Escalating crime and insecurity in the city of Nairobi are hindering social and economic development in the city and severely eroding the city's reputation internationally. A 2002 city-wide victim survey commissioned by this project found that 37% of Nairobi residents had been a victim of robbery and 22% a victim of theft at least once the previous year. The causes of crime in the city are very often linked to institutional weaknesses in formal and informal sectors of society, including the police and justice systems. Following a request for technical assistance submitted in 1999, UN-HABITAT's Safer Cities Programme has established a Safer Nairobi Initiative, implemented by the Nairobi City Council, which focuses on the development and implementation of a local city-wide crime prevention strategy. The project provides the Nairobi City Council (NCC) with the support to formulate a city-wide crime prevention strategy and to develop a local coalition. The project is a continuation of the victimization survey and diagnosis activities undertaken under KEN/00/010 and KEN/02/S01, and the initial strategy formulation conducted under KEN/99/100. A diagnosis phase, consisting of several surveys on victimization, gender violence and youth at risk set the basis for the identification of priorities and strategic areas of intervention. The project is part of the Safer Cities network of cities which are developing crime prevention initiatives and participating in exchanges and mutual learning activities of the network. Nairobi is also participating in the Safer Cities Toolkit Development. Activities
The capacity of local actors, in particular, councillors and officers at the Nairobi City Council has been built, especially on urban crime prevention tools and issues. Institutional mechanisms for project implementation at Council level, including an interdepartmental committee and establishment of an office and a local team, have been established. Support to strategy formulation through facilitation of consultation with stakeholders, including the Kenya police, the national government, association of residents, NGOs and the private sector has been provided. Support to the implementation of a media strategy, production of information materials and dissemination of NCC crime prevention strategy has been provided. Support to city-wide convention on urban crime prevention leading to a plan of action and formation of a coalition and to selected crime prevention initiatives has been provided. Nairobi Victimization Survey has been completed and its results have been published and disseminated. Results
- A more comprehensive project proposal has been developed in support of strategy implementation to be implemented in 2004 with UNDP funding.
- A draft crime prevention strategy has been prepared by the Nairobi City Council.
- A Council institutional framework has been established, including a senior officer as the Safer Nairobi Liaison and an Interdepartmental Committee on Urban Safety.
- A Council-based Safer Nairobi Coordinating Office has been set up (to be staffed through secondments and project support).
- A city-wide partners group has been established to steer the process.
- Public awareness campaigns have been conducted, including a Safer Nairobi video and promotional folder, as well as mass media spots and features on the crime survey. Results of the 2002 Nairobi Victimization Survey have been widely disseminated.
- Constituency level consultations, as well as stakeholder group consultations on the NCC draft strategy.
- A City-wide Convention has been held to discuss strategy and adopt a plan of action.
- A Safer Nairobi Initiative has been included in medium-term plans of the Law and Justice Sector Reform Programme.
- Additional outcomes include the development of a framework for the metropolitan police, identification of pilot areas for demonstration, increased dialogue between the various stakeholders initiatives in the city, commitment of the Ministry to establish a National Safer Cities Coordinating Centre and requests for assistance from Nakuru town and the Association of Local Government Authorities in Kenya (ALGAK).
- The project has helped the Nairobi City Council identify and prioritize its contribution to crime prevention and has established channels of consultation between the Council and other stakeholders. Several initiatives undertaken in relation to the project have improved the physical environment in the City Centre and increased awareness of residents' and the authorities' role in crime prevention and in local governance. The project has provided tools to the Nairobi City Council to address insecurity in the city. The project has also contributed to the ongoing debate on Police Reform and on the establishment of Metropolitan Police.