Factors influencing effective monitoring and evaluation of child rescue projects in Kenya: a case of St. John’s Community Centre Pumwani, Nairobi County
Kenya is pursuing economic development towards achievement of vision 2030 and in order to accelerate the achievement of MDG 4, the Government launched a Child Survival and development Strategy that was budgeted in 2009 as an effort to accelerate child survival and provide a framework to improve indicators for children. The strategy is guided by the National Health Sector Strategic Plan II (NHSSP II) and the Vision 2030 Medium Term Plan. Its aim is to reduce inequalities in the health care services and improve on the child health indicators. For this to be achieved effective M&E of child rescue projects is very important. This research sought to investigate the factors influencing the effective monitoring and evaluation of child rescue project at SJCC Pumwani. The research had five guiding objectives, these were: to determine the influence of level of training, budgetary allocation, stakeholder participation and institutional frameworks on effective monitoring and evaluation of child rescue projects. The significance of the study being to provide useful information to the project members and other stakeholders on what positively or negatively impacts on the progress and future of this project. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study. Structured questionnaires were used to collect primary data. No sampling was done has all the SJCC child rescue staff were to participate. The respondents consisted of project managers, project officers, monitoring and evaluation officers, children support officers, field officers and clerks. Data was analyzed descriptively using descriptive statistics and tables as appropriate. The results agreed with other similar studies done previously. The research established that there were several factors affecting effective monitoring and evaluation of Child Rescue Projects. These included training of those tasked with monitoring and evaluation activities and clear institutional framework for conducting the same. Other factors included incorporating monitoring and evaluation budget into project budgets, and involvement of primary stakeholders in the M&E process. SJCC recognizes the importance of employee participation in M&E budget planning and this ensures that evaluation of SJCC projects are clearly and adequately financed in terms of monitoring and evaluation activities. The study also established that SJCC staff possesses academic qualifications and professional skills 71% of SJCC child rescue staff hand an undergraduate degree, 9% post-graduate degree and 20% tertiary training, this shows that they have ability and experience required for effective monitoring and evaluation child rescue projects. These are being enhanced through in-house M&E training by SJCC. The study results also indicated the existence of a clear institutional framework for doing monitoring and evaluation in SJCC, 36% of the respondents indicating that SJCC organizational policy promotes use of M%E to a large extent. SJCC also has appropriate institutional guidelines and an M&E policy for effective monitoring and evaluation of SJCC‘s child rescue projects. The involvement of staff in policy and implementation guidelines formulations has empowered them in M&E activities, 51% of the respondents indicating they are involved in M&E policy development to a large extent. Further, other stakeholders‘ participation in M&E report presentations and the M&E process, reports and implementation is well supported by all the relevant parties in SJCC. The researcher recommends SJCC should institute projects in addition to the workshops and seminars to enhance the technical capacity majority stated having attendant only one training in the last twelve months of the entire organization in conducting evaluations, the value and participation of its human resources in the policymaking process, and their motivation.SJCC must control and manage stakeholders‘ participation to avoid cases of undue influence on the evaluation.