Factors influencing youth participation in development projects: a case of Maili Saba slum, Njiru sub county - Nairobi, Kenya
This study was carried out to examine the factors influencing youth participation in development projects in Njiru sub county, with reference to Maili Saba Slum, Nairobi Kenya. The study therefore sought to establish the relationship of education, awareness, accessibility to opportunities and government policies on youth participation in development projects. A descriptive survey design was used to accomplish the study objectives. The target population for the study was 290 respondents drawn from 15 youth development projects within Maili Saba slums. The study sample was composed of 58 respondents drawn from 3 youth development projects. Simple random sampling was used to select the projects to participate in the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from the study respondents. Data was analysed in both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Under the qualitative approach, common themes emanating from the study responses were analysed. Under the quantitative approach data in numeric form was summarized and described in descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentages. Further, inferential statistics were carried out to examine degree and extent of relationship between youth participation and education, awareness, accessibility to opportunities and government policies. The study findings were interpreted based on the study objectives. Conclusion and recommendation were thereafter drawn. The study findings indicated high level of literacy among the youth, modes of awareness for government projects included media, friends, peers, posters, banners, road shows and advocacy campaigns. 40% of the youth indicated that modes of awareness used was not effective at all. Youth participation in groups in terms of membership, decision making and involvement in youth development projects was found to positively correlate with youth participation in development projects at a correlation coefficient of 0.369.A correlation coefficient of 0.520 was established between accessibility to opportunities for youth and participation in development projects. Government policy and youth participation in development projects was found to correlate at a positive correlation coefficient of 0.267.The study findings indicate a positive correlation between youth education level, methods of awareness, accessibility to opportunities and government policies as far as participation in youth development activities are concerned. The study recommended a need for project managers and education system to foster a positive attitude towards youth participation in development projects through education and training, youth friendly awareness strategies on projects should be used such as peers, media and sports, development opportunities for youth should be well articulated to enhance their accessibility among the youth, and the government should enforce implementation of policies and sustainability of projects targeting the youth. The study recommended a similar study to be done on other parts of the country to establish whether there other determinants of youth participation in development projects such as political influence.