Project Governance and Sustainability of Youth Empowerment Projects in Makueni County, Kenya
Kaumbulu, Ambrose Kyalo
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The youth empowerment projects have been a strategic asset towards the growth of the economy as the youth constitute the most productive resource in the near future; Kenya has or will ever have. The Kenya vision 2030 recognizes the importance of youth empowerment in its socio- economic pillar through several implementations to empower the youths. However, in Makueni County concerns have been raised concerning the sustainability of youth empowerment projects as most of the projects fail to live up to their expectations. Hence, this study sought to examine the effect of project governance on sustainability of youth empowerment projects in Makueni County, Kenya. The specific objectives were to determine the effect of stakeholder management, governance structure, and project team diversity on sustainability of youth empowerment projects in Makueni County, Kenya. Further, the study set to examine the mediating effect of project quality and moderating effect of project operating environment on the relationship between project governance and sustainability of youth empowerment projects in Makueni County, Kenya. The study was anchored on Systems Theory, Resource Based View Theory, Dynamic Capabilities Theory, Agency Theory, Contingency Theory and Stakeholder Theory. The study was steered by Positivism Philosophy whereas both descriptive and explanatory research designs were employed. The target population was 28 youth empowerment projects in Makueni County. A sample size of 196 respondents was computed by use of Krejcie and Morgan Formula, a census and proportionate stratified random sampling techniques were employed to pick an appropriate and representative sample from each sector of the youth empowerment projects. To gather data from respondents, a self-administered questionnaire was utilized, which was then analysed through both descriptive and inferential analysis. The descriptive statistic was utilized to explain and outline the characteristics of the data from the survey, and inferential statistics through multiple regression analysis was employed to test the nature and magnitude of the hypothesized relationship between the project governance and project sustainability. The findings were summarized in figures and tables for clear comprehension and interpretation. The study findings indicated that stakeholder management; governance structure and project team diversity positively and significantly affected sustainability of youth empowerment projects in Makueni County. Project quality partially mediated the relationship between project governance and sustainability of youth empowerment projects in Makueni County, Kenya. Project operating environment was also found to moderate the relationship between project governance and sustainability of youth empowerment projects. The study concluded that effective project governance in regard to stakeholder management, well incorporated governance structures and effective project team diversity affects project quality positively and significantly thus, affecting project sustainability. The study recommends project management to consider involving all stakeholders throughout all the phases of project initiation and implementation. The study also recommends that to enhance project sustainability, need arises to put to place effective governance structures. Moreover, there is need for project management to strive to accommodate diversity within the project team. The project management should also enable a stable project operating environment for the youth projects to achieve the sustainability benefits of being economically, environmentally and socially stable.