|It Did Not Happen Overnight: The History of Group-Based Credit Programmes in Kenya (K-REP, 1996, 54 p.)|
|CHAPTER 4. OUTREACH AND PROMOTION|
Action Aid/Kenya now makes direct contact with potential clients using its programme staff and existing clients. Similarly, in addition to strategies already mentioned, Juhudi-Eldoret uses influential clients to do outreach and promotion.
NCCK-Kakamega still uses the church to reach the clients, the information is communicated to potential clients directly by programme staff rather than pastors. In addition, they have recognized the need for barazas and direct contact with local administration. However, the role of local administration is kept to a minimum.
Lastly, while previous outreach was by word of mouth only, now the programme also gives written materials as well. In their use of barazas, NCCK-Kakamega has now realized the dangers of attracting bad clients who may have accessed credit elsewhere and defaulted.
From the experience of Juhudi-Eldoret and Juhudi-Kibera, new Juhudi branches (Juhudi-Nyeri and Juhudi-Kawangware) are emphasizing more on focused barazas that target business-people only. In addition, there is use of written materials in local languages prepared by clients themselves.
The current outreach and promotion of Juhudi-Nyeri is illustrative of the innovations. Programme staff consider outreach and promotion as a process of getting to understand the features and characteristics of a given area and also to familiarize potential clients with the scheme.
They proceed by first identifying a person or persons who are likely to listen to programme staff about the scheme. The person or persons should be opinion leaders in the community or market place so that she, he or they can assist in organizing meetings and introducing programme staff to the local administration.
How does Juhudi-Nyeri identify the entry point? By doing one to one outreach and promotion with a view of identifying such a person or persons. Very often, the first few people a credit officer talks to help in the identification. This approach revealed to us that, in Nyeri, every market centre had a leader who is powerful in his or her own way. These leaders proved to be an asset in convening outreach meetings. All attempts by the Nyeri office to use administrative barazas for the outreach and promotion could not work. Either wrong people turned up or the scheduled meetings never materialized.
The second step in outreach and promotion is informing potential clients and the administration about the programme. Programme staff often work with opinion leaders to organize barazas where they introduce the programme. Once licenced, the local administrator may decide whether or not to attend the meeting.
At the meeting, the opinion leader introduces the K-REP officers who then address the meeting. It is advisable that outreach meetings be attended by at least two credit officers for support and clarity. After the meeting, one to one outreach commences.