Critical success factors for timely completion of World Bank projects in Kenya
Odhiambo, Kefa Seda
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Road infrastructure remains an important ingredient to the economic development of Kenya as most transport is through this medium. The government has earmarked improvement of road infrastructure as an important part of its vision 2030. However, lack of financial and technical capacity has resulted in the Kenyan government seeking assistance from the World Bank to finance its road projects. This study analysed the critical success factors for the timely completion of World Bank projects in Kenya. The general objective of the study was to examine the critical success factors influencing timely completion of World Bank financed road projects implemented by Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA). The pragmatic research philosophy was used and descriptive research design was adopted. The 340 World Bank-sponsored road projects implemented by KeNHA selected through purposive sampling of trunk road projects were the target population of the study. The sample for this study was 20 projects which included completed and ongoing projects that have achieved 50% completion in the 2017-2020 fiscal years. The unit of observation was 52 managerial staff engaged in the execution of selected 20 projects. The data was collected through emailing of structured questionnaires and face-to-face key informant interviews. The descriptive statistics used in analyzing the quantitative data were frequency distributions, mean, and standard deviation. Spearman rank correlation was used to determine the association between independent and dependent variables. The data was presented in tables and figures and supported by an interpretation from the researcher. The study was able to reach 51 respondents from the survey. The results revealed that that project design, institutional environment, project management training, project coordination, and project monitoring all had a positive and statistically significant correlation with timely completion of projects. The study, therefore, concludes that limitations and challenges in the project design phase are more likely to contribute to timely completion of World Bank donor funded projects. That institutional environment of World Bank-funded road projects had the least effect on the timely completion of road projects. That project coordination of activities was the most critical success factor contributing to timely completion of World Bank-funded road projects with project monitoring becoming the third most critical success factor contributing to timely completion of World Bank-funded road projects. The interviews supported the findings from the survey. These findings cement the importance of stakeholder theory in executing projects as communication and information sharing between parties in a project contributes to timely completion by improved coordination in monitoring, design, skills management, and planning of projects. It is this study’s recommendation that independent project design consultants should be engaged in project design before the works begin. In regard to project coordination, the study recommends that land acquisition to be done immediately after designs are complete and prior to commencement of construction works and the challenges incurred during land acquisition will be avoided and this will enable the project to be completed on time, budget and quality. In reference to project monitoring, that this process should be continuous and ongoing and not based on milestones but rather on schedules to be able to identify any time creep that may occur during the course of a project.