Influence of non-governmental organizations on poverty reduction in Rarieda Division, Kenya
Sati, Linet P
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A number of non-governmental organizations have maintained and sustained a number of projects that enhance development. Activities of non-governmental organizations have been growing exponentially while at the same time poverty in rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa has been increasing resulting into dependency on aid by communities, creating an economic gap that not only stretches their resources but also overloads the economic policies advocated by the governments and donors. Excessive formal procedures they follow as laid out by government have potentially reduced their efficiency and capacities, frameworks, cost effectiveness and analysis. These external and internal inefficiencies have resulted in slow rate of poverty reduction which is seen in many families in the division being food insecure, inability to access or afford proper medical services, high school dropout rate due to lack of school fees and hunger in secondary schools, and lack of access to safe and clean drinking water. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of non-governmental organizations in poveIJY reduction in Rarieda. The study also intended to establish the underlying challenges 'faced by nongovernmental organizations in their functions. This study was designed to fulfill four objectives namely; to establish the extent to }Vhich poverty reduction is influenced by health services provided by non-governmental organizations, to assess how poverty reduction is influenced by education services provided by non-governmental organizations, and to investigate the extent to which poverty reduction is influenced by food security programmes provided by nongovernmental organizations in Rarieda division. The study adopted a descriptive survey design in establishing the influence. The sample population was 20 non-governmental organizations, 384 households and 3 officers from the government. The households were selected randomly while the' non-governmental organizations and the offices were sampled using purposive sampling technique. Questionnaires were used for primary data collection while books, journals, newspapers and reports were used to obtain secondary data. A pilot study was carried out in Rarieda division on 20 households and 5 non-governmental organizations which were not part of the sample to assess the validity and reliability of instruments. The pre-analysis of data involved organizing the data collected systematically, data cleaning, inspection, and assigning numerical values to quantitative data. The data was analyzed by descriptive statistics such as measures of central tendencies and percentages. The study found out that poverty reduction influenced provision of health, education, water and sanitation services, and improving food security. The study also established that non-governmental organizations faced challenges in poverty reduction. There was some impact in improved livelihood as a result of these services although it was still localized. In conclusion, the study realized that non-governmental organizations influenced poverty reduction through provision of education, health, water and sanitation services and improving food security in the division. The study also concluded that nongovernmental organizations have got internal inefficiencies in their management structures and systems that affect their roles in poverty reduction. However they also face challenges while executing their roles such hostility from community, political interference in their roles, beaurocracy, corruption and managerial problems. The study recommends that in order to improve efficiency in poverty reduction roles of non-governmental organizations policy needs to be revised to reduce beaurocracy, change in management structures and systems, encouraging wider community participation, gender consideration in appointments and training nongovernmental organizations personnel in project management, monitoring and evaluation. Areas that need further research include establishing other factors influencing poverty reduction other than the non-governmental organizations, and the impact of politics on poverty reduction.