Influence of Stakeholder Participation on Implementation of Projects in Kenya: a Case of Compassion International Assisted Projects in Mwingi Sub-county
Stakeholder participation is widely viewed as the key to ensuring that organizations meet the needs of the people they serve by encouraging transparency and accountability of the organizations and granting the stakeholders ownership of the programs and the solutions therein. Research has however shown that there is minimal stakeholders’ participation in most organizations that deal with development. This leads to the projects not being demand-driven and therefore not achieving their intended outcomes. This study sought to establish the influence of stakeholder participation on implementation of projects in Kenya: a case of Compassion International assisted projects in Mwingi sub-county. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish the extent to which stakeholder participation in project initiation influences the implementation of Compassion International assisted projects in Kenya; to determine how stakeholder participation in project planning influences the implementation of Compassion International assisted projects in Kenya; to assess the extent to which stakeholder participation in project execution influences the implementation of Compassion International assisted projects in Kenya and to examine how stakeholder participation in project monitoring and evaluation influences the implementation of Compassion International assisted projects in Kenya. Descriptive research design was used in this study. The study also used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The target population was 391 stakeholders within 4 Compassion assisted projects. The study had a sample size of 191 respondents derived by use of Fisher et.al, formula with 80% response rate. The research was carried out using a questionnaire and interview guide. The study established that in projects with stakeholders represented in the project governance structure, stakeholder participation in project initiation strongly influenced project implementation at a correlation coefficient of 0.802, followed by stakeholder participation in project planning at a correlation coefficient of 0.798. Stakeholder participation in project execution had some relatively good influence on project implementation at a correlation coefficient of 0.616. However, stakeholder participation in monitoring and evaluation had weak influence on project implementation at a correlation coefficient of 0.350. The study recommends that there be a review of the existing policies on Compassion sponsorship program with the aim of increasing the influence of stakeholder participation on implementation of Compassion projects making them more effective. It also recommends that organizations should continuously train all project staff and leadership on both stakeholder analysis and participation in their projects to enable them to competently involve all stakeholders in project implementation. The study recommends further research on the influence of project stakeholder participation in implementation of urban based projects since this study was conducted in a rural set up. Finally, a study should be carried out on the barriers to effective project stakeholder participation in project implementation since the research shows that stakeholder participation is not fully embraced.
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