Influence Of Local Community Involvement In Project Planning On The Sustainability Of Projects In Embu County, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the influence of local community in Project Planning on the sustainability of projects in Embu County, in Kenya’s Eastern province. The response rate to the questionnaires sent out was 77% pointing to a successful research activity. A total of 163 respondents out of the possible 211 respondents gave their responses composed of project managers, project team, project sponsors and community members. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics to establish the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables. The data was presented using tables, graphs and charts. The study revealed that individuals involved in coming up with objectives of the project are the project managers, project sponsors and project workers. The community members are never involved in this exercise. Moreover, it was established that specifications of the projects are not written in consultation with the community members. This is to mean there is lack of clear link between projects standard/ specifications and the needs or expectations of community members’ in projects within Embu County. It was also concluded that community members are never adequately involved in resource mobilization for the execution of the project. The few resources they contribute in small quantities are man power, raw materials and financial resources. This has led to negative effects on the sustainability of projects within Embu County Finally, we can conclude that projects in Embu County are monitored although community members are not involved in monitoring process. This has led to late completion of projects, inefficiency use of project resources and lack of satisfaction of client (community members) in all aspects expected. This has led to negative effects on project sustainability. The study recommends that there is a need to involve the community members at all phases of the project from the formulation, to planning, to implementation and finally to clean up phase of the project. The study recommends specifically that the ‘stakeholder need analysis’ need to be conducted to all projects within Embu County so as to specifically determine the needs and expectations of all the stakeholders including the community member and design the project with that in mind. The study also recommends that community members need to contribute largely to the resources needed for execution of the project. This will create sense of project ownership and by all means they will sustain the projects which they feel they have invested in it. Finally, it is recommended that community members should be part and parcel of project monitoring process. In this case they will be informed if the project is within their area of interest and if it is solving their problems. This will make them sustain the project so that it continues to benefit them.