Factors influencing performance of community driven Development projects. A case of Kenya agricultural Productivity project Meru county, Kenya.
After several decades of emphasis on rapid economic growth, there has been increased awareness that development is not just higher growth of national income, but a means of achieving basic human needs and development particularly those related to individual and collective wellbeing made possible through self-reliance and with the use of the community or society‟s own resources. Growth in agriculture is recognized as the most effective means to reduce poverty in developing countries. The millennium development goals establish ambitious targets for promoting economic growth, improving health and education, empowering women, creating sustainable development and reducing poverty. Various development projects have been mounted by the government and development partners in an effort to address agricultural productivity, increased incomes, sustainable livelihoods and public investment in the agricultural sector as pathways out of poverty among them the Kenya agricultural productivity project modeled and implemented as a community driven development project. This research study sought to generate a deeper understanding of the performance of Kenya agricultural productivity community driven development projects in Meru County. The objectives guiding this study were to investigate how community leadership influences performance of Kenya agricultural productivity Community Driven Development project, to establish how external facilitators influence performance, to examine how community participation influence performance and to examine how community empowerment influence performance of Kenya agricultural productivity community driven development projects in Meru County. The study adopted a descriptive survey design involving a sample size of 138 farmers drawn from the project areas in Meru County. A random sample of the respondents was drawn from a list of all the farmers (22,498) that implemented the Kenya agricultural productivity Community Driven Development projects. Both questionnaires and interviews were used in the study and data analysis was carried out by use of SPSS programme to obtain descriptive statistics. The study found that all the factors (community leadership, external facilitators, community participation and empowerment) had a positive influence on performance of Kenya agricultural productivity projects in Meru county. This study therefore recommends that initiatives be undertaken to create awareness and encourage the youth and the educated to take part and own community projects to boost the ability of the local community to plan, design, mobilize resources, make decision, participate and implement their projects.