Influence of support service linkage strategies on sustainability of donor funded livelihood projects in Kilifi County, Kenya


support service linkages, donor funded livelihood projects, training, technological capacity building, resource capacity building

How to Cite

Ndombi, C., Kyalo, D., & Mulwa, A. (2020). Influence of support service linkage strategies on sustainability of donor funded livelihood projects in Kilifi County, Kenya. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 9(4), 404-418.


Donor agencies have heavily funded livelihood programs in Kilifi County but these projects struggle with sustainability with some dying immediately the funding is withdrawn. The objective of the study was to establish how to support service linkage strategy influence the sustainability of donor-funded livelihood projects in Kilifi County. The study was guided by Discovery Learning theory; Diffusion of Innovation theory; Lippitt’s theory of planned change; and Theory of Stakeholder Management. A descriptive correlational research design was used. A sample size of 170 was selected from a population of 295 from three livelihood projects using Slovin’s formula. 7 interviews and 3 focus group discussions were carried out. Prior to data analysis, statistical assumptions were tested. Standard deviations, standard error of means and arithmetic means were used for descriptive analysis while Pearson’s Product moment correlation and linear regression, F-tests, and t-tests were used for inferential analysis using statistical package for social sciences. The mean perception of sustainability did not differ significantly with projects (p=0.192), gender (p=0.669), age (p=0.724), and marital status (p=0.284). However, there was a significant difference in mean perception of the sustainability of donor-funded livelihood projects among the different groups based on the highest level of education attained (p=0.011) and duration of stay in the project (p=000162). H0, r=0.383, p=0.000027<0.05 was rejected and concluded that support service linkages significantly influenced the sustainability of donor-funded livelihood projects. Therefore, policies should be reviewed to provide an enabling environment and culture that will support access to support services such as affordable extension services, affordable and readily available credit, markets. Future studies should use simple and direct Likert items with diverse projects.


Aarseth, W., Ahola, T., Aaltonen, K., Økland, A., & Andersen, B. (2017). Project sustainability strategies: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Project Management, 35(6), 1071-1083.

Bennett, S., Ozawa, S., Rodriguez, D., Paul, A., Singh, K., & Singh, S. (2015). Monitoring and evaluating transition and sustainability of donor-funded programs: Reflections on the Avahan experience. Evaluation and program planning, 52, 148-158.

Bond, G. R., Drake, R. E., McHugo, G. J., Peterson, A. E., Jones, A. M., & Williams, J. (2014). Long-term sustainability of evidence-based practices in community mental health agencies. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 41(2), 228-236.

Bordens, K. S., & Abbott, B. B. (2011). Research Design and Methods: A Process Approach (8th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield

Carvalho, M. M., & Rabechini, R. (2017). Can project sustainability management impact project success? An empirical study applying a contingent approach. International Journal of Project Management, 35(6), 1120-1132.

Chofreh, A. G., Goni, F., Shaharoun, A. M., & Ismail, S. (2015). A review on sustainability transformation roadmaps using project management methodology. Advanced Science Letters, 21(2), 133-136.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Davis, J. R. (2003). The rural-non-farm economy, livelihoods and their diversification: Issues and options.

Dunne, T., Klimek, S. D., Roberts, M. J., & Xu, D. Y. (2013). Entry, exit, and the determinants of market structure. The RAND Journal of Economics, 44(3), 462-487.

Fayet, L., & Vermeulen, W. J. (2014). Supporting smallholders to access sustainable supply chains: lessons from the Indian cotton supply chain. Sustainable Development, 22(5), 289-310.

Ferris, S., Robbins, P., Best, R., Seville, D.,Buxton, A., Shriver, J., & Wei, E. (2014). Linking smallholder farmers to markets and the implications for extension and advisory services. MEAS Brief, 4(10), 13-14.

Francis, A., Nassar, A., & Mehta, K. (2013). Are we formal yet? The evolving role of informal lending mechanisms to support entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation in central Kenya. International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2(2), 109-129.

Freeman, R. E., Harrison, J. S., Wicks, A. C., Parmar, B. L., & de Colle, S. (2010). Stakeholder theory: The state of the art. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Freeman, R.E. (1984). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, 1st ed; Pitman Publishing: Boston, MA, USA, 1984; pp. 24–25.

Gardner, A., Greenblott, K., & Joubert, E. (2005). What we know about exit strategies: practical guidance for developing exit strategies in the field. Lusaka, Zambia.

Geraci, E. P. (1997). Computers in Home Care: Application of change theory. Computers Nursing, 15 (4), 199-203. Retrieved from

Harrison, P. (2005). A socio-economic assessment of sustainable livelihood opportunities for communities of Kuruwitu and Vipingo, Kilifi District, Kenya.

Hörisch, J., Freeman, R. E., & Schaltegger, S. (2014). Applying stakeholder theory in sustainability management: Links, similarities, dissimilarities, and a conceptual framework. Organization & Environment, 27(4), 328-346.

Jenkins, R., Kiima, D., Okonji, M., Njenga, F., Kingora, J., & Lock, S. (2010). Integration of mental health into primary care and community health working in Kenya: context, rationale, coverage and sustainability. Mental Health in Family Medicine, 7(1), 37.

Juana, J.S., Kahaka, Z. & Okurut, F.N. (2013). Farmers’ Perceptions and Adaptations to Climate Change in Sub-Sahara Africa: A Synthesis of Empirical Studies and Implications for Public Policy in African Agriculture. Journal of Agricultural Science, 5(4), 121-135.

Karanja G.M. (2014). Influence of management practices on sustainability of youth income generating projects in Kangema District, Murang’a County, Kenya. International Journal of Education and Research 2 (2) 1-12

Kimweli, J. M. (2013). The Role of Monitoring and Evaluation Practices to the Success of Donor Funded Food Security Intervention Projects A Case Study of Kibwezi District. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(6), 9.

Kinyanjui J.N., (2014). Influence of contextual and cognitive factors on the relationship between performance contracting system and organizational peroformance in government ministries in Kenya. Unpublished PHD Thesis. University of Nairobi.

Kiron, D., Kruschwitz, N., Haanaes, K., & von Streng Velken, I. (2012). Sustainability nears a tipping point. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(2), 69-74.

Kisengese, R. N. (2012). Factors influencing implementation of agricultural projects in Kilifi county, Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nairobi, Kenya).

Lalitha, D., & Kumar, D. T. V. (2016) Women Empowerment Through Self-Help Groups (Shg’s): A Study of Siripuram Village in Telangana State. Social Sciences International Research Journal ISSN, 2395-0544.

Lippert, S. K., & Davis, M. (2006). A conceptual model integrating trust into planned change activities to enhance technology adoption behavior. Journal of information science, 32(5), 434-448.

Lippitt, R., Watson, J., & Westley, B. (1958). The dynamics of planned change. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World.

Lu, J., & Lora-Wainwright, A. (2014). Historicizing sustainable livelihoods: a pathways approach to lead mining in rural central China. World Development, 62, 189-200.

Maleko, G. N., Liheta, B. S., Aikaruwa, D., Lukas, A., & Sumari, G. A. (2013). Women Participation in Microfinance Institutions of Tanzania: The Case of Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOS). Journal of Business Administration and Education, 4(2).

Marcelino-Sádaba, S., González-Jaen, L. F., & Pérez-Ezcurdia, A. (2015). Using project management as a way to sustainability. From a comprehensive review to a framework definition. Journal of cleaner production, 99, 1-16.

Mattiuzzi E. (2017). Impacts of the Sustainable Communities Initiative on Regional Collaboration, Equity, and Planning Results of a Survey of Grantee Regions Journal of Policy Development and Research,19 (3)39-62.

Minzner, A., Klerman, J. A., Markovitz, C. E., & Fink, B. (2014). The impact of capacity-building programs on nonprofits: A random assignment evaluation. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(3), 547-569.

Mottaleb, K. A., Mohanty, S., & Nelson, A. (2014). Strengthening market linkages of farm households in developing countries. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 37(2), 226-242.

Muyanga, M., & Jayne, T. S. (2006). Agricultural extension in Kenya: Practice and policy lessons. Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University. Tegemeo Working Paper, 26, 2006.

Mwamuye, M. K. (2014). Poverty definition‟ and its contribution to projects failure in Kilifi County, Kenya. Global Journal of Politics and Law Research, 2(2), 27-38.

Oino, P. G., Towett, G., Kirui, K. K., & Luvega, C. (2015). The dilemma in sustainability of community-based projects in Kenya. Global journal of advanced research, 2.

Okoth, J. A. (2012). Factors influencing sustainability of community-based projects: the case of Arid Lands Resource Management Project II in Ganze constituency. Kilifi County, Kenya

Perrini, F., & Tencati, A. (2006). Sustainability and stakeholder management: the need for new corporate performance evaluation and reporting systems. Business Strategy and the Environment, 15(5), 296-308.

PMI Standards Committee, (2004). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 3rd ed; Project Management Institute (PMI): Pennsylvania, PA, USA; pp. 81–86.

Pohl, C., Rist, S., Zimmermann, A., Fry, P., Gurung, G. S., Schneider, F., & Hadorn, G. H. (2010). Researchers' roles in knowledge co-production: experience from sustainability research in Kenya, Switzerland, Bolivia and Nepal. Science and Public Policy, 37(4), 267-281.

Rogers, B., & Macias, K. (2004). Program graduation and exit strategies: a focus on title II food aid development programs. Washington, DC: FANTA Project, AED.

Silvius, A. G., & Schipper, R. P. (2014). Sustainability in project management competencies: analyzing the competence gap of project managers. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 2(02), 40.

Simon, L. D., & Ismail, H. (2008). Southern African AIDS Trust: An evaluation of the process and outcomes of community-based partner graduation. Canadian journal of public health, 99(1), 535-541.

Singh, A.S.; Masuku, M.B. (2014). Sampling techniques & determination of sample size in applied statistics research: An overview. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 2, 1–22.

Spaling, H., Brouwer, G., & Njoka, J. (2014). Factors affecting the sustainability of a community water supply project in Kenya. Development in Practice, 24(7), 797-811.

Stead, J.G., Stead, E. (2000). Eco-Enterprise Strategy: Standing for Sustainability. Journal of Business Ethics 24, 313–329.

Stead, W. E., & Stead, J. G. (1996). Management for a small planet. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Stevens, M. R., & Mody, A. Z. (2013). Sustainability Plans in British Columbia: Instruments of Change or Token Gestures?. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 22(1), 46-71.

Stichler, J. F. (2011). Leading change: One of a leader's most important roles. Nursing for women's health, 15(2), 166-170.

Tang, Q., Bennett, S. J., Xu, Y., & Li, Y. (2013). Agricultural practices and sustainable livelihoods: Rural transformation within the Loess Plateau, China. Applied Geography, 41, 15-23.

The World Bank (2019). Global economic monitor. https//

Wabwoba, M. S. N., & Wakhungu, J. W. (2013). Factors affecting sustainability of community food security projects in Kiambu County. Kenya: FAO Report.

Wicander, S., & Coad, L. (2015). Learning our lessons: a review of alternative livelihood projects in Central Africa. IUCN.

Wren, S., & Speranza, C. I. (2010). The struggle to diversify rural livelihoods: bio-enterprise initiatives and their impacts on agro-pastoralists and pastoralists communities in the drylands of Kenya. The European Journal of Development Research, 22(5), 751-769.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.