Determinants influencing performance of agricultural projects: A case of NALEP projects in Ruiru District, Kiambu County, Kenya
Ngure, Evah Wangechi
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Project management is the discipline of organizing and managing resources in such a way that these resources deliver all the work required to complete a project within defined scope, time, and cost constraints. The main purpose of the study was to analyze determinants influencing performance of Agricultural projects with special reference to the NALEP projects in Ruiru District. The target population was 41 NALEP projects. Descriptive research design was adopted in the study. The researcher used census survey on the 41 out of the 59 NALEP projects that seen to completion in the year 2010 and 2011. The sample size was 51 respondents. 41 project committee officials, one official per project (chairperson, the treasurer or the secretary), were selected through simple random sampling while 10 project managers from the Ministry of livestock and the Ministry of Agriculture were selected using purposive sampling technique. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data for this study. Secondary data was also used to conduct the study. The questionnaires comprised of both open and closed ended question. The questionnaires were piloted first to determine instrument reliability before distribution. The questionnaires were administered through drop and pick later method. The findings of the study were then analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. SPSS was used to analyse data using descriptive statistics. The Study findings were presented using frequency tables, pie charts and bar charts. The study conclusions were that project planning process greatly influenced the performance of the NALEP project followed by project initiation process, project implementation and project monitoring and evaluation while stakeholder participation and involvement was rated as having the least influence. Poor project planning and ineffectiveness in change management to baseline plans were majorly sighted to have impacted negatively on the project implementation process and overall projects performance. The study findings were that monitoring and evaluation was carried out and it was an important component in project management. It was further revealed that the project stakeholders had no formal training in management. The study recommendations are that Project planning should be crafted carefully as this determines the resources allocation in terms of time, scope, quality and money as well as the need to involve all stakeholders during project initiation and project monitoring. Change management should be managed well given that rigidity to change affects overall project performance. Stakeholders should be involved in project monitoring and evaluation. Monitoring frequency should be consistent in all the projects. Stakeholders should be trained on project management practices through capacity building programme to equip them with the necessary skills to cope with project management challenges.