Influence of community participation in constituency development fund construction projects: a case of Chama district.

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Ngulube, Chota Kennedy
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The University of Zambia.
The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Zambia was approved by Parliament in 1995 to finance micro-community projects for poverty reduction (GRZ, 2006). The micro projects that can be funded under CDF include construction and rehabilitation of wells and boreholes, infrastructure construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads and bridge construction and maintenance. Other projects include agriculture, rehabilitation of education and health facilities and also education programme, such as literacy programme. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLG) receives the funds from the Ministry of Finance and allocates the funds equally to each constituency, regardless of geographical population. The projects are supposed to be identified by the communities and tender procedures are followed when awarding contractors. The aim of the study was to establish the influence of community participation in CDF funded construction projects in Chama District. The study used qualitative methods to collect data from a sample of forty-one respondents. Three local contractors, three council workers, four CDF committee members and one Member of Parliament were purposively sampled and interviewed in the study. Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were held with thirty community members who were sampled using convenient sampling. Primary data was collected using focus group discussion guide and interview guide while secondary data was collected using document analysis. The data was analysed manually in excel using descriptive and content analysis. The data was grouped into themes and descriptions given to provide an understanding of the subject. Findings of the study showed that the community participated in CDF construction projects by providing resources such as labour and raw materials which constituted twenty-five percent of the project sum. The study further found that coordination between communities, contractors, Members of Parliament and the Council resulted in projects being completed on time. Challenges included inadequate information which caused many community members to view the CDF as a fund for MPs to use to achieve their political ends. The majority of respondents viewed CDF as an opportunity for developmental benefits to the community. The study concluded that there was effective community participation in CDF construction projects in Chama. The findings of this study contribute immensely towards an effective implementation of the decentralisation policy.
Thesis of Master of Science in Spatial Planning.