Critical Success Factors in The Implementation of Community Based Projects in Kiambu County, Kenya.
Wachira, Emmanuel Gitari
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Most of the community-based projects experience major hurdles in their life cycle and barely overcome the implementation stage. Despite the conception of various community based projects such as food projects, water projects, educations projects and health projects in Kiambu County, the county still faces a myriad of challenges from hunger, inadequate supply of water, maternal death and child deaths, stalled class rooms and health centers sponsored by donor agencies due to the delays in the completion of these projects or a complete failure to completion. The major factors contributing to this trend have not been clearly understood. Consequently, this limits the ability of community development workers and development partners in executing successful projects. This study therefore, investigated the critical success factors in the implementation of community-based projects in Kiambu County, Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to investigate if Community participation, management of funds, institutional capacity and monitoring and evaluation influence successful implementation of community-based projects. The study targeted a population of 141 community-based projects in Kiambu County. The study employed a descriptive survey design followed by stratified random sampling technique to segment the project strata. The researcher further used purposive and simple random sampling techniques to zero in to the key respondents of 86 CBP leaders. The collected data was edited, coded, classified and then analyzed using descriptive analysis in order to answer the research questions and objectives. This was with the help of Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and MS Excel. Research findings indicate that community participation, management of funds, institutional capacity and monitoring and evaluation of the projects positively influence the implementation of community-based projects in Kiambu County. The study found that since most community members are the beneficiaries of the projects, their involvement creates the urge to ensure success of the project so that they can tap from them. The study also found that practicing financial record keeping and proper budgeting ensures transparency and accountability during the entire project phase. The study further revealed that capacity building of the project managers and other key stakeholders ensures they fully understand the project requirements. Finally, the study revealed that monitoring and evaluation enhances accuracy in accounting and time factor. The study recommends that project leaders should ensure community members are involved in CBPs to remove any aspersion that may derail their success. Financial management practices such as record keeping, budgeting, and resource mobilization should be done to ensure accountability, transparency and whether there is need for resource mobilization for the success of a community based project.