Factors influencing participation of men in poverty reduction self help groups in slums. A case of Korogocho, Nairobi county, Kenya
Self Help Group is a voluntary and self-managed by a group of people, belonging to similar socioeconomic characteristics, who come together to address a felt need amongst themselves. Self-help group (SHG) approach is one of the development models that are used by both governmental and external development partnership in supporting population and addressing poverty. However, participation of men in poverty reduction SHGs has been lower compared to that of women. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence participation of men in poverty reduction SHGs in slums. The study sought to determine how Socio-culture, financial resources, legal requirements and leadership influence participation of men in SHGs in Korogocho. The study used Descriptive research design and purposive sampling method to select 140 respondents based on gender and participation in anti-poverty SHGs in the 7 villages in Korogocho. Questionnaires with both closed and open ended questions were used to collect data. Qualitative data was coded and quantitative data analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages) were used to describe the findings and Pearson coefficient (r) revealed a positive relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The study found that most of the respondents (69%) were in mixed poverty reduction SHGs and only 31% respondents were in men only poverty reduction SHGs. In the mixed groups, 85% of the respondents were in SHGs where number women were more than men thus confirmed low participation of men in poverty reduction SHGs. The study also saw a change in perception that associates SHGs with women. However, the findings indicate that the society still expects men to be independent, strong and not to seek help from others. The majority of the respondents (52.4%) were engaged as casual workers and 88.9% of the respondents said that their occupation had influenced their decision to join a SHGs. The study revealed that 94.4% respondents were mainly motivated to join SHGs in order to access External Financial Assistance (EFA) especially government funds and that access to such funds would increase participation in the SHGs. Majority of the respondents(57.9%) were in unregistered groups. Non registration of SHGs was mainly due to lack of knowledge of registration procedures (36.9%) and no perceived benefit of registration (32.3%). The majority of the respondents (87.3%) felt that the GoK/NGOs and MFIs were discriminative as there progammes target women more than men. Leadership was found to be the significant predictor of men participation in anti-poverty SHGs. Most of respondents (79.4%) would prefer men in key leadership positions in the groups while 84.1% of the respondents felt that poverty reduction SHGs would attract more men if the leaders are men rather than women or mixed SHGs. Since poverty reduction funds by government/NGOs/MFIs uses SHGs to implement some of its programmes there is need to sensitize men on the benefit of joining SHGs and ease registration procedures. There should be gender equality in project targeting other than concentrating on women in order to enhance participation. It is also suggested that further research investigates other factors that influence participation of men in anti-poverty SHGs other than socio-culture, financial resources, legal requirements and leadership.