Factors Influencing Performance of Rural Development Community-Based Projects in Murang' a South District, Murang' a County
Projects often possess a specialized set of critical success factors in which if addressed and attention given will improve the likelihood of their success. On the other hand if these factors are not taken seriously they might lead to the failure of the project management. Project management occupies a significant place in the national development and reconstruction. It helps in raising the standards of living as well as accelerating the pace of modernization. It carries a wide spectrum right from the feasibility report to its implementation and evaluation. Once the technical, administrative and financial viability of a given project is established resources are identified and effective infrastructure is made available for the successful execution of the project. Rural development community-based is one of such projects. They can be self-sponsored, NGO sponsored or government sponsored but their ultimate goal is to improve the standards of living of the community where the community is expected to give full participation from initiation to completion and receive benefits. Though the government objective is to improve the lives of the community by decentralizing its resources (funds) some project have not performed as expected. There is still the gap of development that is evident by the stalled projects, prolonged projects and yet to be initiated projects. The purpose of the study was to investigate factors influencing performance of rural development community- based projects in Murang'a south District in Murang'a County. The District was selected because it's under rural grouping and its proximity to Nairobi province. To achieve the objectives of the study a descriptive research was undertaken targeting government sponsored community based projects in Murang'a south District. Stratified sampling of district development officer (DDO) and projects committee members was done. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, which was administered using drop and pick later method. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and descriptive statistics such as percentages and frequencies. Results were presented using pie charts, tables and graphs. The results indicate that project performance significantly related with monitoring an evaluation, with stakeholders' participation, with planning and with resources adequacy. The implication of these results is that in order to improve the performance of the projects and achieve the set goals and objectives, the identified factors needs to be considered and incorporated in the day to day running of projects. There should be a review of government policies so that the identified factors could be integrated for effective project management. This is envisaged to lead to an improvement of quality of life for the community and thus improve on their standards of living.