Understanding Effects of Institutional Partnerships on Rural Groups in Improving Livelihoods in Kenya


Amudavi, David M.; Kroma, Margaret M.; Davis, Kristin

Journal or Book Title: International Teamwork in Agricultural and Extension Education’

Volume/Issue: 22nd Annual Conference Proceedings

Year Published: 2006


The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which social capital accessed through group participation contribute to better household economic welfare and adoption of improved natural resource management practices. A focus on groups and partnerships, with relevance to social and economic development in Kenya, raised two central questions addressed in this study. First, how can outside institutions effectively partner with rural groups to allow broader access to by rural households? Second, do effective partnership modalities depend on the nature of rural groups?Data were collected in three Districts in Kenya: Vihiga, Baringo and Embu through a triangulation strategy using focus group discussions, a semi structured interview and a survey. Results indicate that group participation matters materially to outcomes (income, assets and adoption of improved NRM technology), but not all types matter equally. Supra groups are more beneficial as these groups presently function in providing and expanding the opportunities that people have to improve the quality of their lives. But it is mainly the wealthy that participate in supra groups and enjoy the benefits of participation. Not all groups equally have successful economic outcomes, especially where economic resources are required. Local groups currently generate mainly social benefits. The range of services offered by a group adds value, so task specialization does not seem advisable. Groups do better generating these benefits when they are stable, work in synergy with others and face some competition.Partnerships matter to performance of rural groups in offering a range of services. Not all group types are equally likely to spawn partnerships, however.

Type of Publication: Meeting/Symposia/Seminar/Workshop Proceedings

Location: Clearwater, FL