Influence of participatory monitoring and evaluation on sustainability of projects: a case of rural water supply projects in Nuu Division, Mwingi East District
Wakeru, Titus N
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The extent to which water supply in a household has improved in a Kenya's rural household has been minimal. Rural communities with access to safe drinking water in the rural households have remained largely at the same level (50%) between the years 1996 and 2008 (Source: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator).This is despite the heavy investments that have been made in the rural areas. This was a study on the influence of participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) on sustainability of rural water facilities. An Attempt was made to establish the relationships between the various indicators of the two variables. The research was conducted in Nuu Division of Mwingi East District. The area's population characteristics, infrastructural development and climatic patterns best represent a rural setting. The objectives of the study were to establish the nature of relationships between the predictor variables Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) (whose indicators have been adopted: participation during planning, multi-stakeholder accountability, action-oriented learning, negotiation of objectives and flexibility) and dependent variable, sustainability of rural water projects (whose indieators are: reliability of systems, human capacity development, local institution capacity, cost sharing and unit costs) . A descriptive survey research design was adopted. This method required data collection by usc of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The first stage ineluded proportional sampling of water facilities in Nuu Division along homogeneous groups of identical water facilities. The second stage involved convenient sampling of water users at the point of water collection. Results on regression model show that there was a positive and significant relationship between sustainability of projects and the predictor variable. On correlation, all the independent variables with the exception of action oriented learning had low but positive Pearson's Correlation Coefficients which were significant. The coefficient of determination indicated that effect of a perfect PM&E situation on sustainability of rural water projects is half what is required. The approximate 50% would be contributed by other extraneous variables that are 'adequate incentives, sufficient skills and resources, appropriate processes for water systems operations and maintenance, effective inter-organizational relationships, appropriate technology.The study recommends that one, all the four factors be mainstreamed in programmes alongside adequate incentives, sufficient skills and resources, appropriate processes for water systems operations and maintenance, effective inter-organizational relationships and appropriate technology. Two, that the rural communities be sensitized on the legal framework on women representation in all public offices. Three, that a model be developed to provide a framework of practice of all these factors in the context of rural water supplies. On recommendations for further research are one, research is required to be done for enhanced understanding of action oriented learning on sustainability, probably with additional tools. Two, the selection of stakeholders is an ongoing debate. Three, an interesting research undertaking would involve how best to document lessons of success and failure. Four, a research on influence of participatory monitoring and evaluation on sustainability of rural water projects may be done with data collected from the water users from their households. This study concludes that a positive relationship exists between the predictor variables and the dependent variables with the exception of action oriented learning.