Organizational strengths and challenges of Kenyan NGOs serving orphans and vulnerable children: A template analysis

Kristin M. Ferguson, Gretchen Heidemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This qualitative study of Kenyan non-governmental organizations (NGOs) identified strengths and challenges associated with service provision to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). From September to December 2006, data were collected by Kenyan research assistants in 34 NGOs in Nairobi and Eldoret. In-depth interviews were used to explore the perceptions of directors and staff in relation to organizational strengths and challenges in serving OVC. Structuration theory and template analysis were used to identify higher-order codes related to strengths and challenges of human agents, organizations and societal forces. Emergent themes and supporting interview quotations are presented to highlight common patterns across organizations, including strengths such as staff commitment, client outcomes, and resourceful communities, as well as challenges such as lack of staff, funding, and parental involvement. Through the analysis we uncover insights about the recursive relationship between micro and macro realities in Kenyan NGOs and the accompanying human and social transformations that result from providing services to OVC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Kenya
  • Organizational strengths
  • Street children
  • Structuration theory
  • Template analysis
  • Vulnerable children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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