation and implementation. They should be involved in the debate and refinement of this policy and also to ensure its successful implementation.
Keywords: CDF, constituency development fund, Uganda, poverty, Kenya, AFLI
JEL Classification: I30working papers series
Date posted: March 9, 2008 ; Last revised: October 31, 2008
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