Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Social capital undergirds coping strategies: evidence from two informal settlements in Nairobi
    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.
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  • Publication
    Does Tenure Security Reduce Disaster Risk? A Comparative Study of the Nairobi Settlements of Kibera and Kawangware
    While scholarship suggests that improving tenure security and housing significantly reduces disaster risk at the household level within urban settings, this assertion has not been adequately tested. Tenure security can be conceived as being composed of three interrelated and overlapping forms: tenure security as determined by legal systems; de facto tenure security; and tenure security as perceived by residents. This article traces the relationship between tenure security, the quality of housing, and disaster risk on the basis of a mixed methods comparative case study of the settlements of Kawangware and Kibera in Nairobi. Although the findings suggest that owner-occupancy is associated with the structural integrity of dwellings to a greater extent than tenantship, no association was found between the length of occupancy by households and the structural integrity of the dwelling. Moreover, tenantship is not found to be closely associated with fires and flooding affecting the dwelling as extant scholarship would suggest. Formal ownership is linked with greater investment and upgrading of property with significant implications for disaster risk. Our findings highlight the complex relationship between tenure security and disaster risk in urban informal settlements and provide impetus for further investigation.
      149Scopus© Citations 2