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Project Management Secrets for Wildlife Conservation: Insights from Kamungi Conservancy, Kenya

Globally, managing and conserving wildlife resources beyond government protected areas remains a significant challenge. Surprisingly, approximately 70 percent of environmental Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) projects fail to achieve timely completion, stay within budget, and meet their objectives. To shed light on this issue, a recent research paper titled "Project Management Practices and Implementation of Wildlife Conservation Projects: A Case of Kamungi Conservancy, Makueni County, Kenya" by Peter M. Ojiambo examines the crucial role of project management practices in wildlife conservation initiatives. In this blog post, we delve into the key findings of the study and explore effective strategies for successful implementation.


Investigating Project Management Practices


To analyse the influence of project management practices on wildlife conservation projects, the study employed a Concurrent Triangulation Research Design. A sample of 108 respondents was selected from a target population of 164, comprising Kamungi Conservancy members, leaders, and key informants. Various data collection methods, such as questionnaires, focus group discussions, and interviews, were employed, and statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS.


The study revealed the following composite means for project management practices in wildlife conservation projects: project planning (3.66), community capacity building (3.49), communication (3.49), and project monitoring and evaluation (3.53). The overall implementation of wildlife conservation projects received a composite mean of 3.98. Spearman's Correlation Coefficient analysis further confirmed the significant and positive influence of all these practices on project implementation.


Wildlife on a Mountain
Photo by Geran de Klerk

Recommendations for Project Management Success


Based on the research findings, the study proposes crucial recommendations to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of wildlife conservation projects:


Active involvement of project beneficiaries, partners, and stakeholders in project planning

Encouraging the participation of local communities, beneficiaries, and relevant stakeholders during the planning phase is vital. Their insights and expertise can contribute to more realistic and sustainable project objectives.


Incorporation of community capacity building aspects in project plans

Recognising the importance of community empowerment, it is essential to include capacity-building initiatives within project plans. By equipping local communities with necessary skills and knowledge, projects can foster long-term engagement and ownership.


Establishing a clear communication structure and feedback framework

Developing a robust communication system is crucial to address community concerns, grievances, and feedback effectively. This structure should ensure open channels of communication between project stakeholders and beneficiaries, fostering transparency and trust.


Implementing an effective project monitoring and evaluation system

To ensure accountability and progress tracking, a comprehensive project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system should be established. This system should actively involve project beneficiaries in the M&E process, facilitating their engagement and enabling timely course corrections.


Driving Conservation Forward


The research conducted in Kamungi Conservancy, Makueni County, Kenya sheds light on the critical role of project management practices in the successful implementation of wildlife conservation projects. By adopting strategies such as active involvement in planning, community capacity building, effective communication, and robust monitoring and evaluation, conservation initiatives can overcome common challenges and achieve their objectives. The recommendations proposed in this study provide valuable insights for NGOs, conservationists, and policymakers seeking to maximise the impact of their wildlife conservation projects.


References


To read the research paper, "Project Management Practices and Implementation of Wildlife Conservation Projects: A Case of Kamungi Conservancy, Makueni County, Kenya" by Peter M. Ojiambo, please click here.


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