Influence of Youth Self-Help Group Members’ Skills on Group Perfomance in Aldai Constituency, Nandi County, Kenya
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The study explored youth self-help groups performance in relation to members skill levels. It focuses on the effects of acquired skills through education and training on the performance of youth Self-Help Groups. Although a number of studies have been done on youth groups, little knowledge exist on the relationship between skills acquired and the performance of such youth groups. In Kenya, youth programmes such as Youth Development Fund requires the youth to form groups to access finances. Therefore there was need to find out whether the youth utilize skills acquired for their daily activities in their groups. To examine the relationship between group members’ skills and their performance, the study was guided by the following specific objectives: To determine demographic characteristics of the youth in SHGs, to determine members skills in youth SHGs, to examine the performance levels of youth SHGs, to establish challenges facing youth SHGs and to find out possible strategies that can be used to improve youth SHGs performances. The study was guided by human capital theory. The study adopted Cross-sectional survey design. Multi stage sampling was used to sample out the size with the use of purposive and simple random sampling. A sample of 136 youth SHG members participated in the study from the 56 youth groups that were sampled from 226 groups in Aldai constituency. Key informants were also interviewed. Data was collected by use of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative data was analysed descriptively whereas qualitative data was coded and analysed thematically. The study showed that there was no relationship between the level of education and the income earned by Youth SHG members. There was no significance difference between income earned by youth with basic education (M=6586.67, SD=3976.60) and those with higher education (M=6483.61, SD=6294.16; t=0.12, p=0.91, two-tailed). Lack of specialization by youth Self-Help group members influenced their poor performance and skill utilization. Entrepreneurship, vocational and technical skills were the most preferred by the youth to influence the output of Youth Self-Help Group. Inadequate skills, ignorance and limited finances were found to be some of the challenges affecting youth SHGs. The study recommends continuous training and follow up of youth programmes by local administrative leaders. Practical skills should be embraced in all skill development levels, community polytechnics should also be facilitated to enhance the quality of skills offered.