Social capital undergirds coping strategies: evidence from two informal settlements in Nairobi

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Title: Social capital undergirds coping strategies: evidence from two informal settlements in Nairobi
Authors: Mpanje, DesireGibbons, Patrick F.McDermott, RonanOchieng’ Omia, DalmasOlungah, Charles Owuor
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Date: 12-Feb-2022
Online since: 2022-07-12T11:06:22Z
Abstract: Understanding the nature and scope of existing social capital is essential to building the resilience of people living in vulnerable urban settings. This paper explores the question of how aid organisations can better utilise social capital to build the resilience of communities in slums. It specifically examines the relationship between social capital and urban vulnerability. The study used a mixed-methods approach to understand the diverse perspectives of social capital and uncover relationships that exist between social capital, absorptive and adaptive coping strategies in Kibera and Kawangware slums in Nairobi, Kenya. The findings show that coping is not a community or a societal issue; people living in slums resort to either absorptive or adaptive coping strategies or a combination of both due to the precariousness of livelihoods in such contexts. Measures of bonding, bridging, and linking social capital in slums are significantly associated with adaptive coping strategies. Families that had more dependents, were taking care of ill members or that had no regular source of income were more likely to resort to withdrawing children from school, begging, selling assets, amongst others. Livelihood studies overlook critical aspects of social capital such as bridges and linkages, which are essential for building the transformative capacities of slum dwellers. Therefore, aid actors should focus on social capital if they are to build the capacities of people living in slums. More attention should be given to the role of local organisations and initiatives in establishing bridges and linkages so as not to undermine communities’ existing capacities and resource base.
Funding Details: European Commission Horizon 2020
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer
Journal: Journal of International Humanitarian Action
Volume: 7
Start page: 1
End page: 16
Copyright (published version): 2022 The Authors
Keywords: BondingBridgingLinkingSocial capitalSlumsUrban vulnerabilityAdaptive coping strategiesAbsorptive coping strategiesKiberaKawangware
DOI: 10.1186/s41018-022-00115-0
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 2364-3412
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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