Public Funded Projects are mostly business or development initiatives not limited to enterprises, infrastructure and funds. These in themselves are income generators and have potential of generating interest. When the public comes in, driven by a cause to fund such projects they deserve to be awarded accountability, participation, results and reward. Because they now have a stake in the project or initiative, given their contributions; that is intellectual, financial, physical and even spiritual as well as emotional.
In his theory of entitlement Philosopher John Locke would probably prescribe that by participation in labouring for an outcome in public funded projects, the public have ownership over that project – not one individual – simply because he mobilised them to engage. In this reality everyone invests to gain not because they want to make the vision bearer happy – but because their is a reward in it. If it is a church, a stakeholder knows they have the privilege of having a chair to sit on, a counsellor to support them, support when they hit rock bottom. If it is a hospital or school – it may be of service to them or their loved ones at one point in time. If it is a factory – it may provide employment to them or their loved ones. If it is a road it would certainly help them and people around them move with ease.
Edward.R. Freeman, Jeffrey S. Harrison, Andrew C. Wicks, Bidhan L. Parmar and Simone de Colle present the Stakeholder Theory also indicating the importance of firms taking into account the value of stakeholders and also motivating them to sustain interest. In their book ‘Stakeholder Theory’ it is argued that motivating stakeholders is worth it because it has returns in the long run.
In his book on ‘Corporate Governance’ Kesho Prasad explains that the Chief Executive Officer in a given project, business or firm; is there to coordinate the interests of the stakeholders with those of the initiative earning profit for the equity holders. He also notes that the CEO treats all stakeholder equally.
An example of the state collecting taxes with its citizens being the stakeholders – expectant of better public services as a result of their contributions is shared by Kesho. But this also goes for the projects to which people contribute to in the name of growing their faith based initiatives, communities and groups.
The Chief Executing Officer in this case a Pastor, Priest or Leader – should be in position to be selfless with the contributions people give and not own what is being made but equitably ensure the collective action is rewarded with a collective benefit – that forms the public good.
Therefore having the public contribute to a project then having it all titled to one persons name and inherited by his family should be critically assessed and the state plus community should ensure the project and initiative remains the serve the people and not just one persons selfish interests.