Effectiveness of youth empowerment funds in Rachuonyo District of Homabay County
Oloo, Geoffrey O
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According to the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (2012) youth in Kenya face serious challenges, including high rates of unemployment and underemployment. The Government of Kenya continues to support the Youth empowerment Funds in providing youth with access to finance for self-employment activities and entrepreneurial skills development. This study set out to establish the effectiveness of youth empowerment funds in Rachuonyo District of Homabay County. The study used descriptive survey research design. The design is also suitable since it helped to describe the state of affairs as they exist without manipulation of variables which was the aim of the study. The location of the study was Rachuonyo District of Homabay County. The study had a target population of 1200 youths registered under the youth empowerment funds in Rachuonyo District. The study used cluster sampling technique and simple random sampling technique in obtaining its sample. The questionnaires were used to collect data from youths while an interview guide was used to obtain data from the key informants who consisted of four district officers from each of the four divisions constituting Rachuonyo District, YEF coordinator, one district commissioner, and four government officials from the ministry of devolution and planning. The study was based on primary data which was both quantitative and qualitative data. In analysing the quantitative data, the study used descriptive statistics where frequencies, percentage, measures of central tendency (mean) and measures of dispersion (standard deviation) were applied. This was with the help of SPSS (Version 20). On the other hand, qualitative data from open ended questions was analysed using content analysis, through developing a thematic framework from the key issues, concepts and themes emanating from the open ended questions. From the study findings, the study concludes that there exist different kinds of youth empowerment funds in Rachuonyo District namely; Youth Entreprise Development Fund, Uwezo Fund, NGO related funds and County Development Fund. However, the YEFs were largely inadequate and unreliable, the youths had a negative perception towards the YEFs. The study further concludes that although youth empowerment funds play a critical role in helping the youths, they were not effectively managed to achieve optimal youth empowerment as envisaged. The study recommends that the government and other stakeholders should increase the budgetary allocations to the YEFs in order to enhance the availability, adequacy and reliability of the funds. The funds be managed in a more transparent manner, youths be trained on entrepreneurial skills and on the requirements for access to the YEFs. The government and other stakeholders should scale up the YEFs and ensure ease access to the funds by the bonafide youth groups. In addition, the government should take efforts to eliminate unnecessary long bureaucratic procedures for the application of the funds.
University of Nairobi
Thesis Master of Arts in Sociology