- Category: News and Highlights
The Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development, Hon. Jamleck Kamau, officially opened the First Metropolitan Summit in Kenya. The summit, branded, Metropolitan Service Level Mapping and Social Accountability Summit, attracted over 150 participants from the wider Nairobi Metropolitan Region comprising 15 local authorities. They represented stakeholders across board: residents of Mavoko and the wider metropolitan region; Government ministries, departments and agencies; civic officials from the metropolitan area; survey and mapping companies; university lecturers and students from the metropolitan region; research institutes; development partners; private sector and NGOs; special interest groups; civil society; professional organisations; community-based organisations; faith-based organisations, among others.
Minister’s Key Message
Hon. Jamleck Kamau appreciated that becoming a world-class African metropolis is a vision that the Nairobi Metropolitan Region is gradually coming to terms with “despite a multitude of challenges, some of which are new and acute, and yet some are inherited and persistent”. He saw this as a strong cause for increased emphasis on adequate and proactive spatial planning informed by integrated approaches, and based on accurate geographical data and inclusive decision making whereby all stakeholders have a say. Rapid urbanisation has become a key feature of spatial growth dynamics in developing countries, Kenya being a good example.
Public Policy Message from KIPPRA
Stakeholders were taken through the technical study report on service level mapping. The study interviewed 2,500 respondents from households and institutions on their physical and financial access to, and satisfaction with, six services namely: education, health, water and sanitation, housing, energy, and ICT. The innovative edge of the study was seen in the way it used satellite imagery to prioritise key settlement clusters to sample, and modern map-based modelling technology embedded in a Geographic Information System (GIS) to translate the data collected using questionnaires into 100 thematic maps. The service level maps show the different degrees to which users of the surveyed services are satisfied or dissatisfied, from one location to another.
The key policy message was the need to enhance statistical data with mapping technologies in order to ensure spatial justice. Spatial justice involves linking geographical space to social justice. “The organisation of geographical space has always been critical to social relations in human societies. Given the importance of space organisation in society, social accountability must interrogate the degree to which various study methodologies explore linkages between space and social justice, hence the concept of spatial justice.” , was the memorable quote from the technical presentation.
The study cited a key example where skewed messages are conveyed by statistics that are not pegged to geographical locations. For instance, the finding that 30% of the households in Mavoko can access piped water and are among the most satisfied with water services in the municipality, yet the map shows they are all concentrated to the western part of the region, is a case of spatial injustice that should inform interventions in infrastructure service delivery. Social welfare, therefore, needs to be assessed with strong linkages to geographical distribution in order to justify affirmative action. Enhanced integrated analysis and visualisation technologies availed by modern information and communication systems facilitate meeting this important goal of spatial justice.
The study results generated curious debate among stakeholders on social accountability and effective metropolitan governance. Though the maps showed high satisfaction levels with education and health services in the municipality, other services such as water, waste management, and housing services scored low on overall satisfaction levels, with only 46% of respondents saying they are satisfied with water services and about 50% saying so for waste management and housing. The study findings also showed physical access to health facilities is a key issue besides financial access, since residents travel an average of 13kms to access hospitals, and 8kms to access clinics. The results challenged some long-standing assumptions especially on safety and security in the municipality, which was mentioned by 11% of respondents to be a very important pull factor in their decision to migrate into Mavoko–with about 70% of the respondents saying they moved into Mavoko between 2006 and 2011. Energy use patterns in the municipality for cooking and heating are still largely unfriendly to the environment, since wood-based fuels and kerosene are the major sources.
Through plenary and break-away group discussions, the stakeholders presented the following resolutions:
• KIPPRA to ensure that the findings of the study are disseminated widely for increased community awareness, by utilising the widespread and affordable web-based communication strategies such as social media and mobile access.
• The spatial component the study incorporated should be taken seriously by government authorities and applied innovatively to inform policies and formulate suitable models for sub-national revenue allocation.
• Bottom-up approaches and strengthening the role of local communities are critical to achieving Kenya’s vision for effective metropolitan governance and sustainable development.
• The study needs to be rolled out in the second phase to include:
o wider scope to cover security, transport, and conservation of the environment and biodiversity;
o needs of special groups; and
o linkages to existing and demanded municipal infrastructure capacities.
Below are links to maps that display the following key messages according to the legends:
1. Overall satisfaction water map: It shows how satisfaction levels with water services are spread across the municipality
2. Quality perception neighbourhood map: It shows how residents view the overall quality of their neighbourhoods
3. Water source map: It shows the distribution of household water sources as responded to by the residents of the Municipal Council of Mavoko