Influence of Gender Equality in the Management Committee on Community-Led Monitoring of Borehole Water Projects
Keywords:Gender Equality, Management Committee, Community-Led Monitoring, Borehole Water Projects
In recent years, governments and development practitioners have emphasized the involvement of all stakeholders, especially the intended beneficiaries in the project cycle to accelerate the achievement of development objectives and sustain the realized gains. Various approaches are being used to intensify the involvement of people in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of community-driven development interventions. In Kenya, County governments are constitutionally mandated to promote the participation of the people in development and governance at the local level. Since their inception, the County governments have been putting in place local governance structures and avenues for members of the community to participate in development projects and programs. In Kenya, these participatory local governance structures and avenues have not been widely studied. The study assessed the influence of gender equality in the management committee on community-led monitoring of borehole water projects. The study was based on the theory of participation which attributes the success of engagement between project stakeholders to four favorable factors: context, design, power, and scale of the engagement. A case study research design was used. The study population comprised the household heads, borehole water project management committee members, and officials of the County government of Meru County, as key informants. Interview schedules and a questionnaire were used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Systematic random sampling was used to select 38 household heads. All the 12 members of the Mbeu cattle dip community borehole management committee, one Mbeu Ward administration official, and 10 officials of the Directorate of Monitoring and Evaluation in Meru County formed part of the study sample. The study showed that superficially, there is no gender-based discrimination in community-led monitoring of borehole water projects. The study showed that County Government of Meru policies meant to promote gender equality are not well cascaded or implemented at the local level. The study concluded that the management committee is pivotal in community-led monitoring of borehole water projects and broadly, implementation of community-led development initiatives. The study recommends that authorities ought to educate members of the community about patterns of gender-based discrimination.
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