Reconstruction and recovery process of the 2007/2008 post-election violence victims in Kenya

Kinyeki, Julius M.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This research addresses three questions: how Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) following the post-election violence of 2007/2008 in Kenya are recreating their community resilience capacities; how the Kenyan government and non-state interventions are influencing the victims’ livelihood strategies towards their reconstruction and recovery process and how social support and social capital has accelerated their reconstruction and recovery process. It proposes a post-conflict reconstruction and recovery approach based on the research findings. The research adopted Qualitative research methodology and primary data were collected from the month of January, 2015 continuously and concurrently with data analysis. The key findings were that ownership of land is perceived and identified as a milestone in the process of post-conflict reconstruction and recovery, an avenue for community resilience. The main means of livelihood for IDPs are casual labour and other menial jobs. The Kenyan government has made an effort towards resettlement of IDPs although this is ad hoc and ineffective due to lack of experience and a specific framework for any major resettlement. NGOs abandoned the reconstruction and recovery projects as soon as the humanitarian crisis ended. But the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had reconstruction and recovery projects which ended in 2011. In displacement, IDPs lost their original support system, but developed new emergent norms to support each other. Integration of IDPs is a better option in the reconstruction and recovery process compared to the government farm resettlement approach. The key recommendations are that government should evaluate the economic loss of every integrated IDP and those resettled in government procured farms should be provided with legal ownership documents. There should be an urgent re-profiling of IDPs in camps and use of UN Guiding Principles on IDPs to re-integrate them into society. The findings of this research bring to light new knowledge on the theory of social capital: victims of displacement develop new emergent norms, values and culture to support each other, which eventually creates a new society/community. Key Words: Post-conflict reconstruction and recovery; integrated IDPs; government resettled IDPs; camp-based IDPs; social capital: social support; livelihood strategies.
A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy University of Witwatersrand, South Africa Wits School of Governance, 2017
Kinyeki, Julius Mwaniki (2017) Reconstruction and recovery process of the 2007/2008 post-election violence victims in Kenya, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,