Project Implementation and Performance of Compassion Kenya- Assisted Holistic Child Development Projects in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Ngoya, Claire Vuyanzi
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Projects exist to meet specific needs and Compassion Kenya-assisted holistic child development projects are among such projects whose intent is to liberate children and youth from their economic, spiritual, physical and socio-emotional poverty. Success of these projects depend on a number of factors such as planning, communications, employee competence and risk management. How these factors influence project performance is an area that has not been explored before and as such formed a basis for this study. This study sought to investigate the influence of project implementation on the performance of Compassion Kenya-assisted Holistic Child Development projects in Nairobi City County. The specific objectives were to investigate the influence of project planning, employee competence, project communication and risk control on performance of Compassion Kenya (CKE)-assisted Holistic Child Development (HCD) projects in Nairobi City County. Theories applied in the study include Normalization Process Theory, Absorptive Capacity Theory, Theory of Organizational Readiness for Change and Theory of Performance. The study used descriptive research design to describe factors and variables in the study. A census of the 21 Compassion Kenya (CKE)-assisted Holistic Child Development (HCD) projects in Nairobi City County was carried out. Primary data was gathered by use of structured questionnaires which was processed by use of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).The data was analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics. Research findings were presented in percentages and tables. The study found out that planning was done in the Compassion Kenya-assisted HCD projects in Nairobi County. However, not all stakeholders were involved in the planning process and this hindered project performance. The study also found out that upward communication was not considered so much in decision making which compromised project performance. The study further found out that Compassion Kenya- assisted HCD projects had competent staffs that delivered on their duties well thus boosting project performance. Study findings also revealed that the HCD projects lacked a risk management plan which had greatly compromised the projects’ performance. The study further revealed that beneficiary and partner outcomes were not satisfactory thus compromising project success. The study concluded that performance of Compassion Kenya-assisted HCD projects was greatly influenced by planning, staff competency, communication and risk control. The study recommends that the projects’ management committees involve all stakeholders in decision making regardless of their position in the project. The project management should also sensitize and enlighten all stakeholders in the HCD projects on the vision, mission and objectives of the project to ensure harmony in realization of project objectives. The project management should set up regular platforms and tools to assess staff competency which should also form a basis for staff development. The projects should also come up with a risk management plan or strategy to manage project risk. The project team should review their way of doing things such that more beneficiaries feel the impact of the projects in their lives through realization of beneficiary outcomes. The Implementing Church Partners should re-commit to their partnership agreement to promote project ownership. Project managers should come up with a staff retention strategy to promote project success. Last but not least, the project managers should come up with an alumni engagement strategy to tap into their potential.