Urban Hotspots of Vulnerability and Resilience: An Analysis of Food Insecurity and Kinship in a Nairobi Slum

Sangeetha Madhavan , University of Maryland, College Park
Shelley Clark, McGill University
Sara Schmidt, University of Maryland

With high urbanization rates, cities in sub-Saharan Africa are contending with the growth of slums. These areas are home to large numbers of migrants and long-term residents navigating high unemployment, inadequate housing, and sub-optimal access to basic services. We examine one such “hot spot” – Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya – and analyze the relationship between kin connections and food insecurity. We draw on a unique dataset of 462 single mothers and their extended kin to address the following questions: 1) Does access to kin lower the risk of experiencing food insecurity? 2) Does the type of support offered by kin affect the risk of experiencing food insecurity? 3) Does the content and frequency of transfers matter for buffering against food insecurity? Our findings suggest that access to kin, and specifically, functional kin, reduce the odds of experiencing food insecurity and having multiple forms of support reduces the odds by 54 percent.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography