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Winnie Kananu Meeme - Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Christopher Gakuu - University of Nairobi, Kenya


Throughout history, with regard to the right to social protection, persons with severe disabilities (PWSDs) have struggled to live full and productive lives as independently as possible. This is because in societies, especially in developing countries such as Kenya, where there is scarcity of resources, even much less dedicated for PWSDs; stigma, discrimination and attitudinal and environmental barriers continue to pose a serious challenge. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that influence the utilization of the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer programme and its allocation to persons with severe disabilities and their households. The study was guided by four objectives: To establish how household characteristics; caregiver factors; individual characteristics of PSDW; and to finally examine how government regulations influence the utilization of PWSD’s Cash Transfer allocation by beneficiary households. The research site was located in Manyatta, one of four sub-counties that make up Embu County, in Eastern Kenya. This area was selected owing to its good mixture of child, young adults and adults with PWSD in the County. Ethical permission for the research was obtained from the National Council for Science and Technology (NACOSTE), the University of Nairobi’s Research Ethics Committee as well as the Embu County government. All participants consented to participate in the study, either directly or indirectly through written proxy consent from parents or grandparents for those participants with intellectual disability. Based on the social model theoretical framework, a conceptual map was designed to demonstrate the relations between the independent, dependent and moderating variables of the study. The social model provided the study with a broader framework by which the caregiver practices were examined as opposed to the medical model which would have limited the study.  The study adopted a descriptive research design. Data was cleaned, tabulated and analysed with the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 21.0). The study begun through a pilot study involving 10 PWSD-CT beneficiary households (10% of 99) from neighbouring Runyenjes Constituency before embarking on the actual study so as to test the validity and reliability of the data collection instruments as well as to create an insight concerning the interests of the study. Aligned to its objectives, the study found that the household head significantly influenced the decision on the utilization of the cash transfer allocation at 51%. In the study’s second objective it was found that women bear the greatest burden of caring for PWSD where 89.6% of the caregivers were women. While in the third objective of the study, it was found that 9.4 percent of PWSD were 70 years and above while 17.7% of PWSD have chronic illnesses which increased their healthcare costs. In the forth objective of the study, evidence from the study shows that there seems to be very little monitoring of the utilization of cash transfer allocation by beneficiary households by government agencies. Also the government’s existing operations manual only gave general suggestions on how the allocation should be utilized i.e. to meet the household’s basic needs.  Although it is well documented that caregivers are often faced with significant social, physical, psychological and economic burdens, there has been fewer studies dedicated at examining the impact of government initiated programmes aimed at the PWSD and the caregiver in Kenya. This study is useful to the GoK, Embu County Government as well as the caregiver and scholars concerned with improving the wellbeing of PWSDs. For instance, the study found that although 59.4% of the beneficiaries that received the PWSD Cash Transfer, cited small scale farming as their other source of livelihood nearly 80.2% of the households had children less than 18 years who are dependents. This exacerbated poverty at the household level that many a time led to other forms of social violence in the household.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)