Group characteristics, external assistance, participation and goal attainment in women self-help groups: the case of Pumwani Division in Nairobi.
Odima, Mabel O
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This study aimed at investigating group characteristics, external assistance, participation and goal attainment in women groups in Nairobi, Pumwani Division. By way of systematic sampling 72 respondents were interviewed. The questionnaire method,observation, secondary data collection, unstructured interviews were instruments employed in collecting data. These instruments were limited by such factors as; the unavailability of sampled respondents, false information, the length of the questionnaire and the small sample size.The Community Development Approach also known as Bottom Up or Participatory Approach rests on the assumption that people must feel they OW11 the projects being introduced to them in the process of development. People need to be involved in identifying the goals, crystallizing the plans for achievement, organizing and availing labor skills money,ideas and other resources. They need to participate in the final implementations of plans entailed. This model was being tested at a micro level whether it could apply to women groups in an urban scenario in the need of the groups characteristics, participation in group objectives, utilization of external assistance and how this aptly determines the degree of success in goal attainment.Most respondents were found to be low-income earners with large families and other dependants to support. This limited the time, money and energy that they could avail to the groups. The study also found out that apart from benefits expected and achieved from the groups, other factors such as group sanctions and the norm of reciprocity were vital components to be considered in assessing attainment of goals in groups. Belonging to groups was seen to be beneficial to all members whether it was economically, socially, psychologically or politically. The handicraft business which was found out to be the most successful objective was found out to be limited by the lack of market for finished products. Other projects were expensive to start and external assistance in terms of advice, finance and materials were seen as vital in steering groups towards anainment of their goals. Actual visits from change agents were also viewed as vital in facilitating change as groups were helped in their own context.Misuse of group funds was found out to be rampant in most groups. It could be curbed by way of able leadership, proper management of group funds, records and property.The study also concluded that groups on their own could not make the members be self reliant. It recommended that the same study be repeated but with a larger sample size.Further recommendation was made on the possible means of enabling group members to become self-reliant through group efforts so that their incomes could be improved.