The research investigates the factors that hinder effective participation of mem-bers of the community in activities of CDF projects in the education sector in Kabuchai constituency, Kenya. The study conceptualizes collaborative govern-ance as including the participation of public agencies and the community, which results into successful implementation of projects (CDF in this case). However, based on qualitative interviews of a focus group involving participants with ex-perience and knowledge of CDF in the target area, the study established low levels of participation of the community in CDF decision-making processes. This is attributed to several individual specific (categorized as social) factors and institutional-based (categorized as structural) factors, which hinder the effective participation of the community in CDF decision-making processes. The struc-tural factors include supporting resources, participation capacity, and transpar-ency and integrity. The social factors include educational attainment, culture, in-come levels, age and gender. The low participation hinders the success of CDF projects, since similar to most public policies, CDF is a wicked problem, which requires solutions that are holistic and inclusive, by embracing coloration of stakeholders. According to the complex adaptive system theory, it is recom-mendable for the government (policy-makers) to create enabling conditions, which will enhance participation. Among the likely achievable solutions is in-creasing participation capacity for both the government institution and commu-nity. This should be coupled by increasing awareness of community members and clearly communicating the goals, objectives, and the roles, and expectations of the public in the participation process.

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Tankha, Sunil
Governance and Development Policy (GDP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Chelungusi, Rita Nanjala. (2021, December 17). Decentralization and community participation: the case of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Initiative in Kabuchai constituency. Governance and Development Policy (GDP). Retrieved from