Sustainability of Community Based Projects Undertaken by commercial Banks in Kenya: A Case of Barclays Bank
Ndungu, Monicah Muthoni
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Sustainability of community based projects is one of the greatest concerns of the stakeholders involved in the process of running the projects.Many firms in the financial industry have increasingly been involved in supporting community based projects aimed at improving livelihoods of the community in which they operate.Analysis show that, most community based projects have failed to sustain themselves, become self-reliant and the communities have failed to continue running them after funding organizations withdraw their support. The aim and goal of Barclays bank on community based projects in Kenya is to proactively build stronger and more stable local communities with a focus on affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and stabilization, small business development, and economic opportunity but the sustainability of these projects has hindrances influenced by various factors. This study therefore sought to assess the factors affecting sustainability of the community based projects (CBPs) undertaken by Barclays bank in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were: to find out the effects of community participation on sustainability, to determine the effect of information technology on the sustainability of community based projects, to determine the effect of project monitoring and evaluation on sustainability of community based projects and to find out the effects of project resource scheduling and financing on sustainability of community based projects. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. The study targeteda population of 11,323stakeholders of community based projects initiated by Barclays Bank out of which a sample size of 134 respondents was selected. Primary data was collected through the use of a questionnaire. Statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS v21) was used to analyze data as the most suitable analysis tool. The statistics derived the mean, standard deviation and variance. The findings were presented in form of tables and explanations in prose form. The study found out that members of the community participated in the conception, design and implementation of the project(s) and that community contributions influenced decisions made during conception, design and implementation of project. It also revealed that the project has established efficient organizational and staffing systems and that there was shared accountabilities and responsibilities among all the project stakeholders. It also found that the project has provided a clear administrative framework of project management, who have established both short-term and long term project objectives. The findings indicated that projects monitoring and evaluation reports had not been instrumental in reporting the progress of the projects and in enhancing transparency and accountability. It further revealed that monitoring and evaluation of projects had not helped in meeting the internal needs of the local community.On financial resources, the study established that the projects havesufficient financial resources that ensure that projects operate efficiently. The study concluded that: There is good level of community participation in the conception, design and implementation of the project; the management of the project has provided a clear administrative framework of project management with established short-term and long term project objectives; the management of the project is not keen on monitoring and evaluation of the project and hence monitoring and evaluation reports had not been instrumental in reporting the progress of the projects and in enhancing transparency and accountability and that the projects are well funded and hence the ability to operate efficiently. The study recommends that the project sponsors and managers should invest in the implementation of an efficient monitoring and evaluation system that involves the participation of the beneficiaries to ensure that projects meets its goals and objectives.