The first 50 years of independence in Kenya have been a period of rapid changes and progress but 33% of the citizens of Murang’a County continue to be trapped in poverty. There is need to reduce these statistics and this research sought to find out the role of participatory communication in poverty reduction in Murang’a County. The objectives of this study were to identify the communication channels used to reach out to local communities in the milk coolers project, the participation level of local communities at the implementation stage of these development projects and to establish the effects of participation on the success of poverty reduction efforts. The study was guided by the participatory communication paradigm and Social Cognitive Theory. This research studied three constituencies where the project has been implemented: Kiharu, Kangema and Gatanga. Cluster sampling method and simple random sampling techniques were used and a sample of 400 respondents was obtained. Data was collected using quantitative and qualitative methods using questionnaires and interviews. It emerged that a majority of the beneficiaries had relied on the radio, consultative meetings and interpersonal methods. The study concluded that there was minimal participation by the intended beneficiaries during the implementation of the project, adopting an anti-dialogical banking model to development. A high majority of the beneficiaries did not consider the project to have been successful. The study therefore recommends that change agents should take participatory development and participatory communication to improve the living standards of its citizenry.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN