Effects of Cash Transfer Programme for Orphans and Vulnerable Children on Livelihood Outcomes of Beneficiary Households in Meru County, Kenya
Festus, Eliud Mutwiri
MetadataShow full item record
Studies have revealed that increasing levels of poverty aggravates the plight of vulnerable populations in developing countries making it imperative for governments to design cash transfer programmes to address the situation. Cash Transfer programmes are policies and programmes designed to cushion vulnerable people against poverty and vulnerability. Scholarly work suggest that Cash Transfer Programmes have positively contributed to improved livelihoods of underprivileged and vulnerable populations in most African countries, however, few studies have been done to determine their effects on beneficiary households in Kenya. Despite various efforts to improve the livelihood outcomes of beneficiary households in Kenya, indicators such as school enrolment and retention, access to affordable health services, wealth creation and ownership of assets show the possibility that beneficiaries of cash transfer programme are still suffering from poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion. This study sought to investigate the effects of Cash Transfer Programme for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) on livelihood outcomes of households in Tigania West Sub- County, Meru County. Specifically the study sought to: assess the relationship between socio-economic characteristics of households receiving cash transfer programme and livelihood outcomes; examine beneficiary households’ Awareness on the objectives of cash transfer programme for OVC and their livelihood outcomes; investigate the relationship between expenditure priorities and livelihood outcomes; explore the risks associated with the mode of payment of cash transfer programme for orphans and vulnerable children and their effects on livelihood outcomes and to develop a model of the relationship between cash transfer programme and livelihood outcomes. The study utilized mixed methods research design and targeted 1040 subjects with a sample of 281. The findings indicate that cash transfer programme had a positive impact on livelihood outcomes of beneficiary households and that there exists a positive relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of households receiving cash transfers for OVC and their livelihood outcomes, awareness of objectives of the cash transfer programme impacted negatively on the livelihood outcomes of beneficiary households. The expenditure priorities of households receiving cash transfers impacted their livelihood outcomes, while risks associated with the mode of payment had an explanatory strength on livelihood outcomes of beneficiary households. The study recommends that policy makers should review the existing policies on the cash transfer programmes to incorporate the assessment of households’ socio-economic characteristics prior to their enrolment into the programme. Policy implementers should disburse the cash Electronically or through bank accounts as the two modes of payment were found to have had the lowest associated risks and thus are the preferred mode of disbursement of cash transfers to OVC. The Government of Kenya and NGOs dealing with children’s issues should develop training programmes on awareness and expenditure modalities to promote effective utilization of cash transfer stipends among the beneficiaries.