Assessment of the beneficiaries’ perception, policy achievement and sustainability of the CT-OVC programme on access to basic education in Seme sub county in Kisumu county
OTTICHILO , Edwin ADOGA
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ABSTRACT The Social Protection Floor Initiative, which is a global framework for social protection is designed to provide strategic support to countries in their efforts to promote social assistance. One such support is Cash Transfer (CT) for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs). In Kenya, the intervention is largely government-sponsored, and promotes among others, access to basic education. In the basic education sector, CT is designed to address issues of enrolment, attendance, transition and retention. Even though the number of OVCs is rapidly rising in areas with high prevalence of HIV/AIDs and poverty, it is not clear in programme areas where compliance attracts no penalties, how CT-OVC has impacted on access to basic education. This study was conducted in Seme sub-County which has the highest CT-OVC beneficiaries in Kisumu County with the main goal of assessing the government sponsored CT-OVC programme‘s contribution to basic education. The objectives of the study were: to assess the programme‘s achievement(s) on access to basic education; to analyze the policy sustainability on access to basic education; and, to explain the perceptions of beneficiaries on access to basic education. This study was anchored on a descriptive design and guided by the institutional theory whose main tenet is that government policies are implemented in an institutional environment to respond to citizens‘ problems. The study population was 1,967 households, public primary schools within the programme area, education and children officers, Beneficiary Welfare Committees (BWC), the area chiefs, OVCs, and Location OVC Committees (LOCs). A sample size of 332 out of the 1,967 households was determined using the Yamane‘s formula. The target population was clustered using the six areas in Seme and simple random sampling was employed to select the 332 households from the six areas. Purposive sampling was used to identify respondents for the focus group discussions (FGDs), key informant interviews and in-depth interviews. Quantitative data was collected using structured questionnaires. Qualitative data targeted 10 primary school heads, 2 education officers, 2 children officers, 4 Location OVC committee members, 25 OVCs, and 2area chiefs –identified through purposive sampling. Three FGDs targeting members of the BWC was held. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data was analyzed through coding to generate themes relevant to the objectives. The study shows that the activities under CT-OVC programme has affected increase in enrolment, retention and class attendance. Much of this is a reflection of the efforts of the caregivers. 71.39% of the caregivers had contributed to transition of OVCs from one class to the other and had also increased their investment in basic education. Moreover, 96% supported basic education access. It emerged from the study that the newly enrolled beneficiary households recorded a higher ability to sustain themselves in social-economic activities than the old household beneficiaries, increasing their capacity to cater for the education needs of the OVCs. On the flipside, there was an increase in dependency among half of the beneficiaries. The programme was perceived as biased in recruitment process and households in serious need were left out and therefore OVCs in these households may have failed to enroll in school. The study recommends among others, that the Department of Children Services (DCS) should strengthen the coordination structures and conduct civic education exercises on the programme areas focusing on access to basic education.