The effects of social protection on households' livelihoods: a case of goal Ireland Kenya's livelihoods project in Mukuru, Nairobi county
Social Protection programming is one form of humanitarian responses which has been used to address basic needs and/or to protect, establish or re-establish livelihoods or economic productive activities. Many studies have demonstrated the use of Social protection in form of eash transfers (sometimes in the fenn of vouchers) to assist populations affected by disaster particularly where employment, income, livelihood or economic production opportunities have been lost. Based on Cumulative and Cyclical Interdependencies theory, this study sought to establish from the experiences of the beneficiaries and other community members and stakeholders, the extent to which social protection activities has contributed to household's livelihoods as well as examining the extent to which income distribution affects household's livelihoods. It also sought to establish the local community's perception on how social protection activities affect households' livelihoods. The study population of 304 project participants from six villages of Mukuru slums were targeted. The research study used mixed method approach of study design. Stratified sampling method was used to select 74 respondents based on gender. Primary data was collected through self-administered questionnaire to the social protection participants. Data analysis was done in two phases: data entry into Microsoft excel and data cleaning. Data analysis of the quantitative information was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18.0. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the basic features of the data in the study. The study looked at the characteristics of variables namely: the distribution, the central tendency and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to identify the association between variables of social support. Qualitative data were coded against the set parameters of the research objectives and appropriately organized for analysis. Information provided by partners and local organizations were recorded as their perceptions and later used to cross-check data provided by the social support beneficiaries. Majority of the respondents (82.08010) engaged in sales of goods and services within the Mukuru Villages as the main source of their income. The average monthly net income from social support initiated businesses was found to be KSb 4794.20 with a clear indication that almost all the beneficiaries bad almost equal gains from business initiated by social support as opposed to the other Income Generating Activities (lOA). The study confirmed that both male and female project participants use their income to support household basic needs. However, there was some deviation from the norm, where more men seemed to use their income for purchasing food (90.3%) than women at 83.2%, health seeking. The study noted both negative and positive effects of social protection activities within the communities. These included; high dependency, child labour and high school drop outs as well as transformation of the Jives of beneficiaries, their household and indirectly others from the targeted communities. Since many actors are adopting social protection as a strategy for poverty eradication, the researcher recommends to the actors to target the urban poor other than concentration on the rural poor only. This will ensure that the gap between the poor and the rich is reduced. There is also the need for gender equality in project targeting other than just concentrating on women ln order to enhance balance in participation. It is also suggested that further research investigates the impact of the intervention under study on livelihoods of other households within the slum communities.