Making development accountable: A critical analysis of the systems of accounting and accountability for the Constituency Development Fund in Kenya

Jan Bell, Zahirul Hoque, Robert Ochoki Nyamori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe and critically evaluate the systems of accounting and accountability for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Kenya. It suggests a new framework of accounting and accountability that places the goals and aspirations expressed in public discourse at the centre of accountability. Design-methodology-approach The theoretical insights of Bourdieu and Foucault are mobilized so as to tease out the nature of power relations between the various fields associated with the CDF in Kenya. The study analyses newspaper commentaries as text for identifying the main themes associated with the management of the CDF in Kenya. Findings The paper finds that the CDF's systems of accounting and accountability are skewed towards the needs of centralized national planning and development, contrary to its expressed aim of bringing about citizens' participation in development. Research limitations-implications Use of newspaper commentaries and reports does not necessarily represent the views of the majority of the people of Kenya. Practical implications A new framework is suggested which places the goals and aspirations of public discourse at the centre of accounting with the various capitals suggested by these goals and aspirations forming the dimensions on which the CDF can be accounted for. Novel forms of accounting and accountability are suggested which include presentation of CDF implementation and results at public forums where the managers of CDF can be interrogated on the basis of the goals and aspirations expressed in public discourse. Originality-value Study of the CDF systems of accounting and accountability is a unique contribution to accounting for development in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-227
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Accounting and Organizational Change
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 5 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Accounting history
  • Budgetary control
  • Educational institutions
  • New Zealand
  • Performance management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management

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