EFFECT OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT THE PLANNING PHASE ON PROJECT SUSTAINABILITY IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA: A CASE STUDY OF JOMO KENYATTA UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY

JOHN MWANGI MIGWI, RUKIA ATIKIYA

Abstract


The main objective of this study was to assess the effects of community engagement at different project phases on projects sustainability. To achieve this, the study specifically investigated the effect of engaging the community during the planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation phases of project management towards achieving sustainability. Data was collected from 200 different people who had been involved with JKUAT sponsored community projects. This represented 10% of the entire population. Case study research design was applied.  Primary data was collected using self-administered questionnaire while secondary data was collected from JKUAT’s annual reports, journals, books, researches, thesis, dissertations, articles, working papers, and the internet. Data was collected by drop and pick method. The questionnaire were evaluated for content validity and reliability. Data presentation was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. From the findings, it was deduced that the community was not fully involved in all the stages of projects development. In the project planning phase, the respondents indicated minimal involvement where a majority of the respondents disagreed in community engagement in the identification of community based projects. In the project implementation stage, majority of the respondents disagreed on involvement of the community in the coordination of the project activities. The findings also indicated lack of community engagement in the evaluation and monitoring stage which was evidenced by the fact that most of the respondents disagreed that the community formed the evaluation team and helped develop the performance indicators. The study concluded that sustainability had neither been mainstreamed nor prioritized in each phase. It was recommended that there was need for community members to identify their own needs, analyze the factors that lead to the needs, and draw up community action plans and schedules to address the needs.  The study also recommended that before the implementing parties commence on the project, there should be exhaustive and detailed approach to mainstream and prioritize project sustainability in all the phases with specific steps deliberately taken to entrench long-term project benefits. 

Key Words: Community Engagement, Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Sustainability


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