Utilization of social cash transfer allocation by older persons in Kirinyaga County, Kenya.
Njuguna, Joram Kiarie
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The study set out to assess the utilization of social cash transfer allocation by older persons in Kirinyaga County. Despite extensive research on the concept of social cash transfer programmes for various social groups, little is known about the utilization of the allocation by the beneficiaries in Kenya. Thus, the study aimed at assessing the utilization of social cash transfer allocation by older persons in Kirinyaga County, with a view to making recommendations which can be used to improve the programme. The specific objectives were; to identify the different ways in which older persons utilize Older Persons Cash Transfer Programme benefits, examine the extent to which the programme meets the needs of the older persons, and suggest improvements to enhance the programme in order to optimize its ability to meet needs of the older persons. In order to analyze the theoretical background of the problem and explain the research findings, the study was guided by the political economy theory. The theory dwells on structural dependency. It recognizes that social structure is the key determinant of the position of older persons in the society. The study used cross-sectional survey design to collect and analyze data. The target population was 550 beneficiaries of the older persons cash transfer programme and members of their households in Kirinyaga County. A sample of 164 respondents was obtained through proportionate and simple random sampling methods due to the different number of beneficiaries in each of the four constituencies in the study area. Primary data was collected using interview schedules and focus group discussion guide while secondary data was generated from records, books, journals, published and unpublished research materials using thematic analysis. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically while descriptive statistics which included frequencies, percentages and modes were used to analyze quantitative data using SPSS programme. The study established that Older Persons Cash Transfer Programme allocation is mostly utilized on basic necessities such as food and clothing. It also emerged that the allocation is mostly utilized by the dependants in the beneficiaries‘ households for example in paying for their school fees. In order to address the problem, the study recommended a timely disbursement of the Older Persons Cash Transfer Programme funds, economic empowerment of older persons through formation of groups and funding of these groups directly and an increase in the individual allocation. The study is important to policy makers, practitioners and stakeholders in the implementation of the programme as guided by the suggested improvements.