Monitoring and Evaluation and Performance of Youth Employment Projects in Narok County, Kenya
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Due to the increasing level of unemployment in Kenya, various government initiatives have been employed with the objective of reducing the rate of unemployment among the youths aged between 18-35 years. However according to the statistics of the 50 projects funded by the YEDF, only 25 percent were functioning as 75 percent of them had failed. The failure of most of the project had been highly enhanced by the ineffective usage of project cycle management model. This study sought to establish the effects of project monitoring and evaluation on the performance of youth employment projects in Narok County. The following objectives guided the study; to analyse the effect of competence, organizational structure, stakeholder participation and feedback on the performance of youth employment projects in Narok County. Program Theory, Theory of Project Management, stakeholder theory and Resource based view theory were anchored on the study. The target population of this study was 195 respondents selected from the 32 registered and active youth employment projects in Narok County. The respondents included the project managers, youth leaders and government representatives among the youth employment projects in Narok County. The study assessed performance of the projects for the last five years between 2014-2018. The primary data was collected using open and closed ended questionnaires, descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analysis the data, while SPSS was used in presenting the data through tables, graphs and charts. The study concluded that monitoring and evaluation positively influenced performance of youth employment projects in Narok County, Kenya. The study concluded that the projects M&E staff were significantly trained, knowledgeable, skilled, experienced and shared knowledge. It was concluded that organization structure in terms of M&E department, staff, systems and tools was moderately but significantly embraced by the youth employment projects in Narok County. The study concluded that to a significant level the stakeholders participated in the M&E process among the youth employment projects in Narok County through awareness, resource oversight, data collection, needs assessment and reporting and this contributed positively to project performance. It was further concluded that the youth employment projects in Narok County significantly embraced feedback in the M&E process through continuous improvement, decision making, regular monitoring, reporting and integration of policy which positively contributed to performance of a project. The study recommended that project management among the youth employment projects in Narok County need to enhance capacity of its team and embrace modern technology and systems to enhance performance. The projects should have clear M&E structure, managing, systems and processing to ensure peak project performance. The projects also needs to significantly enhance stakeholder involvement and participation in the M&E process to promote joint ownership, decision making and continuous improvement. The study further recommended that the projects need to ensure seamless feedback, reporting, sharing of findings to promote process improvement.