Construction industry outlook of Kenya
Table of Contents:
It is recorded by the International Construction Market Survey report that infrastructure grew by 13.6% in the year 2015 (McGuckin, 2017). This significant growth was attributed to the mega-infrastructure and energy flagship projects initiated by the government as part of robust infrastructure development of the country. This growth is no doubt a major contributor to the larger economy
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Map 10.1 Map of the Republic of Kenya.
(Wanjira, 2016). The Kenyan construction industry (KCI) is a major economic driver along with manufacturing and information communication technology which was responsible for an improved GDP) growth of 6.0% in 2016, compared to 5.6% in the previous year (Odero, Reeves &. Chokerah, 2017).
Owing to the reported vast deficit in major infrastructure development in Kenya such as rail, roads and ports and the rapid growth in population degenerating into rising demand for housing in most parts of the country, there is a significant cause for the continuing growth of the building and construction sector (Wanjira, 2016). This notwithstanding, just as in other developing countries, similar characteristics exist in the challenges facing the Kenyan construction industry (Ofori, 2000). Major challenges include capital sourcing for infrastructure development, quality assurance challenges, corruption in the selection of contractors, unskilled labour and occupational, health and safety challenges (Wanjira, 2016). Further, Auma (2014) identified poor quality, late completion and cost overruns as performance challenges confronting construction project delivery in Kenya. It is therefore vital for the Kenyan construction industry to have a measure with which to assess the performance of the industry.
Monitoring and evaluation regulatory policy in Kenya
The Kenyan Constitution fundamentally requires compliance with principles of good governance and transparency in the conduct and management of public programmes and projects (Ministry of Devolution and Planning, 2016). It is, however, reported by Mulama, Liguyani and Musiega (2014) that there was project-based M&E as early as the 1980s until the inception of a government-wide M&E system in Kenya. It is further argued that early government-wide M&E attempts were made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank but these were ineffectively implemented in 2000 in the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (1-PRSP) (2016-2018) (Mulama et al., 2014; Mugo & Oleche, 2015). Hence, through the government-wide M&E, Kenya is currently implementing two M&E systems. They are the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES) and the County Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (CIMES) which monitors all government programmes and the Kenyan Vision 2030 via its Medium-Term Plans (MTP) as well as the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) which will provide the government with a reliable policy implementation response to efficiently apportion resources over time. An M&E framework is designed to meet the requirements of an M&E policy of the Kenya government to guide the implementation of the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (MPND, 2012).
The coordination responsibility of implementation lies with the Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate (MED) of the Ministry of Planning, which aims to improve management for development results. The Kenyan MED was established to provide a three-tier relationship between the MED at the national level, the Central Project Planning and Monitoring Units in each line ministry and the sub-county planning units created in each district. The MED also offers leadership and manages the system by ensuring that the Annual Public Expenditure Review (PER) and the Annual Progress Reports (APRs) on the Medium-Term Plan of Vision 2030 are made available timeously (Mulama et al., 2014). The M&E policy highlights the need for results, accountability, efficiency and transparency as vital ideologies towards public programmes and projects management in Kenya. The purpose is to enable reporting and feedback on the implementation of development programmes and projects at the sub-county, county and national levels. Programme and project implementers under the policy will diligently collect and compare qualitative and quantitative data of implementation progress against the set goals, to ascertain the progress made towards meeting set objectives. The process of monitoring will be guided by indicator identification, indicator data, frequency of data collection, responsibility for data collection, data analysis and use and reporting and dissemination.
At the county and national levels, monitoring will focus on assessing progress made towards achieving the sectorial development outcomes. On the other hand, the evaluation will answer specific questions about the performance of development interventions. It will further focus on the reasons for the results’ achievement or otherwise. The policy requires that external evaluations will be conducted by an accredited and registered independent body and stakeholder in a participatory process, whereas internal evaluations will be conducted by the implementing agency using rapid appraisal methods. Effective M&E are founded on a clear, logical pathway of results in which results at one level lead to results at the next level. Results from one level flow towards the next level, resulting in the achievement of the overall goal. If there are gaps in the logic, the pathway will not flow towards the required results. The major levels that the policy focuses on are inputs, outputs, including processes, outcomes and impacts.
10.4.3 Construction project monitoring and evaluation in Kenya
M&E practice is widely acknowledged in the Kenyan construction industry as a critical determinant for successful project delivery and has shown a positive impact on the successful implementation of projects when undertaken efficiently. The literature revealed that road construction projects in the Kenya National Highways Authority are influenced positively by M&E (Gitahi, 2015). Also, the impact of M&E factors is seen in the success of development projects (Kamau & Mohamed, 2015; Wachaiyu, 2016). In a related study, Mwangu and Iravo (2015) studied how M&E affect the outcome of constituency development fund projects in Kenya while Kiarie and Wanyoike (2016) revealed a positive correlation of M&E on the successful implementation of government-funded projects in Kenya. It is therefore suggested that the effective implementation of M&E will result in successful project delivery in the Kenyan development process (Mwangu & Iravo, 2015).
M&E has been understood as a process, system or an approach and for it to be effective and efficient, relevant factors must be present to ensure the process or system generates the level of success set for the project. According to Ogolla and Moronge (2016), sufficient budgetary allocation and key stakeholder involvement in M&E are imperative to ensure that government water projects in Kenya are successful. Also, in the implementation of constituency development fund projects in Kenya, Mwangi et al. (2015) placed emphasis on the need for enough budgetary allocation and the involvement of key stakeholders. They further revealed a 28% increase in M&E effectiveness with a one-unit increase in the technical competence of M&E staff. Onjure and Wanyoike (2016), on the other hand, revealed M&E practices such as the quality of data collected and analyzed, the appropriate use of M&E tools and the project team efforts influenced the performance of national government-funded construction projects. Another important determinant of M&E is communication (Mugambi & Kanda, 2013) while the leadership of the project manager is reported to affect the level of effectiveness of the implementation of M&E on projects (Njama, 2015).
Challenges in construction project monitoring and evaluation in Kenya
Construction project monitoring and evaluation in Kenya
According to Mulama et al. (2014), a planned M&E system structure for project implementation existed for most of the social development projects with
Monitoring and evaluation: African experience 141 collaborative funding between government and international development agencies and executed through the respective line ministries. However, these projects take a long time to reach completion as well as there being the problem of overspending beyond project budget (Mulama et al., 2014). Ogolla and Moronge (2016) argue that a significant challenge for the poor performance of the water development project in Nairobi County, regardless of the huge investment by the government, is as a result of ineffective M&E processes. Mugo and Oleche (2015) also posit that if the right resources for M&E such as the release of funding and skilled staff are not present at the right time, the M&E system serves no purpose as data needs to be collected at such times that will inform effective evaluation and decisions to be taken on the project. They further stressed that the delay and inaccurate information generated by the ineffective M&E and failure to adopt M&E requirements were major challenges to M&E (Mugo & Oleche, 2015).
Likewise, Wanjira (2016) mentions the shortage of relevant skilled construction professionals who possess the required skills for the M&E of project implementation due to poor remuneration. Also, the time allocated for M&E is not defined, making M&E an ad-hoc practice in the Kenyan construction industry. Further, he argues that the unstructured project implementation organizations make communication and coordination of the M&E ineffective (Wanjira, 2016).
Findings and lessons learnt from Kenya
From the foregoing, M&E of projects in Kenya has revealed the integration of an M&E system at all levels of the project implementation structure. This encompasses the national level (N1MES) and county and district levels of project implementation which are coordinated by the MED. The literature reviewed in the Kenyan context also revealed that M&E practice contributes to the achievement of successful project implementation. Factors that influence the effectiveness of M&E practice in the Kenyan building and construction industry include but are not limited to adequate budgetary allocation, stakeholder involvement, technical competence and the appropriateness of M&E practices. A major challenge, however, to the implementation of M&E in the Kenyan building and construction industry is the ineffectiveness of the M&E system and processes which generate late and inaccurate M&E information for management decision-making. Also, the late release of budgetary allocation and the failure to adapt to M&E requirements have rendered the M&E of projects unacceptable; hence the need for strategies to strengthen M&E systems and guidelines for construction project M&E to ensure project success.