The purpose of this study is to identify the critical success factors of development projects funded by international development partners in Egypt in the education sector. In quest of achieving this objective, the research applies a qualitative approach through a case study methodology that aims to explore the critical success factors in the community schools project implemented in Egypt by UNICEF and USAID throughout the project life cycle. Through the detailed analysis of the case study findings, in addition to secondary sources, fifteen critical success factors are revealed during the course of the project. The findings are grouped to critical success factors that facilitate project success and factors that hinder project success. Critical success factors are categorized into: 1) Internal factors that are within the direct control of the project management, among which: proper needs assessment and clear understanding of the project context, effective consultation with all stakeholders, monitoring and evaluation.; 2) External factors that are beyond the project management control; among which: availability of data, community participation, political will; 3) Factors that require mutual cooperation between two or more parties; among which: partnership with key stakeholders, working closely with the government, ensuring government’s capacity for sustainability. The study concludes that these critical success factors not only affect project success in achieving the anticipated objectives, but also the sustainability of the project. Based on the lessons learned from the case study, recommendations for future projects are driven with a view to guide policy makers, international donors, implementing agencies and development partners to better project management practices that boost project success. These recommendations include government-led initiatives to development projects, resource mobilization plan, monitoring and evaluation processes and securing adequate resources for project sustainability.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Public Administration

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2017

First Advisor

Abdelhalim, Khaled

Committee Member 1

Elbaradei, Laila

Committee Member 2

Bhuiyan, Shahjahan


121 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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