Determinants of sustainability of self-help groups microfinance among women: a case of group savings and loans association in Maseno Division, Kisumu West District, Kenya
This study investigated the factors that determine sustainability of self help group microfinance among women in Maseno division. In Nepal, an evaluation done by CARE on Savings and loans association found out that the perspective of sustain ability was lacking. Groups trained by Anglican Development Services in Otwenya location, M~SeHO Division on Village savings and Loans and were practicing the micro finance collapsed one year after ADS stopped working with them. The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of sustainability of Self-Help Group micro finance or Village Savings and Loans among women in Maseno Division, Kisumu West District. The. objectives of the study was to establish the extent to which demographic factors, economic factors, management system, and social-cultural factors influence sustainability of Self-Help Groups' micro finance among women in Maseno Division, Kisumu West District. The study was conducted through descriptive survey design as it sought to get the respondents views and opinions. The target population was the women groupS that had been trained by CARE and were practicing Village Savings and Loans Association in Maseno Division. Data was collected using questionnaires and key informant interview guide. The questionnaires were administered to 125 respondents selected from the target population through simple random selection. The key infurmant interview was done to 18 people, fifteen group officials and 3 local leaders. They were selected through purposive sampling. The quantitative data collected from the questionnaires were grouped under broad themes, coded and analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and was presented using frequency tables and percentages. Qualitative data was collected from key informants' interview. The data was analyzed using a simple descriptive analysis. The study established that VS&L demographic factors influence sustainability of self-help group micro finance in that married women are more involved than single women in self help group savings and loans, 44.4% had complete primary education followed by 24.8% having incomplete primary education indicating that the level of education influences the sustainability. On economic factors, 98.2% of respondents were either self employed or salaried and 32.2% had a monthly income ofksh 1000-2500 level which influences the contributions and loan repayment. On management, 92.8% of the respondents underwent trainings on management of the micro finance and 98.4% had a constitution formulated by members. On record keeping, 75.6% of the respondents said that they have records like passbooks. which are kept by the secretary. On socio-cultural factors, 52.8% ofthe respondents indicated that their self-esteem has been improved. The study concluded that based on the findings that demographic, economic, management and socio-cultural factors are the determinants of sustainability of self help group microfinance in Maseno division. The study recommended that awareness should be created and mobilization done to other women in the remote areas about the group savings and loans so that they can access loans for their economic, social and political development. This should be an area of focus by the government and all development practitioners who purport to support poverty alleviation programmes. Secondly policy framework should be put in place by the government to regulate the operations ofVS&L. Proposed areas for further research are to establish the impact of forming savings and loans association with people who are HIV positive and physically challenged, study the influence of m-pesa on group savings and loans and also to research on the role of modern technology on the sustainability of group savings and loans association.