Understanding Tenure Security, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Nexus in Slum Upgrading

Peris Korir Mangíra, Musyimmi Mbathi, Samuel Obiero


The economic, social and environmental challenges associated with the proliferation of informal settlements in the urban space, especially in the global south, are extensively documented and acknowledged. Slum or informal settlement upgrading has been seen as the current best redress mechanism. However, its potential to do so especially in meeting  the target of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030 is constrained by sectoral approaches and limited appreciation of linkages in upgrading interventions in addition to an overemphasis on physical more than people centred interventions.  Understanding linkages and interrelationships in upgrading interventions are critical for integration, coordination, synergy and sustainability and so are wellbeing aspects in achieving balanced development. However, there is limited knowledge on these and this study sought to contribute to this knowledge gap by investigating linkages in upgrading interventions with a specific focus on tenure security, infrastructure and livelihoods improvements. Based on case study fieldwork undertaken in Eldoret, the fifth largest town in Kenya and qualitative and quantitative data analysis, the paper argues that there is a nexus in tenure security, infrastructure and livelihoods improvement in upgrading. This calls for rethinking the current dominant single approach to upgrading in favor of multisector, integrated and linked up approaches that capitalise on synergies while minimizing trade-offs and interweaving human and physical elements in upgrading for greater impact and sustainability. Understanding how the tenure, infrastructure and livelihoods upgrading interventions are interlinked and the dynamics therein are crucial to the policy and practice of upgrading.

Keywords-Tenure security,Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Linkages, Upgrading

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-8-12

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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