How to Promote Collaboration and Local Ownership in an Aid Project A Case Study of the Mkula Hospital Project in Tanzania
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Design and construction project management (MPDCM), MSc
A case study of a small-scale foreign aid project at a hospital in Mkula, Tanzania, was performed as a part of this thesis. The primary objective of the project was to improve the water supply for the hospital. The researchers, referred to as we, lived in the village of Mkula for eight weeks during the implementation of the project. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate how collaboration could be improved in the project and how local ownership by the hospital could be promoted. An inductive research methodology was applied starting with the case study at Mkula Hospital. This was followed by a literature review concerning topics chosen after identifying patterns based on our experiences during the project. Throughout the project process we collaborated with the Hospital Management and several local actors. In order to achieve the aim of the project it was important to work closely with the involved actors, since they possessed unique and important knowledge. Cultural barriers resulted in many obstacles during the project, especially in regards to the process of collaboration and utilizing their knowledge. Thereby, we aimed to find a theory that could have been helpful in the project to utilize all experience and competence and accordingly promote the collaboration. We found the theory of Multi-Stakeholder Processes (MSPs) which includes frameworks on how people and organizations can work together despite very different backgrounds. MSPs promote dialogue which can grow to consensus-building, decision-making and generate the necessary commitment to the implementation of practical solutions. The analysis showed that several situations in the project where an open dialogue took place resulted in promoted collaboration. Thereby, a main conclusion of the study is that implementing an involving approach inspired by MSPs could have contributed to the sharing of different experiences, motivations and expectations in an earlier stage. This can facilitate overcoming the cultural barriers identified in the study, such as language, perceptions of time and ethnocentrism. With present dialogue, diverse views can be developed to common strategies and goals. In turn, a more consistent involvement of the Hospital Management throughout the project process could be a way to promote local ownership for Mkula Hospital since solutions can be adapted more to the local context.
Samhällsbyggnadsteknik , Civil Engineering