Stakeholder Involvement and Project Outcome in Kalamba Fruit Processing Factory Project in Makueni County, Kenya
Mecha, Vincent Nyamongo
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Despite the quest for project success, many poverty eradication projects in Kenya have continuously experienced time overrun, budget overrun, unmet end product specifications, unmet customer needs and requirements and unmet management objectives due to lack of a structured engagement with project stakeholders who range from project staff, donors, community/beneficiaries, government among others. The high failure rate in these projects could be due to failure to involve key stakeholders in project activities. Despite wide range of knowledge on project planning and management, project failure is still reported. Stakeholders expect to be involved in decision making process within the project cycle. However this is not the case as complains of exclusion are still reported. There is low community awareness and involvement inthe projects funded by both county and national government in Kenya. This can be traced from the nationaloffice where initial plans were drawn without wide consultation with organs representing the public. The study sought to establish the influence of stakeholder involvement on the project outcome of the Kalamba Fruit Processing Factory in Makueni County, Kenya. The specific objectives were to determine the effect of the communication, stakeholder expecations, stakeholder resource oversight and joint vision objectives on the projectoutcome of the Kalamba Fruit Processing Factory in Makueni County, Kenya. The research was guided by three theories of involvement which include Skinner‟s operant conditioning theory, Phil Treseder‟s „degrees of involvement‟ model and the stakeholders‟ theory.The study used a descriptive research design. The population of study were the main stakeholders of the project who include Ministry of Agriculture,Factory Management and Farmers who total to 236 respondents. This consisted of 236 respondents who are the major stakeholders of the Kalamba Fruit Processing Project. A sample of 71 respondents was taken which forms 30% of the target population which was evenly spread across the three categories of stakeholders. The primary data was collected by use of self-administered semi-structured questionnaire. Data analysis was done by use of descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean scores and standard deviation with the aid of SPSS and presented through tables, charts, graphs, frequencies and percentages. The study established that adoption of stakeholder invovlemnt has a positive and signifincat effect on project outcome. The study concluded that there was signifincant communication and awareness on the project among the stakeholders through meetings, consultations, sensitizations, seminars, feedback and general public awareness campaigns. It was concluded that the project management of the factory to a significant extent met stakeholder expectations by accruing benefits to them, creating market, recognizing their needs and addressing them, making them part of the project, consulting them and having a favourable and responsive management structure. It was further concluded that the stakehoders of the factory project were significantly. The study recommends that the factory management needs to ensure all stakeholders are informed of the performance and sustainability of the project regularly. The study recommended that the fruit processing factory project needs to enhance joint monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning to promote shared objectives mission and the project meets beneficiary and stakeholder expecations.