Highlight: Pioneering study reveals importance of land tenure in Nairobi settlement

April 14, 2016

The findings of a pioneering study linking services to justice and land tenure were presented in Nairobi on February 5, 2015. The study, carried out by multiple stakeholders, shows that land tenure is critical to improving basic services and access to justice in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya.

The study was conducted in Mukuru, one of Nairobi’s largest informal settlements, by an interdisciplinary team of city planners at the University of Nairobi, pro-poor financial strategists at Akiba Mashinani Trust, legal and finance professors at Strathmore University, and lawyers at the Katiba Institute, in close collaboration with Mukuru residents. IDRC supported the project between 2012 and 2014.

The report argues for more holistic interventions such as inclusive slum upgrading initiatives, pro-poor financial strategies, and supportive legal frameworks in Mukuru. The recommendations have wider relevance for Kenya’s urban development policies and will contribute to broader debates about improving well-being among the urban poor, helping to fulfill the promise of equitable development in Kenya’s Constitution and devolution reforms.

Dr Yash Pal Ghai, former chair of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, noted the report’s significance and said it helped to reinvigorate his hope for Kenya’s future as envisioned in the constitution.

Simon Carter, IDRC regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, highlighted the importance of research in ensuring better access to justice, and delivering on the promises included in Kenya’s constitution of proper housing, water, health, and dignity for all Kenyans.

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