Challenges in developement and implementation of Communication strategies in child welfare based NGOs sector. A case study of the Kenya Alliance for the advancement of child rights
Studies indicate that even though NOOs are putting in much effort in awareness creation, education and information of the general public as a way of addressing incidences of child abuse, children continue to be abused on unprecedented levels raising questions as to how effective communication methods used by NOOs are. The overall objective of this research was therefore to assess the challenges facing development and implementation of communication strategies in the Child Welfare Based NOO sector. The study was a case study of KAACR a Nairobi based NOO which has sole mandate of promotion of child rights through awareness creation and education. This study specifically aimed at determining types of Communication strategies employed by Child Welfare based NOOs, find out how and if staff competence affects the development and implementation of Communication strategies by Child Welfare based NOOs and determine how the type of media used affect the development and implementation of Communication strategies by Child Welfare based NOOs. This study will benefit Child Welfare Based NOOs and government who through knowledge of factors affecting communication strategies and recommendations from the study will be able to improve on the strategy implementation and delivery and enhance policies guiding the use of communication strategies. A resultant effect of this will also benefit donors who fund the NOOs since the objectives will be well meant. Children who are the end beneficiaries of these strategies will also benefit when the intended objectives are met through streamlined development of the current communication strategies. Researchers will also gain since they will be able to develop on gaps identified in the study. Diffusion of innovation theory which shows how an idea moves in a social process and the Social learning Theory which depicts four processes of how learning occurs were used to explain the research study theoretical framework. The study targeted all the 17 employees of KAACR and managers of their partner organizations in Nairobi which number 30. All 17 employees were targeted because this is a small and accessible population and the 30 organizations because they have been actively involved in KAACR objectives and would therefore give an ideal picture of what is happening on the ground. Nevertheless a total of36 respondents (76.6% of target population) were accessed. Purposive sampling was used to isolate the target population of the partnering organization since the total number is 140 countrywide. Questionnaires and interviews schedules were used to collect data while data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). For ease of comprehension, data is presented using bar charts and tables. The study identified limited knowledge of strategies, lack of comprehension of messages delivered, donor interference, difficulties in formulating appropriate messages and high cost involved as challenges affecting development and implementation of communication strategies. It further established strict donor requirements and expectations, lack of appropriate training, limited funds, not working consistently with children inadequate assessment of target audience and high turnover of staff as key factors contributing to these challenges. To address this, the study revealed the need for donors to allow organizations operational latitude to operate with minimum interference, motivate staff well enough to retain them in organizations, expose staff to regular and consistent training and regular upgrading of equipment.