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Constituency Development Funds Workshop - page 2 / 13





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  • Policy making on CDFs, including goals of the funds, their size, style and conditions for decision making; oversight of CDF; and the relative influence of different individuals and groups in making policy;

  • Effectiveness of CDFs as tools of decentralized development, including some common pitfalls in implementation, the relationship between CDFs and other local development projects and administration; and reporting, transparency and accountability of CDF-initiated projects; and

  • Sustainability of CDFs as instruments of development, including the manner in which CDFs inform representative-constituent relations; the electoral effect of CDFs; the viability of CDFs in different types of electoral systems; and the effect of CDFs on relations among civil society, legislatures and executives.

As background, SUNY/CID provided participants with an extensive bibliography of published research on CDFs, summarized some of the common challenges facing CDFs, and provided a matrix comparing characteristics of eight CDFs. 3

Several presentations helped to frame the workshop’s deliberations:

  • Professor Joel Barkan presented data on Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, South African, Namibia and Mozambique from the African Legislatures Project (ALP) that demonstrated the importance of constituency politics in Africa even amidst some strong party systems and the great desire of African publics for strong constituency service.

  • Citing Theodore Lowi’s central insight on how the types of policies shape politics, Professor Bob Nakamura outlined diverse of perspectives on CDFs as a tool of policy making and service delivery.

  • Professor Dianna Evans discussed the burgeoning pork projects over the past decade in US policy making and how US politicians frame earmarks as a matter of national interest.

  • Participants viewed a short documentary from International Budget Partnership called “It’s Our money, Where’s it Gone?” on efforts of a Kenyan CSO, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) to monitor CDFs in Mombassa, Kenya: http://www.internationalbudget.org/ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2zKXqkrf2E

3 Documents are appended to this report which analyze data on Bhutan, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya,

Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Uganda. CID found insufficient information on the operations of CDFs in an additional 10 governments to include them into the descriptive matrix for the time being. They are: Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.


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