The Development Through Media (DTM) team was at a meeting organised by a partnership comprising The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA), the Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) and Katiba Institute. This forum brought together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and media practitioners to discuss the constitutional issues regarding the application of social funds such as the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) with a view to informing policy and practice.

TISA is a CSO which aims to push for the achievement of sound policies, good governance as well as improving the livelihoods of the poor and marginalised. CEDGG is a grassroots CSO which seeks to empower vulnerable groups and ethnic communities to realize their governance and development rights.

Katiba Institute is a constitutional, research, policy and litigation institute established to help with the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya (COK) 2010.It further fosters the spirit of constitutionalism in East Africa through promotion of academic discourse on constitutional issues and by working with like-minded organisations to secure freedom in the region.

The NGCDF is a social fund which aims to increase access of the poor to local services and infrastructure as well as empowering them through participation, selection, implementation as well as ongoing maintenance of development.

The NGCDF act 2015 which was signed in to law has replaced the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).It stipulates that Members of Parliament (MPs) can receive monies and use it to supplement national government development projects in the counties. The concern that was pointed out was that matters development are the mandate of County Governments and it will lead to duplication of roles and functions.

A key presenter Mr. Wilfred Nderitu highlighted some key issues from the discussions to be that the National assembly has given itself significant power to hire and fire people managing the act, yet this function is with the Public Service Commission. Additionally there is a lot of meddling by the National assembly as they concern themselves with implementation instead of oversight and legislation which is their core mandate.

As a way forward, participants were encouraged to be actively involved in bringing to light the contentious issues in the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) act 2015.

DTM will continue to inform and engage the Public on the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) act 2015.

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