The Urban Legislation Unit in collaboration with the Participatory Slum Upgrading Unit of UN-Habitat hosted an expert group meeting on the Slum Upgrading Legal Assessment Tool on 11 & 12 October 2018 in Sarova Panafric Hotel at Nairobi, Kenya.

The workshop brought together experts from various fields related to slum upgrading including representatives from different levels of government, civil society, non-governmental and community-based groups, the judiciary, academia, and UN-Habitat. The aim of the meeting was to apply the Legal Assessment in Kenya and identify the extent to which the country’s regulatory framework supports participatory city-wide slum upgrading. This exercise also provided inputs on how to further strengthen the Tool.

In the workshop, the legal review methodology was introduced, followed by the presentation of the five thematic areas that form the Tool:

  1. Land and tenure security;
  2. Inclusive planning at scale;
  3. Access to basic services;
  4. Housing; and
  5. Financing

For each area, an analysis of the Kenyan regulatory framework was presented. This allowed for group discussions, specific to each of the Tool’s indicators. The discussions provided an opportunity to identify not only the gaps and possible areas of improvement within Kenya’s legal framework, but also its strengths and how they may be leveraged by stakeholders in the slum upgrading sector to improve the social and economic welfare of slum dwellers in the country. Participants also gave their inputs on various indicators within the tool that can be used to further improve it.

As the workshop concluded, participants left with a deeper understanding of the importance of functional and responsive legal frameworks to participatory slum upgrading and a renewed hope on the ability of such frameworks to deliver improved living and working conditions for the millions of slum dwellers, not only in Kenya but throughout the world.