Factors undermining the effectiveness of social protection programmes as a poverty eradication mechanism in Kenya
Okoth, Frankline Manyala
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Social protection has become a fundamental focus of governments and policymakers to eradicate poverty. They are key in protecting vulnerable and marginalized population from sinking into absolute poverty and thus evolved from emergency and disaster interventions to long-term policies for social and economic inclusion, human development, and poverty eradication. To this end, the Kenyan government has made significant investments in this agenda, but poverty remains prevalent in the economy. Hence the objective of the study was to investigate the factors undermining the effectiveness of social protection programs as a poverty eradication mechanism in Kenya. The study used a mixed-method research design to conduct the study. Feedback was sought from key informant interviewees who were experts in their field. The findings indicated that there was still insufficient coverage of the social protection programs due to the skewed dispersion of the programs. This can be attributed to insufficient targeting mechanisms and designs. ASAL region is among the worst affected due to the logistical challenges of reaching them to create awareness. The findings also indicated that despite the programs role to create a safety net, the amount offered is insufficient and unreliable. Amongst the recommendations shared is scaling up of social protection programs using robust targeting mechanisms as well as sustainable investments of the social protection funds to increase its reliability and effectiveness in helping to combat poverty.