Assessment of the Contribution of International Non- Governmental Organisations Development Programmes to Women Socio-Economic Empowerment in Makueni County, Kenya
Elizabeth M., Kithuka
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This study was based on the contribution of INGOs development programmes to women socio-economic empowerment in Makueni and Mbooni sub counties, Makueni County in Kenya. Specifically, the study aimed to establish types of INGOs development programs towards women socio-economic empowerment, effects of development programmes, the challenges faced and strategies to apply during the implementation of the INGOs development programmes. The study was guided by the Theory of Change, and Sarah Longwe’s Framework. Further, the study employed mixed Approach (qualitative and quantitative method) and descriptive research design in data collection. The targeted population was women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) of World Vision and Action Aid programmes. The sample size included 114 women recipients from different SHGs, 8 men (spouses) in SHGs,10 project staff officials from the two INGOs, 24 SHG leaders and 6 key informants from Makueni County Government, making a total of 162 respondents. The sampling techniques included multistage, purposive, and Random sampling. Data collection tools included questionnaires, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guides and interview schedules and secondary data from INGOs records. Qualitative data was analysed using themes and quantitative using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 21) software. Descriptive statistics such as graphs, frequency distributions, tables, and charts were utilized to summarize the findings. The study findings established that the level of contribution of INGOs development programs influenced women socio economic empowerment. This depended on the type of programs and challenges faced by INGOs development programs. In addition, age influenced women rights awareness while education impacted on access to resources. Data revealed that the type of program given to the women groups influenced their socio-economic empowerment. This was evidenced by the effects of programs such as the provision of water and sanitation, women awareness of their rights and SGBV while there was limited access to and control over productive resources, limited training on entrepreneurship, limited involvement of women in development projects. Generally, beneficiaries felt that the INGOs development programmes were inadequate in empowering women and the programs seemed to be creating more dependency among women recipients hence high levels of poverty. Women socio economic empowerment was also influenced by challenges such as inadequate access to and control over the resources, limited entrepreneurial skills and SGBV among women. The study identified main strategies to empower women as enhancing awareness on women rights to improve access and control over the resources, enhancing training on entrepreneurial skills and addressing SGBV. The study concludes that contribution of INGOs development programs influences women socio economic empowerment. The study recommends: INGOs to do thorough investigations on the specific development projects that fit WSHGs and avoid duplication of services. They should also aim at doing more capacity building on entrepreneurship skills and awareness creation on women rights to improve access to and control over resources and reduce SGBV. The INGOs should involve men through influencing community systems that target improvement to access and control of resources by women. It is hoped that the findings will help policy makers, INGOs, Central and County Government officials to implement the right projects that meet the needs of women.