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Ann Wangui Ndege - Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Nathan N. Gichuki - University of Nairobi, Kenya


Conservation and management of wildlife resources in Kenya has largely been viewed as a mandate of the national state agencies. However, foreign state agencies, private companies and non-governmental organizations have made significant contribution to conservation of threatened ecosystems and species. In many cases, though, the conservation benefits generated by such conservation projects are not sustained by the state agencies or the community based organizations. The factors that influence the performance of conservation projects established within and outside the protected wildlife areas and sustainability of the benefits derived from such projects in Kenya are not well understood.   The purpose of this study was therefore to establish the factors that influence the performance of wildlife conservation projects and sustainability of their benefits in and around Meru National Park, Kenya. In order to gain in-depth information, the Lion Rover Project in Meru National Park was selected as a case study. The specific objectives of the study were to establish how the performance of Lion Rover Project was influenced by community participation, monitoring and evaluation, socio-cultural factors and the competence of the project management team. The target population comprised 144 management staff of Born Free Foundation in Meru National Park and local community leaders who were familiar with the project. A sample of 105 respondents was selected using stratified proportionate random sampling technique. Primary data were obtained using self-administered questionnaires. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 23.0). Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean score and standard deviation were estimated for all the quantitative variables. Quantitative data were analyzed using correlation and regression analysis, which examined relationship between the four independent and one dependent variable (project performance). The study postulated that M&E plan development forums influence performance of projects, frequency of Monitoring enhances sustainability of the project and that supervision events influence cost efficiency. On project management team competence, the study found that knowledge on conservancy influence customer satisfaction. The study concluded that community participation had the greatest influence on the performance of Lion Rover Project (r= 0.882; p = 4.94E-07), followed by social cultural factors  (r= 0.689; p =1.03E-03), then monitoring and evaluation (r= 0.601; p =1.09E-03) while project management team competence had the least influence on the performance of Lion Rover Project, by Born Free Foundation, Meru National Park, Kenya (r= 0.563; p =2.35E-07). The study recommends that there is need for the local community to be involved and participate when designing its activities to avoid misunderstanding when it comes to implementation.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)