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Contribution of National Government Constituencies Development Fund on Poverty Alleviation in Kibwezi West Constituency, Makueni County, Kenya

Development initiatives in rural areas help in poverty alleviation and strive to empower the marginalised rural communities to cope with hostile environments. Sustainable projects strengthen them to control their own social economic transformation. This study sought to examine the contribution of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) on poverty alleviation in Kibwezi East Constituency, in Makueni County. It adopted a mixedmethods research design and data were collected through content analysis, structural observation, face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant discussions (KIDs). The qualitative data were analysed qualitatively by caategorising them into key themes, while quantitative data was analysed using statistical techniques with the help of statistical package for social scientists (SPSS Version 23). The data were presented in frequency tables, pie charts, and comparative bar graphs. The study found that although the NG-CDF is presumed to have achieved a lot, it has not reached most of the member groups in the study area. Much of the fund has been invested in rehabilitation and construction of schools and healthcare structures, water projects; the purchase of learning materials; and food security; and the provision of seeds and emergency food relief during drought. The study concludes that: the NG-CDF kit is an essential safety net for the poor if it is managed well and targeted to the marginalised poor in society; the NG-CDF should never become a property of the area member of parliament, but should serve the very poor; the secretariat needs serious training and should be accountable for all the funds allocated to the NG-CDF; selection of beneficiaries should be done collectively in each sub-county; the National Government should consider increasing the NG-CDF to cater for more groups; There is need for a nationwide situational analysis to examine to what extent the fund has been able to transform the lives of the poor; and research should also look into what should be done to make the NG-CDF more open to, and inclusive of, the poor themselves but not their representatives. Key Words: Poverty, National Government Consistencies Development Fund, Marginalised Poor, Empowerment, Sustainability, Poverty

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