Factors affecting the performance of non-governmental organizations' projects in Kenya: a case of Marsabit District
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Project management is an activity of planning and executing project activities as to achieve the set goals and objectives. A project has been commonly defined as a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end, undertaken to meet a unique goal and objective as to bring about beneficial or added value to the beneficiaries. The performance of a project towards meeting its objectives is dictated upon by interplay of diverse factors which if not well monitored and managed would wreck the project, and block it from achieving the objectives set during the initiation. In Kenya, over fifty percent projects have been declared non-performing or 11011- satisfactory. The figure becomes even larger when the NGO projects are put in the spotlight. This study was therefore sought to investigate the factors that affect the performance of NGO projects in Kenya especially the NGOS in Marsabit. There had been limited research done in this area, and this research was to form the basis for researchers and academicians to further explore other factors that affect the performance of projects. Out of the twenty five active NGOS in Marsabit by then, twenty four NGOS were sampled and their projects studied in details. The study was done in Marsabit district. In this study, data was collected from both primary and secondary sources. The data collection methods were questionnaires, interviews and publications. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistical method and presented in pie charts, bar graphs and percentages. The research established that close to 78% of the project managers had either a first degree or postgraduate degree. Out of these 80% were males while only 20% were females. The research also found that over 58% of the projects had time overruns and only 25% of them had been completed within the set time frame, while others were totally abandoned mid-way. The research also established that, out of the projects studied only 41.7% had successfully met their objectives while other either failed or wrapped up prematurely. The research found that 58% of the projects had exceeded their budget estimates and only 37.5% were completed within the budget. The research concluded that, the non performance of the projects was to a greater extent attributed to several factors as pointed out by the respondents; 44% was due to inadequate project management skills, 23% due to lack of elaborate monitoring and evaluation of the project progress, 11 % due to inadequate qualifications of the project team members, 12% due to lack of executive management's support, and 9% due to ineffective user involvement in the project activities. The research therefore recommends that project managers should be adequately equipped with project management skills through continuous training, to enable then effectively oversee the management of the project activities, and that there should be a continuous monitoring and evaluation of the projects to ensure that they stay on course. The GOS should also ensure that team members are vetted accordingly to ensure that they meet the minimum required qualifications. The NGO coordination board should also closely monitor the GO activities and projects to ensure that projects runs in accordance with the set objectives and that projects don't stall midway.