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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Deepening Local Democracy: Citizen Participation in a Devolved Fund Program (CDF) in Kenya

The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Kenya is a government sponsored initiative which has been running since 2003. It was started as a new governmentís response to legitimacy and effectiveness. An annual allocation is given to each constituency (electoral districts) under the management of each legislator. The constituents are expected to directly cooperate with their legislator in order to identify and fund local developmental projects. This clearly should be a civic engagement process with the potential to nurture local democratic practices, unfortunately it has not. My research question thus is: What explains the recurrent pitfalls faced by the CDF in its attempt to establish democracy at local levels? And how does one overcome them? I will be conducting research in two constituencies in Kenya in the summer using questionnaires. My M.A Thesis then will incorporate the research findings in a broader attempt to establish local democracy through citizen participation in the program.

Presenter: Fredrick Otieno (Syracuse University) --
Topic: Political Science - Panel
Location: 214 Hartwell
Time: 10:30 am (Session II)