RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROJECT BENEFITS AND SUSTAINABILITY OF ACTIVITIES: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF SELECTED DONOR-FUNDED AGRICULTURE-RELATED PROJECTS IN TANZANIA
Abstract:Projects should impact sustainably the people they were created to assist. Unfortunately, experience shows projects and associated benefits gradually disappear a few years after they are withdrawn. Against this backdrop, the study examined the relationship between project-related benefits and the sustainability of project activities for donor-supported projects. Using a comparative case study design, 274 respondents were sampled proportionately and interviewed using a questionnaire. Benefits were calculated using income gains from project-initiated activities. Analysis of variance results shows that the mean incomes were statistically significant based on sustainability levels, suggesting that the level of sustainability was affected by the changes in income levels. Hence, it is determined that the sustainability of project activities was statistically related to project benefits. The practical implication of the results is that local beneficiaries consider the benefit gains when deciding to engage in project-initiated activities or not. They disengage when they consider the benefits to be low, which compromises the efficacy of exit strategies implemented and the eventual sustainability of activities and outcomes. Project practitioners are encouraged to devise projects whose activities have lucrative economic benefits and expose local beneficiaries to conditions that maximise the likelihood of getting well-paid benefits from project activities.