Project Management challenges that affect lifespan of constructions in development aid project A Case Study through Healthy Hospital Project in Tanzania

Examensarbete på grundnivå
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate different factors that are causing dependency on external recourses within aid projects. We have conducted a case study based on a field visit in Tanzania. The field study has been made in cooperation with Engineers Without Borders for their Healthy Hospital Project (HHP) in Mkula village. Project management challenges in HHP are analysed to ensure the quality and standard of the project process to ensure long-lasting constructions. Key challenges to analyse are selected due to the circumstances and outcome of the project. This, to get a wider understanding of the wide spectrum of long-term and short-term solutions in development aid. More specifically, how HHP strives for a qualified lifespan on constructions where need of future resources and maintenance are within the project cost and effort. The HHP 2020 was divided in three sub-projects. The rebuilding of a laboratory that lacks proper space and equipment, was the primary focus for us. Furthermore, we have been supervising an ongoing project of a new Reproductive Child Healthcare (RCH) unit that was built during the entire visit. We have also participated in a storm water study to investigate how to prevent leakage into buildings due to heavy rain. We acted as supervisors, coordinators, and technical consultants of the ongoing constructions of the new RCH in parallel with the planning process of the drainage system and new laboratory. Throughout the project period, logbook, protocols, drawings, and estimations were made to collect field documents for the research. Themes and examples from previous literature have been connected to the case study together with survey reports and master theses from previous years of HHP. Reflections of the observed process contributed to the possibly of finding research connections for the purpose of this thesis. Project success has been analysed by two dimensions, “project management success” and “deliverable success”. This, to understand the project management challenges of HHP. Furthermore, frequent occurring issues within the sub-projects in HHP could be recognized as patterns. Thus, four constraining factors discovered within the HHP were defined as characterizing issues that could cause future dependency. (1) The risk degree of quality is a constraining factor since it is likely to cause future dependency on external actors. The building quality needs to be prioritized to avoid the need of maintenance in an early stage of the lifespan. (2) The supervision efforts are limited which affects the possibilities to deal with needs of maintenance. (3) The budget inflexibility causes an uncertainty when the buildings could be maintained. The entire project process is affected by the unknown funding amount in future. (4) Loose couplings between actors affects the ability to control the resources and distribute the funding between maintenance and investment cost. Due the Covid-19, the budget for HHP 2020 was not covered. We have noticed that the loose couplings between actors caused a relationship of dependency. Problems that were not considered in an early stage could cause the actual outcome of the project to differ significantly from its purpose. Thus, we suggest that decisions within HHP should be allocated to a phase where the possibility for the EWB group to influence project outcome is high. The lifespan of the buildings is dependent on the project management method as it is the baseline for the balance between cost, quality, and effort favour long-term achievements.
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