Factors influencing implementation of the 'elewa pesa' financial education pilot project: a case of Faulu advisory services at the Coast and in the North Rift regions, Kenya
Muraya, Robert K
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Financial literacy is a recent phenomenon where several countries are promoting it as a way of fighting poverty. Financial education teaches on knowledge, skills and attitudes that people can use to adopt good money management practices for earning, spending, saving, borrowing and investing. It is broad range of basic financial skills and therefore relevant to anyone who make decisions about money. Initial push for deepening of financial knowledge started in USA but has currently spread across the globe with countries in Asia and Africa implementing it. In Kenya, a Special Purpose Vehicle, FSD (Financial Sector Deepening) has been coordinating a multipronged approach to enhance financial knowledge in Kenya for some years. Part of this approach is training Microfinance Clients that is being done at a pilot project level funded by Financial Education Challenge Fund initiated by the UK DfiD. Among Micro-finance clients, Faulu Kenya DTM implemented it through its subsidiary: Faulu Advisory Services (F AS) as a project dubbed 'Elewa Pesa' since June 2009. The submitted proposal planned that this pilot project could run for 2 years, to till June 2011. Targeted clients were 70500 in focus areas that included Coast (Changamwe and Kongowea), Western (Bungoma and Kakamega) and North Rift (Kitale, amd Mois bridge). Part of these 70500 was to be 20500 trained by Community based trainers who were to be first trained by F AS trainers. The logical and initial expectation for such figures is that halfway through the 2 year implementation time ofthe project half the clients should have trained. This means as of June 2010, 35250 clients ought to have been trained. However based on official report, as of end of June 2010, only 9728 clients had been trained. This is big variance that shows with the achieved pace, the probability of achieving the target is way off. This research proposal was in to understanding this situation and was designed as a case study. Variables were in grouped into four: Psychosocial factors, Cultural factors, Socio economic Factors and Contingency factors. Moderating factor was the management, intervening factor the Government, while extraneous variable was harsh Economic conditions. Sampling design was done from the list of existing clients as the sampling frame. The sample arrived at was 377 cases based on calculation for samples for populations greater than 10000 by M ugenda and Mugenda, Four research assistants were recruited for data collection. However, of this 335 questionnaires were returned. The researcher went ahead with data analysis due to time constraint and also on the safety that the target population was highly homogenous since they belonged to the same MFI. Diverse statistical operations done on research data included measures of central tendency (mean, medium and mode), dispersion (standard deviation and variance) and distribution ( skewness and kurtosis) and presented as tables. Crosstabs were done on training status against other variables and displayed under appendix. The findings showed that psychosocial factors did have an influence on FE uptake but it is not that big, similar to cultural issues. It is socioeconomic issues like entanglement to ones' IGA, and payable amount (ISO shillings) that influenced uptake of FE most. In addition there were considerable contingency- factors' influence especially the trainers' skills and a demand for more curriculum content. Weather had a small bearing. Management's also got a task to improve perception of trainees on its role in FE. Similar demand was observed on the comments made about the Government. Most did not feel Economic hardships can interfere with their uptake of FE. However more research need to be done since FE is at such a nascent stage that complete picture of its impact can only be ascertained in the future. Such research should cover issues of sustainability and developing training models such as main streaming it in to organizations.