Uwezo Fund Characteristics and the Performance of Youth Livelihood Projects in Kibra Constituency, Nairobi County, Kenya
Ismail, Ismail Yassin Hassan
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The Government in its efforts to address the livelihood challenges of vulnerable groups in the society has set up devolved funds among others, Uwezo Fund, which is a youth, women and people with disabilities fund. Despite such funds being operational for several years since their inception, empirical studies assessing how Uwezo fund has influenced the livelihood of youth in Kenya remains conspicuously unexplored and undocumented. The main study objective was to determine the influence of Uwezo Fund on the livelihoods of youth in Kibra Constituency, Nairobi County through assessing Uwezo funds accessibility, capacity building programs, institutional framework and policies and savings. The study was informed by the Change theory, push-pull theory and the Harrod-Domar model. The research will rely on a descriptive research design. 51 registered groups in Kibra constituency formed the study’s unit of observation. The target population for the study were 153 members drawn from the 51 youth groups that have so far benefitted from Uwezo Fund since its inception in Kibra Constituency. Data collection was with the use of questionnaires administered to beneficiary group leaders. A pretest was carried out on 10% of the population to support reliability and validity testing. Descriptive and inferential analyses were applied on the collected data. Data presentation was in the form of tables, pie charts and bar graphs, while percentages and frequencies will provide descriptive analysis results. Inferential analysis such as correlation and regressions were also applied to find out the variables’ association. A 74% response rate was attained, with most of the youth groups involved from Laini Saba Ward. The results showed variability in the groups involvement in agribusiness, service and trade business. The correlation tests indicated a strong positive effect of capacity building programs, institutional framework and policies on the youth livelihood. Further analysis indicated a moderate positive effect of savings while financial accessibility had a weak positive effect on enhancing the youth livelihood. The regression tests showed that Uwezo fund determined 67.3% of the changes in youth livelihood in Kibra constituency. The research concluded that capacity building, savings and institutional framework and policies had a significant influence on enhancing youth livelihood. The study further found out that financial accessibility did not significantly influence youth livelihoods. Recommendations were for the Uwezo secretariat to undertake more robust capacity building programs as well as align their internal institutional frameworks to drive better livelihood among the youth. The research concludes that youth groups should develop savings programs that do not divert all their income from their daily consumption to ensure there is no negative effect on their livelihood.