ASSESSING THE EFFECT OF COMMUNITY SERVICE ORDERS PROGRAMME ON SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KIBERA SUB-COUNTY, NAIROBI COUNTY, KENYA
Community service was introduced in Kenya as an alternative to custodial sentence. However, there is limited empirical evidence regarding its impact on socio-economic development. The study therefore sought to establish the effects of Community Service Orders (CSO) programme on socio-economic development in Kibera Sub-County anchoring on Restorative Justice and Social Control theories. A descriptive survey design was used and the target population of the study was 12 probation officers, 8 assistant chiefs, 16 village elders, 42 Nyumba Kumi representatives and 14 religious organizational leaders totaling to 92 respondents. A sample size of 63 respondents was obtained through Yamane formula and then sampled randomly through stratified random procedures. Both qualitative and quantitative data collected through semi-structured questionnaires and Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) were used. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data while Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) Version 24 was used to analyze the quantitative data to obtain the descriptive statistics and Spearman Rank Order Correlation. The results of the study indicated that community members understand and accept the community service programme. As a result, most of them participated in the CSO programme albeit moderately. This in turn had a positive and significant relationship with capacity building of the offenders, probation officers as well as supervisors, savings for the Nairobi County Government and employment creation for community members. It was also revealed that various projects conducted under CSO such as maintenance of markets and public spaces, projects in health facilities, construction and repair in schools, maintenance of roads as well as construction of public toilets had a positive and significant relationship with capacity building of the offenders, probation officers as well as supervisors, savings for the Nairobi County Government and employment creation for community members. The study has recommended for an improvement in the expansion of the activities conducted through CSO through priority allocation as well as enhanced community involvement in CSO in order to realize its significant benefits in socio-economic development in the society.
Key Words : Community Service Orders (CSO) programme, Socio-Economic Development, Community Participation, Kenya