Factors influencing performance of youth groups in kenya: a case of Isiolo town, Isiolo county
Youth groups participate in nation building and improving their management could help address youth disillusionment and bring wider benefits to the country. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors influencing performance of youth groups in Isiolo town Isiolo County. The objectives of the study included: to examine the influence of information and communication technology on the performance of youth groups, to investigate the influence of project management skills on performance of youth groups, to establish how funds utilization influence performance of youth groups, to examine the influence of group member characteristics on performance of youth groups and the fifth was to assess the influence of organizational strategic planning on performance of youth groups. To achieve this, the study adopted descriptive research design where the respondents were requested to describe the circumstances facing their youth groups. The study was carried out in Isiolo town which lies 285 kilometers north of Nairobi city. The target population was 500 and the estimated sample size was 217 Based on Krejcie and Morgan’s (1970) table for determining sample size. Respondents were proportionately drawn from each of the 24 identified active youth groups and 25 key informants selected from the accessible population. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the youth respondents and interview guide used to gather information from key informants. The completed questionnaires were coded, entered into SPSS, analyzed and presented in form of tables of frequencies and percentages. Interviews with key informants were used to collect data on demographic, socio-economic, youth groups and youth related information as well as knowledge, attitudes and practices. The tool for the study was piloted for reliability with members of Isiolo disabled youth group. The study found that the ICT facility mostly accessed by youth are phones (mobile, CDMA etc) in their youth groups as indicated by majority 114(65.1%) of the respondents of which they used them for less than 50 minutes weekly for group activities at 90(51.4%) of the respondents. It was further found out that youth groups did not have computers as indicated by majority 151(86.3%) of youth members. The spearman’s correlation coefficient was a strong, positive one between ICT and performance, which was statistically significant (rs = .669, p = .035).It was established that 111(63.4%) of youth groups had written guidelines for funds utilization. It was also established that the sources of funds to run the group’s activities was from members contributions as indicated by majority 115(65.7%) of youth respondents. The spearman’s correlation coefficient indicated that there was a moderately positive correlation between funds utilization and performance, which was statistically significant (rs = .559, p = .036). Majority 130(74.3%) of youth members indicated that membership from diverse cultural orientation did not cause group decision making to be difficult. It was further found out that majority 167(95.4%) of youth groups had mission statement which was agreed by all members and used to guide goals and activities. It was revealed that progress reports in the groups were done to inform members on group’s status as indicated by majority 99(56.6%) every 1 - 6 months. The study recommended that to enhance youth groups’ performance the government (county and national) releases adequate resources and equipments preceded with formal training to youth groups. The study also recommended that ICT facilities be diversified and made available with requisite skills improvement among youth groups to help them take advantage of technological advancement. The study suggests a comparative study of the influence of group dynamics on the performance of youth groups in arid and semi arid lands in Kenya.