State-civil society partnerships and sustainable urban development: lessons from Kibera, Nairobi

  • Agostino M. Zamberia


Development scholars have consistently focused on the role of non-state actors in the development process. In sub-Saharan Africa, this concern became increasingly important due to the inability of many African states to effectively guide the development process. Consequently, non-state actors have progressively assumed a central role in initiating and maintaining diverse development initiatives, particularly since the 1980s. This paper examines the activities of non-state agencies in low-income urban settlements with specific reference to one non-governmental organization (NGO) involved in mobilizing the local community to promote self-reliance in the development and maintenance of community water and sanitation projects in Kibera, Nairobi. The paper advocates the development of models of urban service delivery systems in low-income urban settlements that involve partnerships between governments and non-state agencies such as NGOs and community-based organizations (CBOs).

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eISSN: 1813-2227