The Constituency Development Fund as a tool for Community Development: A case study of Katuba Constituency in Zambia.
Chibomba, Doreen Nkombo
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The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is a type of decentralised government funding that is supposed to deliver goods and services directly to constituents by providing additional funds for local community development, outside line ministries. It is predominantly a developing country policy that is intended to meet the immediate social needs of local communities. In countries where it is operational, CDF is appropriated by Parliament within a country’s national budget. CDF in Zambia was introduced in 1995 for the implementation of community based projects which would in the long term improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the constituents. The stated objective of the CDF in Zambia is to provide Members of Parliament and their constituent communities with the opportunity to make choices and implement (MPs) projects that maximise their welfare in line with their needs and preferences. However, questions have been raised over whether CDF actually represents efforts to spur local development and consequently national development, or whether it is primarily a political project aimed at benefitting MPs by providing them with the resources to help them gain popularity with the electorate. The study aims to assess the effectiveness of CDF as a tool for community development. This has been done through a case study of Katuba Constituency in the Central Province of Zambia, using qualitative research methods. The study seeks to gain insight into of the impact of CDF projects in relation to the goals espoused by the CDF as laid down in Zambia’s Guidelines for the Utilisation and Management of the Constituency Development Fund.