INFLUENCE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN PROJECT LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT IN KENYA: A CASE OF STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAY PHASE 1

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ABSTRACT

Public participation in project life cycle management and implementation of infrastructure projects is a multifaceted activity, which involves contribution and participation of different stakeholders. Efficient and effective implementation of projects is an important component in ensuring their sustainability. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of public participation in project life cycle management on implementation of rail infrastructure project in Kenya: a case of standard gauge railway phase 1. The objectives were to determine how public participation in project initiation influence implementation of rail infrastructure project in Kenya, to assess how public participation in project planning influence implementation of rail infrastructure project in Kenya, to establish how public participation in project execution influence implementation of rail infrastructure project in Kenya, to determine how public participation in project monitoring influence implementation of rail infrastructure project in Kenya, and to establish how public participation in project closure influence implementation of rail infrastructure project in Kenya. The study used descriptive research design. This method of research is preferred because the researcher is able to collect both quantitative and qualitative data to answer questions concerning the status of the subject of study. The target populations were the project managers, the project contractors, site agents and committees of nine community members each. Each site is evaluated by a team made up of one project manager, one project contractor, one site agent and a committee of nine community members (who are the beneficiaries of the rail projects) for a total of 144 people. The project is therefore monitored by 144 personnel. The study used the census method which is a method of statistical enumeration where all respondents (144) of the population were used in the study. Census was used because the number was manageable within the constraints of the study and because the method provides a true measure of the population and also has the highest degree of accuracy. A questionnaire was used to collect primary data. Quantitative data from the field was checked to ensure completeness, consistency and accuracy. The data was then coded and tabulated to facilitate data analysis. The researcher presented the results in form of percentages, frequencies, and tables. The study found that project initiation through public participation helps identify project stakeholders. The study also found that the measures to enhance public participation include building relationships and networks, bringing in diverse perspectives which will increase the chances of success of the decision or solution. The respondents further stated that the proponents of a participatory process may need to conduct outreach to attract and engage stakeholders, raise the visibility and transparency of the process, and inform stakeholders about progress and results. There is need for project stakeholders to develop effective frameworks for civic education to ensure citizen engagement in the planning and implementation of projects. The sub-county administrators ward administrators, village administrators at the county should conduct civic education sessions to enlighten the residents on the issues that may come up for public participation.