Mainstreaming Participatory Approaches in Slum Upgrading Programmes:

A Case Study of Soweto East Project in Kibera, Nairobi

  • George K. Nyamu, Mr. University of Nairobi
  • Luke M. Obala, Dr. University of Nairobi
Keywords: Participation, slums, Nairobi, urbanization, development


This paper set out to the highlight the relationship between effective stakeholder engagement and/or participatory approaches on sustainability of slum upgrading using Soweto East in Kibera. Data was obtained largely through a review of reports and literature. The results of the study indicated that there was low level of participation by the affected residents and other stakeholders. This led to mistrusts and misconceptions and consequently poor design and mixed results on the overall project success. It thus concluded that there is need for robust community engagement especially in slum upgrading; ensuring that slum upgrading projects integrate livelihood and beneficiary economic activities for inclusive and sustainable development. In addition, the paper proposed that engagement processes should be based on genuine collaboration to foster trust and desire for success between the various stakeholders.

Author Biographies

George K. Nyamu, Mr., University of Nairobi

Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of the Built Environment, University of Nairobi

Luke M. Obala, Dr., University of Nairobi

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Real Estate, Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Nairobi