Information management framework for self-help groups
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development (MGCSD), in Kenya is charged with the responsibility of mobilizing communities to form groups and then register them to undertake socio-economic activities for self reliance to participate in development. An information management framework would provide adequate and reliable information required in planning and future-projection of resource allocation to groups towards the implementation of their programmes. The main aim of this research was to explore the way MGCSD was collecting and managing information on registered Self Help Groups, with the intent to develop an information management framework for SHGs. This framework would provide a good basis for managing the bulk of information collected on SHGs from all over the country and package it in an appropriate manner for purposes of planning and information sharing. Literature on information management frameworks and self help movement was reviewed to provide theoretical framework for this research. The research methodology focused on the case of the MGCSD to establish the gaps and challenges faced when collecting data and managing data on SHGs. This was accomplished through analyzing programme reports, conducting key informant interviews with officers from the DGSD and administering questionnaires to officers in charge of social development in the MGCSD. The research findings established that the MGCSD is faced with a lot of challenges when capturing and managing data on SHGs. This was attributed to the fact that data was captured manually and officers lacked basic skills on how to manage and update information for easier retrieval and effective planning. In conclusion, the researcher recommends the need to enhance infrastructural development, develop human resource capacity and provide necessary equipment for proper implementation of the information management system.