Challenges of the OPCTP and poverty in kenya

high rates of poverty in Kenya

Kenya continues to record high rates of poverty despite a decade and more of relatively strong economic growth. In spite of the high growth rates (6 percent of year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018), poverty incidence remains high at 45.2 percent (2009 estimates) despite coming down from 46 percent in 2005/2006 (Ngugi, 2013). A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2018) states that overall poverty rates in Kenya increase with advancement in the age of individuals. The Kenya integrated household budget survey, 2005/06 identified a relatively high vulnerability to poverty on the elderly population (53.2 percent) compared to other groups (the Republic of Kenya, 2007).

Challenges of the OPCTP

The OPCTP despite its continued success in advancing stipends to the older persons, suffers from a number of challenges. One, the coverage is limited. According to a progress report on March 2016 by the Kenya National Social Safety Net Programme, the OPCTP had coverage of 162,695 beneficiaries in 2015 across the 47 counties from 33,000 in 2013. Currently, the program covers 525,000 beneficiaries. The number is still low given that poverty incidence remains high among the old, low economic growth rates recorded by the country and the expected population increase of the older persons.
In addition to low coverage, beneficiaries miss out on receiving the bi-monthly stipend for logistical reasons. According to the Ministry of Labor, 54,000 beneficiaries missed out of the last payment (March 2019) for lack of bank accounts and another 57,000 missed out for having disputed accounts. Furthermore, OPCTP suffers from delivery issues whereby it does not award the bi-monthly stipend on a regular basis, but rather, there are delays. For instance, beneficiaries receive the last payment in March 2019, after a 6-month delay.
The monthly stipend of Ksh. 2000 (Barya, 2011) per month is also barely enough to cover household expenditures on food, shelter, and clothing, among other needs. According to the Department of Labor under the Ministry of East African Community (EAC) Labor and Social Protection, the amount of Ksh. 2000 is determined in consideration of the “overall economic conditions of the country” (Barya, 20111). The changing economic times characterized by escalating prices for basic needs put into question whether the OPCTP improves household welfare for the beneficiaries.
In spite of the several studies on the effect of the OPCTP on household welfare (Omolo et al., 2011; Kimosop, 2013; Mwanzia, 2015; Mbabu, 2017; Njuguna, 2015; Hassan and Sakwa, 2018), the effect of cash transfers remains a widely debated policy issue. The existing studies have not focused on how the challenges faced by the beneficiaries impact on the program’s ability to influence welfare status. The study, therefore, sought to determine the effect of the older persons cash transfer program on household welfare in Eldama Ravine Sub-county, Baringo County, Kenya.

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1.3 Research Questions

i. What is the effect of Older Persons Cash Transfers on household welfare in Eldama Ravine Sub-county?
ii. What is the effect of Older Persons Cash Transfers on human capital formation?
iii. What is the welfare differences between male and female beneficiaries of the Older Persons Cash Transfers?
1.4 Research Objectives
The general objective of the study is to determine the effect of the Older Persons Cash Program on household welfare in Eldama Ravine Sub-county, Baringo County, Kenya.
1.4.1 Specific objectives i. To investigate the effect of the Older Persons Cash Transfers on household welfare in Eldama Ravine Sub-county?
ii. To ascertain the effect of Older Persons Cash Transfers on human capital formation
iii. To establish the welfare differences between male and female beneficiaries of the Older Persons Cash Transfers.

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