To alleviate poverty at the grass-roots level the Kenyan government has devised the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which allocates resources to constituencies for MPs and residents to decide how to spend. This article assesses how the CDF has been spent since its implementation in 2003 and whether MPs' re-election chances were affected by how they managed the fund. Using administrative data on the CDF management and two surveys conducted before and after the 2007 MP election, it is found that the use of the CDF intensified nearer the elections. However, the probability of the MP being re-elected was not affected by the amount of reported funds spent, but by how the CDF was spent and by residents' ethnicity. MPs that ran the most projects on education and the least on other projects such as on health or water were less likely to be re-elected.
Gutiérrez Romero, R. Decentralisation, Accountability and the 2007 MP Elections in Kenya. Journal of Development Studies (2013) 49 (1) 72-94. [Special Issue on State, Society and Governance] [DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2012.714646]