- Contraints on neighbourhood activism: experiences with services upgrading in Nakuru, Kenya
- Urban Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 46 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper tries to explain why community action and partnering in services upgrading in Nakuru, Kenya, has only produced very modest results. Although inhabitants feel connected to their neighbourhood, they do not automatically translate their attachment into concrete action to improve liveability. This is due to a range of reasons, including competing loyalties of citizens, antagonism between local leaders, pervasive influence of patronage and cronyism, chronic weaknesses of local government and tendencies of CBOs to become more exclusionary. These findings somewhat temper the general optimism in the Habitat literature about the potentials of communities in spurring local development processes. Nakuru is a good place to investigate this issue since it is often portrayed as an example of best practice in local-government—community interaction, especially because of its commitment to the LA-21 process.
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