Influence of village-level participation on social service delivery in Siaya County, Kenya
Rapudo, Bonface Hawi
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Kenyan citizens took a monumental step towards realizing public participation in governance by ratifying the constitution in 2010, which established national and decentralized governments. The village became the lowest unit of devolved governance in Kenya, improving decision-making, power, and community-driven socio-economic development. The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of village-level participation on the delivery of social services. Specifically, the study sought to assess the effect of village-level information, communication, and education on social service delivery, determine the effectiveness of the county participation policy framework and accountability on the social service delivery and examine the impediments of village-level participation on social service delivery in the villages of Siaya County. The study adopted the theory of the wisdom of crowds and public value theory. The research used a descriptive research design. The sample size was 380 households, selected from the target population of 28,798 households. The study used quota sampling to select respondents for the focus group discussions. The key informant interviews were chosen through stratified random sampling based on their understanding of the local population. The household heads were selected through simple proportionate sampling at the ward level and simple random sampling at sublocations. Primary and secondary data were collected using structured questionnaires, interview guides, and document reviews the study utilized qualitative and quantitative techniques of data analysis. Descriptive statistics were analyzed using standard deviation, mean scores, percentages, and frequencies. In addition, correlation, regression, and ANOVA analysis were used to determine the extent to which facet variables (access to village information and communication, impediments to villagelevel participation, County Participation Policy Framework, and Accountability) predict service delivery. The analysis was aided by IBM SPSS Statistics Version 27. Content analysis was used for qualitative data and interpreted in a narrative or prose format. The study found that there was very little public participation in Siaya County, which contributes substantially to uncertain ownership and sustainability of social service delivery (Mean = 2.86, Standard deviation = 0.87) Similarly, public participation of citizens in social service delivery faced impediments to improving the lives of the poor and disadvantaged at the grassroots level in search of poverty alleviation and social service delivery. Additionally, the study revealed that county budget allocations were moderate (Mean = 3.32, Std Dev = 1.02). Overall, there was a positive and significant correlation between service delivery in the county and access to village information and communication (r = 0.930, Sig = 0.000), and also impediments to village-level participation (r = -0.923, Sig =0.000). According to the study, village-level information, communication, and education had a positive impact on the provision of social services within the county ((F (3,376) = 99.249, p-value = 0.000) but there was little public participation, which resulted in low levels of success, contested ownership, and sustainability of social service delivery. The study recommends that the County government of Siaya could hold public village-level civic education forums, invest in educating citizens on information and communication technologies use, and engage villages in accountability for social service delivery.
Africa Nazarene University