Date of Award

5-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Colin Flint

Abstract

The Global Journal reported an estimated 10 million NGOs worldwide and in Kenya alone, the number rose to 11,262 by June 2019 (Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board, 2019). Though committed to alleviating the same issues, the existence of so many organizations breeds vast differences in approaches. Are the issues simply too complex for a handful of organizations to fix or are the organizations themselves becoming an integral part of the problem? Most organizations fall short in evaluating their effectiveness, partly because there is no standard model by which to measure success. While it would be nearly impossible to design a perfect model for every organization in every region of the world, there are three themes that must be present in effectiveness models. These themes include: the inclusion of participatory data, the eventual removal of the donor/donee relationship, and a measurable component that allows for comparisons over time. This paper grapples with these ideas and raises other concerns, mainly through the analysis of two organizations, Compassion International, and Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). My studies found that while there are many approaches to alleviating poverty and educating youth in Kenya, projects focusing on women and girls’ education can be used as a positive indicator of growth when evaluated properly.

The study begins with a discussion on Kenya as an area of developmental interest. It then transitions to a discussion on women’s education as an indicator of growth, discussing the various ways in which current evaluation methods of development fall short. Using the proposed themes as a model of gauging an organization’s effectiveness, the study then compares two prominent non-governmental organizations focused on education in Kenya. Finally, the study ends with a discussion on broadening the scope and definition of education in Kenya in order to enact widespread societal change.

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