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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

One slum, three upgrades

In 2004, the Kenyan government in collaboration with UN-HABITAT launched the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP), which aims to improve the living conditions of about 60 per cent of the country’s urban population by 2020. Kibera, the largest informal settlement in the country, is a pilot project under this programme. Other major development projects in Kibera include the Nairobi Railway Relocation Action Plan, and the National Youth Service-led Kibera Slum Upgrade Initiative. These programmes are geared towards providing better security and infrastructure, opportunities for improved housing as well as income generation.

On 13 February 2018, the Rift Valley Forum will host a panel to discuss the findings of a research project by International Alert and Kounkuey Design Initiative on the impacts of the slum-upgrading projects on addressing risks and building resilience in Kibera. The research, which is based on extensive focus group discussions and key informant interviews, analyses the different risks related to conflict, crime, insecurity and flooding in Kibera.

For more information on the research, please read the abstract to the journal article, and a blog highlighting lessons on urban resilience.

The study was conducted under the Urban Africa Risk and Knowledge (Urban ARK) programme funded by UK ESRC and DFID. Urban ARK is global research, policy and capacity building programme that aims to reduce disaster risk in urban sub-Saharan Africa by breaking cycles of risk accumulation.



Professor Mark Pelling
Urban ARK



Jamilla Harper
Kounkuey Design Initiatives

Shreya Mitra
International Alert


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