Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Zambia undertakes stakeholder consultations to review the Constituency Development Fund Act for effective community development

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The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is a fund set up by the Zambian government to support development projects at the constituency level. The CDF ACT of 2018 provided a legal framework for the management and administration of the fund. However, since its inception, there have been challenges in its effective implementation, which have hindered its potential impact on community development. As a result, the Zambian government has undertaken a review of the CDF ACT number 11 of 2018, through stakeholder consultations in all nine provinces.

The Local Government Permanent Secretary for Administration, Maambo Haamaundu, announced the conclusion of the stakeholder consultations on February 27th, 2023. He emphasized that the consultations were important because they provided a platform for a broad and evidence-based outlook on issues that influence the implementation of the CDF. The review aimed to identify areas of improvement and address challenges that have hindered the effective implementation of development projects at the grassroots level.

The stakeholder consultations took place in all nine provinces, starting on February 13th, 2023, in Luapula Province and ending with the final meeting in Lusaka Province. The consultations included traditional leaders, civil society organizations, government officials, and other relevant stakeholders. The stakeholders were given the opportunity to share their views, experiences, and proposals for the improvement of the CDF.

Mr. Haamaundu stated that the proposed amendment of the CDF ACT aims to streamline administrative processes that have affected the effective implementation of projects and programs. The ultimate goal is to facilitate a devolved system of governance that empowers people at the grassroots level to participate in decision-making and the implementation of development projects in their communities.

The stakeholder consultations revealed that some of the challenges in the implementation of the CDF include delays in the disbursement of funds, inadequate capacity building for project management, lack of transparency and accountability, and inadequate participation of communities in decision-making. The stakeholders proposed several recommendations for the improvement of the CDF, including increased transparency and accountability, capacity building for project management, and increased participation of communities in decision-making.

The recommendations from the stakeholder consultations will be compiled into a draft bill for the CDF ACT of 2023. The draft bill will be presented to the National Assembly for consideration and adoption during the first quarter of this year. If adopted, the new CDF ACT will provide a framework for the effective implementation of development projects at the constituency level.

The review of the CDF ACT is an important step towards promoting effective and efficient implementation of development projects at the grassroots level, and empowering communities to participate in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. The CDF is a crucial tool for community development, and its effective implementation is critical for the achievement of sustainable development in Zambia.

The CDF is intended to support community-led development projects that are aligned with national development priorities. The fund is expected to provide funding for infrastructure projects, such as schools, health facilities, and roads, as well as social and economic development projects, such as agricultural development and small-scale business initiatives.

The successful implementation of the CDF requires the involvement of communities in decision-making, as well as effective management and accountability mechanisms. The review of the CDF ACT provides an opportunity to address some of the challenges that have hindered its effective implementation, and to improve the impact of the fund on community development.

In conclusion, the stakeholder consultations on the review of the CDF ACT have provided an opportunity for various stakeholders to contribute their views and proposals for the improvement of the fund. The recommendations from the consultations will be compiled into a draft bill for the CDF ACT of 2023, which will be presented to the National Assembly for adoption. The successful implementation of the new CDF ACT will require effective management

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