Urban families under pressure in Kenya and the impact of HIV/AIDS


This report is concerned with one of two country studies conducted under the Urban families under pressure: HIV/AIDS, economic decline, safety nets and livelihood strategies in Kenya and Zambia research project. The aim of the research was to investigate the impact of short-term shocks and long duration stresses due to economic decline and ill-health, especially HIV/AIDS, on the livelihood strategies of poor urban households and their wider social networks, in order to inform policies intended to reduce poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Following an introductory section, the report provides an overview of the country context in relation to the economic situation, socio-demographic and household characteristics; health and disease prevalence; urban poverty; and the national and local institutional, policy and legal framework. A similar form of presentation is applied at the city level in Section 3 to provide the Nairobi context and at the settlement level in Section 4, although on a much more detailed basis in respect of the latter, since a full analysis of the findings on the Mukuru kwa Njenga households is contained therein. Section 5 concludes by drawing together the threads from the preceding analysis, with a particular focus on the deployment of capital assets in relation to the livelihood strategies adopted by poor urban households. It then briefly looks at the policy implications of the latter and provides some pointers for policy makers on areas which need to be addressed if poor urban households’ asset base is to be strengthened and their capacity to use their assets enhanced.


Urban household livelihoods and HIV/AIDS, Working Paper 2. ISBN: 0 7044 2650 1, 78 pp.

Urban families under pressure in Kenya and the impact of HIV/AIDS

Published 1 January 2007