Understanding the opportunities and challenges of church sponsored community income-generating activities : a case study of the Ukwega Community Dairy Project in Iringa, Tanzania.
This was a study made in an attempt to understand the opportunities and challenges of church sponsored community income-generating activities, in the form of a case study of the Ukwega community dairy project in Iringa, Tanzania. The purpose of this study was: • To explore and understand the reasons why such church-initiated projects fail to raise the income of the rural communities in a sustainable manner; • To understand the opportunities and challenges that the church encounters when initiating, implementing and managing church-sponsored community incomegenerating interventions; and • To make recommendations on how the church could improve project management and ensure the sustainability of community income-generating activities. Here the research aims to suggest better processes of planning that could lead to effective and sustainable church-initiated / sponsored community development projects. A qualitative research method was employed to address the research questions. This included the use of focus group discussions, key informant interviews, questionnaires, direct observation and a documentary review. The following themes were established and discussed: top down approaches to project management, representative planning, vested interest, the lack of financial and business management skills, the lack of working capacity, a donor-driven approach, prioritisation, project abuse, conflicting interest and health and food security as an outcome of sustainable livelihood. The study concludes that the project was successful in Kimala and Ipalamwa. It failed in Ukwega and this was caused by poor project planning and the abuse of power by the congregation leader. Finally, the study identified two areas for further research. These include: • The impacts of faith organisations on the material world. There are a number of research papers done by theologians on the spiritual side, little is researched on the material impacts. • Secondly, there is a need for researching more on the impacts of the church management styles in project planning and implementation. This research could not go in deep due to the reasons given on the introductory part of this section.