An assessment of the extent of ICT diffusion in microfinance institutions: a case of Nairobi
Muchoki, Esther Wanjiru
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The purpose of this research was to study MFIs already using ICTs so as to assess the extent of ICT in such organizations. The study identified and assessed factors that influence the diffusion levels, the approaches used and the constraints such organizations face in the implementation for these technologies. This study will provide information to NGOs, GOK., researchers and MFls with the hope of improving their standards. The study was intra-organization where each micro finance institution was studied in regard to organization profile, automation, level of computerization, ICT models in use and the constraints. The study was done in MFIs in Nairobi, and only those registered with The Association of Microfinance Institutions. The study used descriptive survey design and data collection was done through census where structured and non-structured questions complimented by observations were used. The quantitative data was analysed using summary statistics of frequencies. Pilot Study was carried out at Kenya Post Office Savings Bank which was randomly selected. It was found that majority of MFIs consider the high cost of lCT systems as a major obstacle in their efforts to integrate computer systems in their organizations. The problem was more severe for smaller organizations which have a smaller budget for the naming of their activities. Users of ICT solutions reported severe initial problems at the time the system was brought into the organization. A significant percentage of users indicated that no proper training was given to them and this bad the effect of increasing their resistance to the new system. It was found that users can be supportive of the new system if their concerns regarding job security, training and potential benefits are incorporated into the whole system implementation cycle. On the whole, however, MFIs admitted that they had obtained significant benefits from the implementation of leTs, the challenges of cost, user resistance, and changes in technology not withstanding. Finally, conclusions, recommendations and suggestions for further research were made.