Factors influencing the effectivness of humanitarian programmes in a post-violence environment: the case of Kenya Red Cross in the North Rift region
Typically, humanitarian activities in a post-conflict environment should ideally pay close attention to delivery of quality service that effectively support the alleviation of people in distress or suffering upon being blighted by natural or man-made disasters. Many humanitarian aid organizations however face internal and external challenges that limit their effective operations. Increasingly, the conventional wisdom holds that an important element in establishing effective service delivery is to have an environment that guarantees basic security and free from political influence. The extents to which humanitarian agencies can fulfill their roles effectively and contribute meaningfully to the betterment of beneficiaries' lives depend on a wide variety of other factors investigated by this study. The main objective of this research was to identify these factors. Timely availability of funds, efficiency and effectiveness of logistics in place, mismanagement of funds, the training of aid personnel and the inclusion and participation of the local population in the aid delivery process were the independent variable factors to be subjected to validation through research. The dependent variable is 'the effectiveness of humanitarian aid delivery' and the moderating variable is the prevailing 'political environment'. Using cross-sectional survey study design, the researcher set out to validate these factors in the North Rift region of Kenya which was chosen on the basis of having been one of most affected areas in Kenya during the 2007-8 post-election violence. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through desk research and field studies in Eldoret and its environs. It was assumed that the people to be interviewed had all received assistance from humanitarian aid agencies during or after the 2007-8 violence. Findings from the research reveal availability of funds as the key influencing factor ranked first by 95% of the respondents while 82% indicate personnel training as the second most important factor. Mismanagement of funds is the ranked the least by 5% of the respondents. In conclusion that availability of funds is a key challenge faced by humanitarian aid agencies, at least in the North Rift region during and after the 2007-8 conflict. It is therefore recommended that humanitarian aid agencies should devise ways of ensuring that they always have sufficient contingency funds even in times of calm in a crisis prone environment in order to maximize the impact of their response in the event of a crisis of any nature. This study is designed to inform effective transitioning from relief to recovery. The gap remains in establishing whether the ethnicity factor of the communities in conflict will substantially influence the delivery ef humanitarian aid in a predictable manner. Further research is recommended to assess the effect of ethnic composition of target beneficiaries on the effort of humanitarian aid agencies to achieve better and more effective response to emerging complex situations such as the 2007-8 post-election violence in Kenya.