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Determinants of Project Sustainability beyond Donor Support: Case of Caritas Norway Supported Governance Project in Mansa Diocese, Zambia

Protazio Lungo M*, Johnson Mavole and Otieno Martin

Faculty of Arts and Social Science, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, P.O Box 62157-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

*Corresponding Author:
Lungo MP
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa
P.O Box 62157-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254-724-253733
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: May 19, 2017; Accepted Date: June 21, 2017; Published Date: June 27, 2017

Citation: Lungo MP, Mavole J, Martin O (2017) Determinants of Project Sustainability beyond Donor Support: Case of Caritas Norway Supported Governance Project in Mansa Diocese, Zambia. Arts Social Sci J 8: 278. doi:10.4172/2151-6200.1000278

Copyright: © 2017 Lungo MP, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Sustainability forms the basis of any development activity. Without it all the efforts engaged in the project become wasted. This study was aimed at investigating the Determinants of Project Sustainability beyond donor support; a case of Caritas Norway supported Governance Project in Kabunda and Mansa parishes, Mansa Diocese, Zambia. Sustainability can be referred to as the ability of the community to continue with the project activities while at the same time reaping similar dividends from a project long after the sponsor has phased out. That is, communities are capable of producing results for their benefits for as long as their problem still exists. However, community projects have suffered poor sustainability world over. This study was prompted by alleged failure by communities to perpetuate governance project outcomes after Caritas Norway’s financial and technical support in Mansa Diocese, as part of efforts to improve community projects and their sustainability. The researcher used a descriptive study design to conduct this study. Two parishes from Mansa Diocese were sampled. Purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select a sample size of 96 key informants and households respectively. The researcher collected data using questionnaires and interview guides. Both the qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed separately and results converged during interpretation. Quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20.0 and were summarized using bar charts, frequencies and percentages. The qualitative data were analyzed and presented using narrative description. The findings show that the governance project has suffered sustainability due to poor community participation, low educational levels among households, undiversified households and poor understanding of governance. The findings also show that despite being an essential part of every development in society, women are the most uneducated and least to participate in community projects. Based on the findings, the researcher recommends that development stakeholders should ensure communities they are working with participate in all stages of project formulation and implementation. They should prioritize education by increasing and improving school infrastructure and scalability of adult education and policies that ensure education for all. Development duty-bearers should also consider strategies that empower households economically through linkages with entrepreneurial initiatives for IGAs. Households should also be assisted to expand their understanding of governance to include issues of corruption, transparency and accountability to ensure project sustainability.


Project sustainability; Educational achievements; Community participation; Income diversification; Governance


Sustainability is the cornerstone of any development endeavor. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), defines sustainability as a continuation of benefit flows with or without the programmes or organizations that stimulated those benefits. That is, the benefits realized are maintained and continued even after donors have pulled out. However, many community projects have not been sustained despite billions of dollars spent for community projects world over to alleviate the living situation of the people. While donor funding can act as a temporary driver for social change, maintaining the social change is challenging.

Project sustainability beyond donor support has become a pale shadow as most recipients of aid record low sustainability levels. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) annual report, sustainability was satisfactory in 67% of the projects evaluated in 2007 compared to 40% in 2002. That, only 50% of IFAD supported projects evaluated in 2007 were moderately satisfactory for sustainability while 33% remained unsatisfactory; an indication that sustainability is an issue in most projects.

A project is sustainable if the beneficiaries are capable on their own, without the assistance of outside development partners, to continue producing results for their benefit for as long as their problem still exists. Without sustainability, all the efforts engaged in the programme become wasted [1]. Despite continued development-aid flows from rich countries to needy communities, many countries worldwide are still grappling with numerous underdevelopment challenges such as poor governance, extreme poverty, corruption, inefficiency, unemployment and unfair distribution of resources [2].

In the United Kingdom (UK), the issue of unsatisfactory projects is demonstrated by Thompson and Holgeid whose studies revealed cost overruns in the range of about 30%. Further, the study revealed that most projects had cost overruns of 200% on average, and almost 70% schedule overrun. In addition, the UK government spent £16 billion on Information Technology (IT) in 2009, and the public sector seems to make less effective use of IT compared to the private sector. Consequently, failure by communities and other stakeholders to take up ownership of projects has plunged community projects into immense financial huddles, thereby threatening sustainability and seizure of operations daily.

The North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) in India is an exceptional case. In a bid to improve the livelihood of vulnerable groups in a sustainable manner, through improved management of their natural resource base, the NERCORMP’s international and local partners collaborate in prioritizing issues that concern the community. Community projects are implemented with significant contributions of local labor and materials which promote a sense of ownership and ensure sustainability. However, Moyo [3] observes a different trend with Africa as she notes that, in the past 50 years, the continent alone has received over US$ 1 trillion from rich nations in development-related aid, yet recipients of this aid across the world are much worse off [3]. Mazibuka has also expressed that despite external aid flows, poverty continues to nag at the millions of poor people in recipient countries.

A study conducted to assess community participation in sustainable rural infrastructures in Royom Local Government area of Plateau State, Nigeria, revealed that community participation was minimal as it was restricted to receiving information and some consultation, resulting in lower levels of participation. The study recommended, among other things, increased level of awareness and enlightenment about communal participation and inclusion of rural people in project formulation, planning and implementation to ensure project sustainability [4].

In an effort to analyze the performance of water systems in six countries namely; Benin, Bolivia, Honduras, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Uganda, it was found that the community-based approach significantly increased sustainability. The analysis showed a strong linkage between participation of community members and sustainability of projects. Sustainability success was attributed to community members’ participation through access to information, capacity building at all levels, training in operations and maintenance, control over funds and good quality construction.

A review of three selected phased out projects on food security, in Malawi, showed that participatory approach significantly impacted on the sustainability of development projects. Sustainability was determined by how much the implementation process empowered the communities. However, some compromises to participatory rural appraisal (PRA) occurred on the part of the staff whose preference for some technologies negatively affected sustainability of projects [5].

Based on the studies conducted to investigate the influence of educational levels on the projects in Kiambu, Wathome noted that the low educational levels attained by committee members contributed to the poor sustainability of projects. The same reason was cited to have influenced poor management of women projects according to Ngesu, Gunga, Gakuru and Kahigi’s investigations conducted on the factors influencing management of women projects.

In a United States (US) based study, sustainability was identified as a concern linked to non-funding diversification. They echoed the need for a diversified and reliable long-term funding base were obstacles to achieving current goals and objectives of community health projects. Researchers stated that securing resources to ensure self-sufficiency and integrating the project into the community, to ensure that health promotion remains after project completion, became the two future goals in eight and six communities respectively, out of the nine surveyed.

A research was conducted by Githonga on the income diversification strategies adopted by NGOs operating in Mombasa County, Kenya. The purpose of the research was to find out on the strategies of mitigating the effects of donor withdrawal through income diversification. According to the study findings, strategic financial management employed by respective NGOs sustained their projects against the consequential withdrawal of the donor.

In a study conducted by Kabungo on the sustainability of agricultural revolving loans in Zambia, it was revealed that a World Vision animal project to increase livestock among the people of Lucena, through a pass on system, became sustainable because the project was entirely left in the hands of community members. The community partnered with the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture at the local level for the provision of material and technical support.

However, Zambia is not an exception to the challenges of project sustainability after external aid. Over 30 years, the country has been implementing three robust social investment projects through Community Driven Development (CDD) approach with the aim to empower local communities. The first phase alone gobbled US$ 64.7 million from World Bank. Despite empowering local communities to co-finance a number of sub-projects, participation by communities and sector agencies was limited. Furthermore, due to inadequate government counterpart funding and lack of community maintenance of the post project facilities, the benefits of the projects could not be sustained when funding for the same ended. As a result, the social investment project infrastructures achieved remain ‘white elephants,’ and to-date, beneficiaries are daunted by poverty and food insecurity.

Despite all the efforts channeled towards poverty reduction, Zambia’s overall poverty incidence remains high, at 60.5% according to 2010 World Bank estimates based on the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey (LCMS). In 2011, Zambia ranked 164th out of the 187 countries in UN Human Development Index (HDI). Like many other developing countries, poverty in Zambia is heavily concentrated in rural areas. That is, more rural provinces (Eastern, North Western, Northern, Western and Luapula) along the nation’s periphery remain the poorest in the country. According to World Bank [6], the highest moderate and extreme poverty rates are found in Luapula, where Mansa district is located, at 80% and 62% respectively [6].

Mansa district where this project was conducted has been a part of the nationwide poverty reduction efforts. The government’s fertilizersubsidy regime aimed at raising productivity of small-scale farmers to reduce food insecurity. However, the programme does not expressly target the poor nor has it been progressive. This is coupled with the impaired distribution which disadvantaged the poor [6]. Despite its potential to improve the livelihoods of Zambia’s poor, there are several obstacles to poverty reduction and pro-poor growth such as corruption, lack of transparency and poor service delivery which are Zambia’s constraints to development (USAID). Hence, governance processes are recognized as being an integral part of poverty reduction strategy (CSPP).

The partnership between Caritas Norway (CN) and Caritas Mansa (CM), through Caritas Zambia (CZ), is based on a consolidated Programme Document for Governance and other projects. Being a partner, CM has implemented governance project and other projects since 2004. One of the project aims has been to promote accountability and interaction between constituents and their elected representatives so as to contribute and strengthen the electoral and political processes in Zambia (USAID).

The approach has been intended to promote development which liberates people from constraints of ignorance, poverty, disease, oppression, exploitation and injustices so that people become masters of their own lives. Through this project, the people at grassroots can be involved in decision making on decentralization initiatives such as the Constituent Development Funds (CDFs), which are intended to support community development projects (EFZ). Kabunda and Mansa parishes were among the first participating parishes for the first and second phases, 2004 to 2007 and 2008 to 2012 respectively. For each of these parishes, 3 participating centers have been on the project. It is at these 6 centers that implementation of the project has been taking place.

Although some projects could have been successful, they nevertheless seem to have marginal effects on the lives of the poor in Mansa Diocese. There is scanty information to ascertain whether such projects funded by Caritas Norway have been sustained or not. Community members in both Kabunda and Mansa parishes seem to have been pushed to the periphery of the very poor, including Caritas Norway projects beneficiaries. The beneficiaries continue to face immense political, socio-economic and environmental challenges such as poverty, disease, scarce education opportunities and lack of critical resources which are barriers to improved livelihoods.

Though CM is still operational, there is little evidence to suggest that a systematic research study has been conducted to investigate the benefits occasioned by the governance project. There is more to be done on scalability and sustainability of projects after donor funding. The beneficiaries’ continuous requests, for more external support to advance their projects, raise serious questions and doubts on their resilience to advance governance activities beyond the life of the project.

Therefore, from the cited statistics, it is clear that Mansa district, where the research was carried out, is still home to high levels of poverty among households despite numerous poverty reduction initiatives which have been implemented in the province. Obviously, some research studies could have been conducted in Mansa district to assess sustainability of community projects. However, no study has actually been carried out to investigate the determinants of project sustainability beyond Caritas Norway supported governance project in Kabunda and Mansa parishes in Mansa Diocese. This is why this study was conducted to investigate the determinants of project sustainability beyond donor support in Mansa Diocese, Zambia.

Research Objectives

The overall objective of the study was to investigate the determinants of project sustainability beyond donor support in Kabunda and Mansa parishes, Mansa Diocese.

Specific objectives included

• To examine the influence of community participation on the sustainability of projects.

• To investigate how educational levels of beneficiaries determine project sustainability.

• To examine the extent to which income diversification determines project sustainability.

• To establish the extent to which governance determines sustainability of projects.

Materials and Methods

This study used a mixed methods research. This involves the use of both quantitative and qualitative research designs. The mixed methods research provides more comprehensive evidence for studying a research problem than either quantitative or qualitative research alone [7]. The study employed both cross-sectional survey and phenomenological research designs to assess the determinants of project sustainability. A cross-sectional study involves observations of a sample, or cross section of a population or phenomena that are made at one point in time [8].

The central characteristic of phenomenology is the emphasis on the experience and interpretation of respondents. Phenomenological approach was used in order to understand and bring out the experiences and perceptions of the respondents in Kabunda and Mansa parishes [7].

In this research, simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques were used. Household-respondents were selected through a simple random sampling technique, using a sample frame of 2008/2012 beneficiary list from Caritas Mansa office. Kabunda parish consisted of 39 households (46%), while Mansa parish comprised 45 households (54%) selected proportionately. This sampling technique was preferred for households because they were of different gender, age and class levels (Bell, Johnson and Christensen).

Purposive sampling involves selection of the units to be observed on the basis of knowledge of the population, its elements and the purpose of the study [8]. This was used for Kabunda and Mansa parishes (all from Mansa deanery) the Director, the Programmes Officer, Parish Coordinators, Parish Priests and the village heads. Mansa deanery was selected based on its strategic location compared to Kawambwa and Samfya deaneries. The choice of Kabunda and Mansa parishes was prompted by their accessibility compared to all the first parishes to implement Caritas Norway/Caritas Mansa projects. The Director, the Programmes Officer, Coordinators, Parish Priests and the village heads were selected based on the information they had which was required for this study. Households were chosen because they were the beneficiaries of the project.

The target population of this study, to which the researcher generalized the results, included 1,170 households from Kabunda and Mansa parishes, Caritas Mansa Director, Programmes Officer, 2 Parish Priests, 2 Parish Coordinators and 6 Traditional Rulers. It is from this target population that a sample was selected for data collection [9].

The study used both qualitative and quantitative data collection tools. Data for the study was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. The choice for these methods was influenced by the data collection strategy, the type of variables, the accuracy required, the collection point and the skill of the enumerator.

The sample size of this study was 96. That is; 84 households, 1 Director, 1 Programmes Officer, 2 Parish Coordinators, 2 Parish Priests, and 6 traditional leaders. From the data collected, only a total of 75 questionnaires was filled and returned out of the 84 administered questionnaires to the households. However, all the 12 key informants were interviewed.

The researcher arrived at 84 households from 1,170 households by using a formula devised by Krejcie and Morgan [10]. Krejcie and Morgan provided this formula for calculating the sample size.

Below is the formula by Krejcie and Morgan [10].



S=required sample size.

N=the given population size of 1,170 households in Kabunda and Mansa Parishes.

P=population proportion that for table construction has been assumed to be .50, as this magnitude yields the maximum possible sample size required.

d=the degree of accuracy as reflected by the amount of error that can be tolerated in the fluctuation of a sample proportion p about the population proportion P-the value for d being .05 in the calculations for entries in the table, a quantity equal to ±1.96op X2=table value of chi square for one degree of freedom relative to the desired level of Confidence was set to be 0.95 (confidence level).

(N= 1,170l; P=0.5; d= 0.05; X=0.95)





Data analysis involved both qualitative and quantitative analyses. It involved evaluating data using analytical and logical reasoning to examine each component of the data so as to bring order to the data, organize it into patterns, categories and descriptive units and looking for the relationship between them. Quantitative data was edited and coded into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 for analysis. SPSS was used to generate descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages which was utilized in summarizing data. Qualitative data was analyzed by means of content analysis. Analyzed data was presented in tables, bar graphs and charts.

To ensure validity, pilot testing was conducted. This involved trying out the research instrument on a small number of samples [11]. After formulating the questionnaire, and after it had been validated, the researcher sampled 6 households, 1 Coordinator and 2 traditional leaders from St. Paul’s parish. These respondents were used to pilot test the questionnaire items, to determine if the questions addressed the intended issues and whether the questions were clear to the respondents. The pilot tested households from St. Paul’s parish were not part of the study.

To assess reliability, the researcher used split-half technique to calculate reliability coefficient (Spearman-Brown formula) which should be within the recommended reliability coefficient of 0.7-1. This involved scoring two-halves of the tests separately for each person and then calculating a correlation coefficient for the two sets of scores. The instruments were split into the odd items and the even items. Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used to calculate the reliability of the instrument.

Results and Discussions

Influence of community participation on the sustainability of projects

Households were asked to indicate their understanding of community participation and the responses are summarized in Table 1.

   Frequency  Percent
Involvement in community activities 71 95
Acceptance of community projects 1 1
Commitment by community members 3 4
Total 75 100

Table 1: Households’ understanding of community participation.

Majority of the respondents 95% indicated that community participation means getting involved in community activities or projects. According to 4%, community participation signifies community members’ commitment to community projects while 1% said acceptance of community projects into the community. This understanding could be attributed to the majority of the households’ perception of participation which implied any role played in the project.

Respondents were further asked to state the stage at which they participated in the governance project. The information gathered is summarized in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Households’ participation stages in the governance project.

Figure 1 shows that majority of the households 53% participated at the implementation of the governance project, while 22% participated both at planning and implementation stages. The 20% of households participated during the planning stage while 5% did not participate in any project cycle. The findings show that most households only participated by way of implementing the governance project and not during the decision-making process. Limited participation of households in the planning meetings of the governance project was reflected in the low implementation and sustainability of the programme.

According to Mulwa, the ideal community participation for project sustainability involves the influence on development decisions rather than just involvement in the implementation of a development activity, though equally important. He states that a project planned and implemented for people by outsiders result in low self-esteem on the part of the people, low sense of ownership and therefore sustainability of the project gets compromised.

Information on community participation by gender is as presented in Table 2.

Gender  Frequency Percent
 Male 46 61
Female 29 39
Total 75 100

Table 2: Participation by gender.

According to Table 2, majority 61% households who participated in the project were males while 39% were females. The results reveal a systematic gender marginalization still rampant in rural communities due to factors such as excessive cultural influences. To date, women do the lion’s share of unpaid labour within the households of Kabunda and Mansa parishes. The cultural and domestic issues systematically prevented women from equally participating in the governance activities. Rural communities are still home to gender marginalization as most household chores are still performed by the female counterparts. Stevens asserts that although this inequality has decreased in recent decades, the household division of labour remains highly gendered (Stevens).

The factor of educational achievements on sustainability of projects

Investigation the educational levels of households were important to the study so as to establish its influence on community members’ participation and implementation of projects in Mansa diocese. Information captured is presented in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Educational levels of households.

The above figure illustrates that majority of the households 48% were secondary school leavers, followed by 40% with primary education. Only 3% attained tertiary education while 9% had none at all. The highest number of the households 48% with secondary educational level could be attributed to the fact that secondary school education, in a rural set up, was then regarded better than primary school education, even if it did not signify educational completion. The second largest category consisted of primary school leavers at 40% who may not, as well, have completed the cycle. Only 3% attained tertiary education and that 9% did not go to school. The findings imply that most of the households never pursued their education further than the secondary level.

Also the researcher found it necessary to find out the correlation between the households’ education and their occupation and the project sustainability. The information is summarized in Figure 3.


Figure 3: Cross tabulation of educational levels and occupational status of the households.

Figure 3 illustrates that majority 28 primary and secondary school leavers, respectively, were self-employed. Two out of the secondary school leavers were employed and 1 out of the 2 with tertiary education was employed while 1 did not indicate the occupation. The 7 who never went to school were neither self-employed nor employed. The figure shows that primary school leavers had the highest number of the unemployed among the households at 8.

The findings indicate that the level of education attained by some households is a major determinant of the household’s poverty status. The high number of self-employed households is typical of rural households who are the majority in the informal agricultural sector. The interpretation is that the employment rates recorded among respondents followed some levels of education attained (even with very low levels of education) as compared to the households having no education at all. Hence, the higher school completion rates should translate into greater economic opportunities [6].

Establishing the education of households by sex was the other aspect the researcher looked at. The findings from the cross tabulation are shown in Figure 4.


Figure 4: Education of households by sex.

According to Figure 4, there were more male than female households who either attained primary or secondary level of education. Most of the households who neither attended primary nor secondary education were female. The difference in gender distribution could be attributed to factors such as teenage pregnancies and early marriages at the time female households were young. These factors, which are still rampant among Kabunda and Mansa communities, could have forced girls by then to drop out from school while boys were allowed to proceed. Hence, the gender gap denied most women to equally participate in the governance project as men did.

The findings imply that the female households are the most uneducated in Kabunda and Mansa parishes. The high degree of gender inequality in education among the households is a prelude to feminization of poverty, which is much more visible among femaleheaded households. The gender inequality stagnate female involvement in community development activities and their subsequent sustainability [6].

The extent to which income diversification determines sustainability of projects

The aspect of income diversification was also selected as one of the determinants of project sustainability. The researcher sought information from respondents and responses are shown below in Table 3.

  Frequency Percent
Very great extent 31 41
Great extent 31 41
Moderate extent 6 8
Less extent 5 7
Not at all 3 3
Total 75 100

Table 3: Households responses on income diversification.

Table 3 summarizes information on the extent to which income diversification determines project sustainability as obtained from the respondents. It shows that majority 41% indicated very great extent and great extent respectively. Six (8%) said moderate extent while 7% and 3% indicated less extent and not at all respectively. Information obtained from the respondents is evident that income diversification is essential for the organization’s stability both for its current and future operations.

On the households’ agreement regarding the importance of diverse international and local funding streams, as a necessity for project sustainability, Table 4 summarizes the information obtained from the households.

  Frequency Percent
Strongly agree 34 45
Agree 27 36
Undecided 3 4
Disagree 8 11
Strongly disagree 3 4
Total 75 100

Table 4: Households’ responses on the diverse fundraising streams.

Table 4 shows that majority of the households 45% strongly agreed, 36% agreed, and 4% were undecided; while 11% and 4% disagreed and strongly disagreed respectively. From the information gathered, income diversification through international and local partnerships is a determinant of project sustainability when donor funding is withdrawn.

The researcher also requested the households to indicate their various sources of income. This was important for the study so as to further understand sustainability of the governance project. The results are contained in Table 5.

 Total Frequency Percent
One only 46 62
Two only 15 20
Three and above 10 13
None 4 5

Table 5: Number of sources of income for households.

Table 5 above indicates that majority of the households 62% had only one source of income; 20% had two sources of income while 13% had 3 sources of income and 5% had none. The results reveal that majority of the households in Kabunda and Mansa parishes are not yet diversified.

They are still obtaining their income from one source only. Factors which could have influenced households not to diversify include lack of initial capital to venture into other sources of income due to their irregular income streams and lack of information on how to access organizations. This has adversely affected their ability to support and sustain community projects independently of the donors.

The extent to which governance determines sustainability of projects

This section presents the findings based on the extent to which governance determines project sustainability in Kabunda and Mansa parishes. The information obtained from respondents is summarized and presented in Table 6.

  Frequency Percent
Very great extent 38 51
Great extent 20 27
Moderate extent 10 13
Less extent 5 6
Not at all 2 3
Total 75 100

Table 6: How governance determines project sustainability according to the households.

Observations from Table 6 show that 51% of the households stated that governance determines project sustainability to a very great extent, while 27% indicated to a great extent. Ten (13%) indicated moderate extent and 6% less extent. Two (3%) not at all, through governance, education and sensitization on human rights, social and economic rights, the citizenry in Kabunda and Mansa parishes could fully participate in their political and economic decision making. This enhances accountability among leaders at all levels of society, thereby assuring long lasting project outcomes.

In additon, the researcher also presents the findings on the households’ understanding of governance. The responses are presented in Table 7.

  Frequency Percent
Civic involvement and leadership skills 44 58
Human rights protection campaigns 24 32
Accountability and transparency 3 4
Address misuse of power and public resources 2 3
Total 73 97
Missing 2 3
Total 75 100

Table 7: Households’ understanding of governance.

The findings according to Table 7 demonstrate that majority of the households; related governance to civic involvement at 58% followed by human rights protection campaigns at 32% and only 4% linked governance to accountability and transparency and 3% alluded to the fight against corruption and another 3% for none.

The findings show that civic involvement and human rights campaigns were common to the respondents as compared to issues of accountability and transparency. Regarding civic involvement, majority of the households were actively involved because of the recent by-elections in Zambia influenced by the deaths of two sitting presidents amidst general elections.

Respondents were further required to indicate their application of governance knowledge to strengthen project sustainability in their communities within Kabunda and Mansa parishes. Table 8 below shows the responses from the households.

  Frequency Percent
Awareness programmes on gender based violence and children's rights 17 23
Promoting and facilitating civic involvement 40 53
Sensitizing communities on the roles of their MPs and CDF access and management 16 21
Advocacy on dignity and rights of local communities living near extractive sites 2 3
Total 75 100

Table 8: Application of governance according to the households.

According to the Table 8, majority of the households 53% used governance knowledge in promoting and facilitating civic education, 23% promoted awareness on gender based violence and children’s rights, 21% said they sensitized communities on the roles of their Members of Parliamnent in their respective constituencies and how to access and manage CDFs. Two (3%) advocated for the dignity and rights of local communities living near extractive sites. From these findings, civic activities and human rights sensitizations took the lead at 53% and 23% respectively as compared to the advocacy on the dignity and rights of communities that are near extractive industries only at 3%. Sensitiziting communities on the roles of their MPs and CDF access and management was at 21%.

Information gathered from key informants on the same is summarized in Figure 5 below.


Figure 5: Application of governance knowledge according to key informants.

The Figure 5 displays information that 41% of the key informants reported an increase in the number of registed voters in the previous elections while 17% were for corruption cases, CDF access and human rights respectively. And 8% reported of a corruption case.


It is evident from the study findings that households were in support of community participation, education, income diversification and governance as determinants of project sustainability in Kabunda and Mansa parishes. Based on these findings, however, most households participated more in implementation than planning and decisionmaking.

The results also reveal that education is a major component of project sustainability although it did not determine who participated in the governance project but could help in the understanding of project concepts. Results also show that majority of the households were either primary or secondary school leavers and this did not imply completion of their respective educational levels.

Further, although the results have shown that income diversification was rated a high determinant of project sustainability, majority of the households were not diversified. They still rely on a mono-source of income. The findings also conclude that governance is a determinant of project sustainability but most of the participants associated it with elections and human rights protection. Thus, households had a limited application of governance in relation to other governance issues such as corruption, transparency and accountability.


From the research findings and results, the researcher makes the following recommendations. First, the government, Caritas Mansa and other NGOs should ensure that communities they are working with participate in all stages of project formulation, including solving their own problems as they arise, so as to lead to the attainment of sustainable project outcomes. This recommendation is based on the finding that majority of the households were involved more in the implementation stage than in influencing decisions.

Second, development involvement is meaningful when participants are well informed. Therefore, all development and educational stakeholders operating in Kabunda and Mansa parishes should prioritize education by improving existing school infrastructure and providing where they are lacking. Strategies to scale up adult education and policies that ensure education for all (EFA) should also be amplified.

Third, development duty-bearers should consider strategies that empower households economically. This could help households become economically independent and enable them to sustain their households, community projects and pay school fees for their children and dependents. This recommendation is based on the finding that most households are not diversified because of lack of capital, poverty and financial problems.

Fourth, households should be assisted to expand their knowledge of governance beyond elections and human rights. They should also focus on issues of corruption or transparency and accountability so that they can meaningfully participate and monitor the financing of their community projects for poverty reduction and sustainability purposes. This should be seen as one of the key strategies in sustaining community projects. Households had a limited application of governance skills.

Recommendations for Further Studies

This study was just a tip of an iceberg. It could not exhaustively deal with all the aspects related to project sustainability. In this vein, the researcher recommends that further studies be carried out in the following areas;

• This study was done in Kabunda and Mansa parishes within Mansa Diocese. A similar research should be replicated in other parishes with the aim of establishing other determinants of project sustainability funded by other donors.

• The indispensable role of women in project sustainability.


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