Project Management Practices Of Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation In The Case Of Universal Electricity Access Program (UEAP)

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Addis Ababa University


Since 2005/06, many rural electrification projects in Ethiopia have been undertaken under the administration of the Universal Electricity Access Program (UEAP) by involving local contractors on the projects. However, the program has not succeeded in meeting its electrification targets as projects were facing critical problems with respect to time and cost performance. There are several factors that are contributing to these time and cost performance problems among which project management problems originating from the project owner or administrator (UEAP) was the major one. This research attempts to assess the project management (PM) practices of UEAP and identify the practice gaps in comparison to conventional as well as best PM practices; in order to clearly indicate the specific intervention areas as an input for the program’s future project success. The research was undertaken through an intensive literature review, a survey on the PM practices of the project administrator (UEAP) and a case study of one ongoing rural electric distribution project which was investigated with the aim of validating the survey findings. UEAP’s PM practices were identified based on the opinions of its senior-management, project managers and technical experts involved in project management works. The survey was carried out through a questionnaire which contained questions on project management practices, techniques and tools revealed by the literature review. It contained 43 questions which were categorized into six groups. A total of 354 questionnaires from UEAP management and project staff were collected for analysis. The identified PM practices obtained from both the survey and the case investigation were descriptively analyzed. Findings of the survey as well as the case investigation indicated that UEAP’s PM practices are far from the standards and best practices. Its project management processes (often grouped into a project management methodology) are poorly-defined, the operating framework and hence the organizational structure is unstable, and people management skills which are fundamental to a high project management maturity level are poorly developed. Apart from this, PM systems and tools as well as capacity building of project staff which help to automate and support its project management processes are rarely purchased and created.



Universal Electricity, Access Program (UEAP), PM systems and tools