Masters Candidates

John Otieno Okul

Research Topic
Electoral Reforms and Democratic Consolidation in Kenya, 1997 - 2017.
okul
Biography

John Okul holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts (first
class honours) in the same field from the University of Nairobi (Kenya). He is
currently involved as a project assistant in a governance project. He is also involved
in the ISS-led ENACT research on Trans-National Organized crimes, focusing on the
themes of cattle rustling in Eastern and Horn of Africa region, as well as illicit trade at
the Port of Mombasa. In 2016 - 2017, he was involved in the Agrimonde-Terra
project on global food security for 9 billion people in 2050 with Cirad (Cirad-inra
partnership) as a research associate. He has also published a book chapter from the
project. His research interests are in politics, governance and security.

Abstract

Abstract

The study examines how electoral reforms have impacted democratic consolidation
in Kenya, from 1997 to 2017. It is guided by the following specific objectives: To
examine how electoral laws carried out in Kenya from 1997 to 2017 have enhanced
democratic consolidation in Kenya; to determine how the institutionalization of
political parties enhanced democratic consolidation in Kenya from 1997 to 2017;
and, to examine how the integration of electoral technology within Kenya’s electoral
architecture enhanced democratic consolidation from 1997 to 2017. The motivation
to focus on the above topic is informed by the fact that elections are important
ingredient in facilitating democratic transition and deepening democracy in any
society. The reforms on the other hand is intended to address the challenges that
might arise out of the elections. Thus, the complementarity in the role of the two in
any democracy cannot be over-emphasized. Minimalist and maximalist approaches
formed the conceptual framework for the study. In democratic theory, countries move
from being minimal to become maximal democracies. Further, the study was carried
out through a case study approach using semi-structured interviews with key
stakeholders/actors involved, or impacted directly or indirectly in the electoral
processes. The findings of the study show that the adoption of electoral reforms has
to a large extent facilitated the process of democratic consolidation in Kenya. These
reforms have in their wake deepened trust and confidence while motivating
participation by Kenyan voters. They have also ensured relative political stability and
elicited more pressing demands for further reforms in the electoral process. Against
this backdrop, the study concludes that electoral reforms are an indispensable
requirement for Kenya’s aspiration to transition into a stable and progressive
democracy. Drawing from Kenya’s past experiences in electoral reform, the study
suggests three recommendations: Policy makers should take cognizant of political-
will as it sets the right environment for reform; and ensure that fundamental
principles such as independence, transparency, inclusiveness are upheld; and then,
there is need for more research on how electoral systems impacts on the democratic
consolidation process in Kenya.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Prof Fred Jonyo 

Dr. Solomon Owuoche.

Important Links

RAJI THOMAS MUIGUA

Research Topic
MEN’S PERCEPTIONS OF GENDER MAINSTREAMING IN MURANG’A COUNTY
maigua
Biography

Raji Thomas Muigua graduated with a BA (Anthropology) degree in 2009 from University of Nairobi and an MA in Philosophy and Ethics from Strathmore University in 2014. He studies MA (Gender and Development Studies) at the Institute of Anthropology Gender and development Studies of University of Nairobi in 2020. He has taught as an assistant Lecturer at Strathmore University units such as Introduction to Critical Thinking and Philosophical Anthropology. He is interested in African Studies. 

Abstract

Abstract

This is a descriptive and cross sectional study interested in understanding how men perceive gender mainstreaming in Murang’a County. The study interrogates men’s perceptions of women empowerment programs from a disempowered man point of view. Men who cannot meet their societal expectations and are disempowered by the same patriarchal structures that have traditionally suppressed women. The same men are said to be suffering from masculinity crisis. Manhood status in patriarchal society is hierarchical and precarious- meaning that, it is hard to gain yet easily lost. Latent male backlash in gender relations and masculinity crisis widely reported in the media from Murang’a County is assumed to be potentially avertible by a more inclusive gender mainstreaming strategy. The study was conducted in Murang’a County with a purposive sample from Kandara Sub-County. Sarah Longwe’s women empowerment theory and George Herbert’s socialization theory were employed. The study had one primary and two supplementary data collection methods. The primary data collection method was in-depth interviews which provided both qualitative and quantitative data. The supplementary data collection techniques were case narratives and key informants.

                                      

The major findings of the study was that cultural changes among the Kikuyu community have continued to assign men the traditional patriarchal gender roles of a man as provider in the family. Men who are unable to meet old and new societal patriarchal roles which are largely materialistic have had to endure travails alone unlike their counterpart disempowered women who have fall back positions in governmental or non-governmental organization focusing on their empowerment.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Professor Wilfred Subbo.

Important Links

MUIRURI, Martha Wairimu

Research Topic
CONNECTION BETWEEN FAMILY BACKGROUND AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AMONG GOVERNMENT SPONSORED HIGH SCHOOLS: DAGORETTI SOUTH IN NAIROBI COUNTY
martha
Biography

Martha Muiruri is a Development Consultant with extensive experience in Resource Mobilization/Fundraising, Program Management, Institutional Strengthening and Capacity building in the development sector. She has worked with diverse Civil Society Organizations at managerial level steering local partnerships, donor relations, coaching and mentoring local organizations from grass root, national level and international organizations.

She has passionately served the development sector for over 5 years gaining much insight and interest in the industry while transforming lives of the most marginalized communities.  Her Social Work and Social Development expertise, coupled with a strong background in Community Psychology has provided the Non-Governmental Organizations she has worked with the much-needed guidance in identifying, owning and solving their own social issues through the process of community engagement.

Further, she has inspired many young people in both structured and non-structured settings to pursue their best potential, gain focus and attain their goals through inspirational coaching and promoting psychosocial health approaches that encompass the mental, emotional, social, and behavioral dimensions supporting the youth regain their true identity and authentic self.

Martha is a University of Nairobi Alumni with a Master of Psychology Degree in Community Psychology, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Psychology, a Diploma in Social Work and Social Development as well as a Certificate in Professional Counseling from Kenya Association of Professional Counseling (KAPC).

She is currently working with the Aga Khan Foundation East Africa as an Institutional Strengthening Coach and Mentor for a joint partnership program with USAID and the Counties to consolidate county development initiatives and efforts.

Abstract

Abstract

The type of a family a student comes from has a great influence on their psychological, emotional, social and mental state. There is alarming evidence that many students perform poorly at the high school level and those in Dagoretti South are on the decline. The purpose of this study was to establish whether there is any connection between family background and academic achievement among Dagoretti South Sub-County public secondary school students in Nairobi County. The research was designed as a case study that set out to sample the whole target population of 815 students. The sample size of 192 students was drawn from 3 public secondary schools through purposive sampling. The research instruments utilized were the students’ questionnaire, principals’ and parents’ interview guides and the data extraction form from scores in the end term examinations for 3 terms. The quantitative data from the questionnaires was analyzed using SPSS version 21 software while the qualitative data was managed through thematic techniques. The study findings indicated that there was significant association between parent’s marital status and student academic achievement. It also found that there was a significant association between parental attitude to education and students’ academic achievement. Lastly, the findings showed that the size of the family has negative and significant connection with student’s academic achievement. The study concluded that the level of education of parents had an impact on their children’s academic achievement. The study also concluded that parental involvement in the student’s study has a positive impact on their academic achievement. Additionally, the study concluded that a large family deters the ability of students to excel.  It recommended that families should be structured on a functionality level to avoid single parenthood if academic achievement has to be attained. It also recommended that guardians should endeavor to be academically sound if they have to influence their children’s academic achievement.

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Prof. Priscilla Wanjiru Kariuki

TULLU ROBA ZEITUNA

Research Topic
Factors affecting changes in gender roles and the socio- economic effects among Borana women in Kenya: A case of Wabera ward, Tullu Roba location in Isiolo town, Isiolo county.
tulla
Biography

Tullu Roba Zeituna is a MA student at the department of Sociology and Social Work. In her postgraduate studies, she specialized in Sociology and her research interest was on gender roles and social change among the settled pastoral communities in Northern Kenya. Her current dissertation looked at the changing gender roles among the Borana women in Isiolo and how these changes have contributed to social and economic transformations among the pastoralist communities. She received a prestigious Sasakawa scholarship for her MA studies and supported the department of Sociology between 2010-2012 working as a tutorial fellow. Tullu also has a rich background in climate change adaptation, policy and advocacy, water resources management, disaster risk reduction and resilience building; having worked with community organizations and County Governments in Kenya’s dry lands for the last 10 years.

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this study was to ascertain the factors impacting changes in gender roles and the socio-economic effects among Borana women of Isiolo County. The research was based on specific objectives which were; to ascertain the traditionally held roles by the Borana women of Isiolo Town; to examine their new roles; to establish the factors influencing gender roles of
Borana women to change in Isiolo County and to examine the impacts of these gender role
changes on social and economic functions in the household set up. This study relied on a
descriptive survey design in data collection from a total of 160 households. The researcher used
both simple and systematic random sampling techniques to collect data. Structured and semi-
structured questions were administered during the data collection. Once the data was collected, it
was analyzed quantitatively through the use of the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS)
Version 20. From the findings, it was established that culturally held attitudes, norms, values and
marriage practice, patriarchal ideology and poverty were among the factors that influenced the
changing gender roles among the Borana women. The study also revealed that men are gradually
accepting female leadership together with their involvement in decision making in the
community. Women roles have changed immensely in the last two decades and this has brought
on board more opportunities for women. Therefore, women empowerment needs to be anchored
in formal education targeting young Borana girls in order to bring positive change in the
evolving pastoral lifestyles. The study recommended that there is need to strategically involve
men in Borana women empowerment and that the County Government should develop programs
targeting women and open opportunities for them to engage in development processes. The study
suggests further research needs to be conducted on factors limiting gender roles among pastoralists community in Kenya, with a broader focus on how these roles are impacted by
religion, geographic location, climate change and devolution.

 

GUTU BRENDA WANJIRU

Research Topic
The Effects of Perceived Stigma on Psychological Wellness and Interpersonal Relationships of adolescents with HIV/AIDS in Ruiru, Kiambu County, Kenya.
gutu
Biography

I am Brenda Wanjiru Gutu, I joined the University of Nairobi in September 2015 as a University of
Nairobi Scholarship beneficiary. I specialized into Community Psychology because I felt a need to
understand how programmes are designed, implemented and evaluated; the role of psychology in the
larger scheme of things. By virtue of team work in class with our lecturer, in March 2017, we presented a
paper in the 8th African Evaluation Conference held in Kampala, Uganda. Together with our lecturer and
my classmates, in December 2017, we presented a paper in the International Development Evaluation
Association Conference in Guanajuato, Mexico. I appreciate the University of Nairobi for having
believed in me, I am proud to impact my country and the world in all that I have been groomed to be.

Abstract

Abstract

There are an approximated 2.1 million HIV-positive adolescents in the world and 15% of the HIV-infected
females are young women 15 to 24 years old; of these, 80% live in sub-Saharan Africa, hence, HIV
predominance among juvenile females of ages 15 to 19 years is very elevated. The UNAIDS Gap Report
concluded that there is a gap in provision of psychological services addressing stigma among other
reproductive health needs among adolescent girls as they prepare for adulthood. The study used a cross-
sectional research design. Three questionnaires were adopted to assess the three variables. Study participants
were recruited from adolescents in long-term follow-up in the five HIV Comprehensive Care Centres in Ruiru
Sub-County, Kiambu County, Kenya. The sample included 75 adolescents in the age of 12-19 years.
Regression analysis was used to check the effect of perceived stigma on psychological wellness and
interpersonal relationships. The results revealed that perceived stigma was a significant predictor of
psychological wellness, t = -3.293, p = 0.020. The results further showed that perceived stigma was indeed a
significant predictor of interpersonal relationships, t = -3.505, p = 0.001. Correlation analysis revealed that
psychological wellness and quality of interpersonal relationships are positively related, r = 0.340. Regression
analysis results also showed that disclosure, family awareness, friends’ awareness, friends’ emotional support,
type of hospital support were significant predictors of psychological wellness and interpersonal relationships.
According to the results however, gender was not a significant predictor of psychological wellness and
interpersonal relationships.

Patrick Miano Mburia

Research Topic
Effects of training of police recruits and the demands of their duty
Patrick miano mburia
Biography

My name is Patrick Miano Mburia. I first enrolled for my undergraduate degree program in the year 2009 and graduated in the year 2013, I then later enrolled for masters degree program in forensic psychology in 2016.

Abstract

Abstract

The study explored the training of police recruits to find out whether the training offered in various training colleges meets the demands of their duty. The purpose was to find out how the training is done and how the trained recruits handle sensitive legal issues that they are confronted with in the line of duty. The study also wanted to find out the psychological state of recruits during and after encountering various legal issues like murder, accidents, criminal shoot outs, drug barons and also how they handle people with serious personality disorders. The study wanted to find out the competency of police recruits during and after training in how competent they are in handling sensitive legal matters that they are faced with. A survey was carried out within Nairobi county especially Embakasi where we have two of the major training colleges for recruits including the administration police college and the General service unit training school. It targeted about 200 respondents across various police ranks among those serving and instructors in the college. Questionnaires were administered and the data analyzed to establish the significance of the study using SPSS. The study found that respondents had been trainers for sizeable duration of time and thus had the necessary skills to impart to the trainee and make them appropriate for the police service. The study found that the recruits with a higher level of education that is higher diploma and degree portray a higher level of confidence in adopting some of the skills learnt. As new technologies are introduced to the law enforcement field, such as body cameras and biometrics, departments must ensure their officers are well trained and well versed on how to use these new tools effectively. The study found that the disparities in education level have not had any negative impact on some recruits whereby some feel inferior while others feel superior than others. The study concluded that the level of education plays a significant role in police training.

 

 

 

Research Supervisors

Research Supervisors

Dr Lucas Mwaura