Factors influencing performance of self help groups: a case of Muungano self help group in Kianjokoma, Embu county.
Self help groups are emerging as powerful tools for poverty alleviation. Generally SHG have anti-poverty agendas with the purpose of improving living standard of its members. In this study a critical examination is made on how management of funds influence performance of self help groups, how participation of member influence performance of SHG and also how diversification of group activities influence performance of self help groups. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study was conducted in Muungano SHG Kianjokoma, Embu County. The group has a total of 107 members. Management team, members and employees of the group investment were targeted in the study as respondents. The research instruments used to collect data were questionnaires for the members and employees and interview guide to collect data from the management team. Data obtained was coded then interfaced into the computer for analysis. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS Version 18) was used for analysis. Descriptive as well as inferential statistics were obtained. Tables were used to present the data collected as well as frequencies and percentages. The findings indicated that management of funds influences the performance of self help groups. The self help members should be involved in the management of the group funds. The members should be involved by management in the budgeting process of the group expenditure and allowed to access records kept by the group as account records, assets, shares and members’ records. The self help books of accounts should be audited monthly. Self help group members should be involved in the election of their leaders. The self help group should hold meetings regularly preferably monthly and financial decision, collection and disbursement of money should be made within group meeting. Self group members should have good cooperation, good management, high discipline and prompt contributions among members. The funds got from fines and other penalties fines become part of the group savings. Self help members need to diversify group activities because most SHGs activities apart from the core activity will enable the group members to benefit in times when one enterprise is not profitable. Self help members involve themselves in welfare activities like visiting the sick in the hospital, assist in weddings, burial and court cases apart from their financial contributions. The study findings will be beneficial to the group members in improving their social and economic status. It will also help the members to improve on their financial literacy. This study will also help government agencies to come up with strategies on how to facilitate capacity building of the group. This study will be significance to people aspiring to form self help groups to come up with modalities which will ensure survival and functioning of their group. To the future researcher, this study can provide baseline information on the recent status of self help groups. More significant will be the lessons learnt by the Ministry of culture at large from the findings of the research in relation to performance of the groups.