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Community participation in project planning, management and implementation: building the foundation for sustainable development

Author: 
Francis Barasa and Tubey Jelagat
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Participatory development paradigm has increasingly been associated with people and their aspirations to make decisions affecting their own lives. Central to these aspirations is their desire to plan and participate in the identification, planning and management of their needs without outside prescriptions. Community participation in project planning and management is essential in enhancing development at the basic community level, a critical for tool and sustainable development and a foundation for national development. Furthermore, it also promotes equity, legitimises decision-making processes, builds, strengthens self-determination and predisposes a people toward a more democratic behaviour and development. Using secondary data this paper assesses the importance of participatory development by the community in terms of project planning, management and evaluation; it evaluates its potential to achieve better management practices through the achievement of higher project completion rates and better prospects of ownership. The paper argues that participatory development has the propensity of achieving project sustainability and increased utilisation rate of the project by members of the community and sustained ownership. It concludes that national development cannot be achieved without partnership and active participation of other key stakeholders at the community level. Community members are important partners in national development and therefore, participation, ownership and sustainability of the projects has the multiplier effect of enhancing the overall development of the local community and contributing to the country’s national development and economic growth. As Kenya implements the democratic decentralization of people's participation in development and decision-making process as reflected in the spirit of the new constitution, the study becomes even more significant because people will own and sustain the entire chain of development.

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