Determinants Of Community Participation In Development Projects In Tana River County, Kenya
Despite the emphasis of citizen participation in policy formulation and implementation by the Revised Kenyan Constitution 2010, policymakers have inadequate information about the determinants of community participation in development projects since research has yielded mixed results. The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of community participation in development projects in Tana River County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to determine extent to which the level of education, culture, household income and project leadership influences community participation in development projects in Tana River County. In the study the dependent variable was community participation while the independent variables included the level of education, household income, project leadership and culture. This study employed a descriptive survey research design. The researcher used community awareness of the project, access to project data and involvement in project planning as proxies for community participation. To measure the independent variables the proxies for the level of education were community communication and use of knowledge; the proxies for culture were community beliefs and values and gender roles. Household income was measured by land size, number of livestock owned by the household and number of people employed in the household. Project leadership was however measured by the leadership style, level of reporting and disclosure and leaders election. The researcher used stratified random sampling technique to draw a sample 70 respondents from the list of beneficiaries of education, infrastructure, water and sanitation, agriculture and sports projects implemented between 2011 and 2015 in Tana River County. Data was collected using questionnaires. The research findings indicated that 98% of the respondents were of the opinion that the level of education very much influences community participation and people with secondary education are more likely to participate in development projects as compared to other levels of education. In terms of culture 89% of the respondents cited that culture very much influences community participation and hierarchal interrelationships are the major for community participation. It was also observed that male members of the community are more likely to participate in development projects as compared to female members. 86% indicated that project leadership very much influences community participation and it was also observed that demographically elected project leaders are more likely to be respected and accepted to mobilize the community to participate in development activities. However only 14% of the respondents indicted that household income very much influences community participation but 67% indicted that household income has a slight influence on community participation. On the basis of the research findings the researcher concluded that the determinants of community participation in development projects in Tana River County are level of education, culture and project leadership. The Researcher could however not draw conclusions on the influence of household income on community participation and therefore suggests that further research should be conducted using a different measure of household income for instance farming, livestock production, employment among others to determine the influence of specific income sources on community participation in development projects. The researcher established that 62% of the respondents were illiterate and hence the level of education is low across households in Tana River County, it is therefore recommended that the government should put in place deliberate measures to improve literacy levels in Tana River County to enable meaningful participation as effective participation requires some level of literacy.
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