Kenyan Informal Settlements Improvement Programme (KISIP)
The Kenyan government recently launched the Kenyan Informal Settlement Improvement Programme (KISIP) with the soupport of the World Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). Our partnership in Kenya that includes the Muungano Support Trust (MUST), Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and the University of Nairobi, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and my team at UC Berkeley, have been actively involved in trying to shape this program to ensure civil society groups are at the table and shaping project investments. Our work in the Mathare Valley informal settlement in Nairobi aims to act as a model for how urban upgrading can meaningfully involve community residents, NGOs, the academic community and local service providers including government agencies. We are also working to ensure that KISIP and other Kenyan Government supported initiatives aimed at improving the well-being of slum dwellers, such as the Kenyan Slum Upgrade Program (KENSUP) supported by UN-HABITAT, learn from the expertise of residents, the enumeration and planning work that has already happened and continues in communities like Mathare, including the plan our team helped draft for the Kosovo community in Mathare. I am also leading a studio class during this semester that will run simultaneously at Berkeley and the University of Nairobi, involve all our community partners, and will draft an upgrading plan for the entire Mathare Valley in Nairobi. More on that soon.