Assessing Community Participation In Development Projects: A Case Of Harambee Primary Schools In Keiyo District, Elgeyo Marakwet County
Due to its bottom-up approach, community involvement has been recognized as an essential component in the development process of the society since it increases the likelihood that the project will be conducted in a culturally appropriate context making the resulting program easily sustainable and reproducible. Using a descriptive research design, the main objective of this research was to study the involvement of the local people in development projects in Harambee primary schools, Keiyo district. In order to achieve this, the specific objectives were: to identify and analyze factors that facilitate and inhibit community involvement in harambee primary schools; to investigate the nature and level of participation by different stakeholders in harambee primary schools, and; to assess the impact of community involvement in harambee primary schools. A survey of sixty households was conducted through the use of systematic random sampling technique. Also, primary school Head Teachers and head of religious organizations were purposively selected as key informants. Data was collected through face to face interviews from all the respondents using questionnaires and interview guides. Key informants’ data were thematically analyzed using Microsoft Word Tables while data from households were coded and entered into SPSS for analysis. The study established that most households get involved in Harambee primary school development activities for the reason that their children attend the particular schools or simply to develop the community. Conversely, some respondents did not participate in harambee primary school development for among other reasons, time unavailability and lack of funds. On the nature and level of participation, the study found that households participate in school activities ranging from funds contribution, event organizing, attending school barazas, and providing manual labour. Whereas there are key organizations or individuals who participate in school activities, religious organisations are found to be the main and most trusted entity. Community involvement has had impact on schools, mostly resulting in construction of more school facilities, purchase of stationery, reduced pupils’ dropout cases and provision of employment opportunities to households. The study concludes that household characteristics determine whether or not a child goes to school in the sampled households. Primary school participation in the households is low with the main reason being lack of school fees and time for most respondents. This study recommends a structured framework of sponsorship of pupils from needy households, supported by relevant policy infrastructure by relevant government departments.