Hand in Hand Eastern Africa makes ‘undisputed contribution’

21 Mar 2014

Hannah Haciku | Tailor | Nairobi, Kenya. Hannah standing at the entrance to her workshop, looking at the camera.

Hannah Haciku | Tailor | Nairobi, Kenya

Hand in Hand Eastern Africa is making “an undisputed contribution in accessing appropriate financial services to poor rural people”, according to an independent review conducted by Kenya-based Cascade Consulting and funded by the Government of Sweden.

Hannah Haciku, a tailor from Nairobi, Kenya, with two children

Hannah Haciku | Tailor | Nairobi, Kenya

Published after Cascade spent two weeks collecting data late last year, the report – titled ‘End-Term Evaluation: Enterprise Development for Rural Families Programme in Kenya’ – evaluates Hand in Hand field work funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The review joins a growing body of independent research into Hand in Hand’s operations, the result of our commitment to enhancing monitoring and evaluation network-wide. “The programme team is dedicated and deserves credit for their substantial achievements,” it concludes.

Other key findings include:

  • The programme is achieving its objectives: 91 percent of Self-Help Group members are actively saving, and 92 percent of entrepreneurs report improved incomes.
  • Women are benefiting in particular. “One of the main outcomes of the programme is the economic empowerment of women. Those interviewed [said] they have been liberated from depending on handouts from their husbands [and are] equal contributors to household income.”
  • The programme is highly efficient. “The impact achieved with overall funding of approximately US $2 million certainly compares favourably with multi-million dollar injections of capital that some funders have provided to microfinance institutions.”
  • Our job creation model is sustainable. “Sustainability is assured where groups have attained the culture of savings and have gone through the cycle of building trust and benefiting from their savings.”
  • The program is inexpensive: “The implementation… by Hand in Hand Eastern Africa has been efficient and constitutes good value for money.”

Hand in Hand Eastern Africa CEO Pauline Ngari welcomed the review. “The Sida report confirms our hard work over the last two-and-a-half years is yielding real results for thousands of Kenyans, but we can’t become complacent. My team and I look forward to implementing the review’s recommendations over the coming months and years,” she said. Recommendations include continuing to “improve monitoring and evaluation” and “working closely with the… systems being established by the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme” launched by the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture.