Reading Development

Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo

Developing risk or resilience? Effects of slum upgrading on the social contract and social cohesion

In Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, major development efforts are underway – namely, the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme (Kibera Pilot), the Nairobi Railway Relocation Action Plan, and the National Youth Service-led Kibera Slum Upgrade Initiative. This paper assesses how such interventions affect the social contract and social cohesion, and hence the resilience of Kibera residents. We examine the extent to which different types of slum upgrading efforts address risks in Kibera, particularly around conflict and flooding. Our findings show that these interventions can reduce conflict, crime, insecurity and flood risks, and subsequently strengthen resilience in highly dense and complex urban environments, if they do three things: first, include processes that build the social contract (such as meaningful consultation of residents and social accountability mechanisms); second, build bridging social capital between ethnic groups and avoid reducing bonding capital within groups; and third, integrate different sectoral interventions.

[Read/download paper at E&U site]

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This entry was posted on Thursday, 27 April 2017 by in Urban issues and tagged , , , , .
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