Cash transfers in Nairobi's slum

Improving food security and gender dynamics

Jane Grace, 48, mother of three, who also looks after an orphaned nephew, stands in the doorway of her home in the Lunga Lunga area of the Mukuru informal settlement. Photo Credit: Sam Tarling
Paper author: 
Claire Harvey
Paper publication date: 
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In Kenya, a combination of factors led to the food crisis of 2008–9, which put around 9.5 million people at risk of starvation. About 4.1 million of those affected were living in informal settlements (slums) in the capital, Nairobi. Oxfam and Concern Worldwide developed a joint programme to address this unfolding emergency. The programme, implemented with local partners in two slums, aimed to improve access to food in the short term via cash transfers and to provide further income opportunities and improve livelihoods in the longer term. The experience shows that developing a strong understanding of women’s lives can ensure that cash transfers help them to effectively meet their immediate needs and build successful programmes to meet women’s longer-term needs.