Determinants of Compassion International funded income generating activities' performance: a case of projects in Imenti North District Kenya
Income Generating Activities (IGA) is a major source of livelihood for the low income people in any community Tedesco (2007). Compassion International Kenya office (CKE) recognizes that other than provision of sponsorship program to vulnerable children to acquire education, health care, social and spiritual development, the living environments and livelihood of these children affect their development process. CKE therefore invests on these children parents/ caregivers by empowering them through training and provision of capital to run small scale income generating activities (IGA) which would improve the livelihood of these children. CKE has invested millions of money towards this venture over time and the available information shows that 50% of all the IGAs fail within the first year of operation (Compassion, 2009). Due to this failure rate, donors are not willing to fund more IGAs. CKE however believe that, IGA initiative is one of the best ways of empowering families to be self- reliant and hence overcome dependence syndrome that is prevalent among poor people. This study investigated the determinants of IGA performance. The performance rated rated as either high or low based on its profitability. The level of performance was depended on several determinants which included demographic and background and background characteristics of the caregivers, level of caregivers' participation in IGA activities, group dynamics and caregivers' attitude towards the IGA initiative. Data was collected from six Child Development Centers (CDC) located in Imenti North district. These CDCs had a total of one thousand six hundred and eight sponsored children. There were two types of IGAs which were sampled through ten percent (10%), Gay (1978) in (Mugenda and Mugenda, 1999). Five group-owed and fifteen individually owned IGAs participated in this study. A questionnaire and observation methods were used to collect data. There were thirty respondents, three from each group IGA (chairperson, secretary and one member) and one from each individually owed IGA (the owner). One hundred 100% returnee their responses with an average of 90% questions answered by each respondent. The study concluded that the IGAs were mostly implemented by females as Blystad (2008) said. Most of them were between forty and forty nine years old. Majority of respondents had primary education. Demographic and background characteristics, Level of participation of the respondents, group dynamics and respondents attitude; all had an influence the IGAs to a greater extend. Less than half (46.3%) of the respondents really liked the IGA initiative. The IGAs served a good purpose in income generation for the sponsored children livelihood, served as a psychosocial therapy for parents/ caregivers with similar difficult conditions like highly vulnerable children and united parents to a greater extend. The respondents did not fully participate in different activities of the IGA as some decisions were made by the project staffs. This study noted that the length of operation for any IGA did not influence performance at all. The study recommended more training to the respondents on entrepreneurial skills, monitoring and evaluation and conflict resolution skills. It also suggested better funding and sensitizations which would enable these parents/ caregivers to raise their own capital to supplement what Compassion International provides. The study suggested another study on the level of dependency created by sponsorship program to the parents/ caregivers of Compassion International sponsored children.