Understanding the size of the UK’s investment in the priority area of affordable housing in Kenya

Kenya and the UK have a long tradition of cooperation and collaboration through research and scientific partnerships and technology transfer across a variety of sectors for long-term sustainable growth. The UK-Kenya High-Level Oversight Board in Research, Science and Innovation provides a key role in facilitating this by providing strategic guidance on UK-Kenya partnerships on science, technology and innovation with the intention of identifying opportunities for further alignment of UK-funded partnerships with Kenyan priorities and any gaps.

Among those priorities outlined by the Kenyan government is the provision of affordable, new and decent houses. To that end, the UK and Kenya hosted a research symposium on ‘Healthy Cities, Housing and Sustainable Infrastructure’ in Nairobi in May 2019 to showcase existing research partnerships and explore the potential for new innovative interdisciplinary collaborations. The aim of the symposium was to broker dialogue across sectors towards the use of research to inform housing policies that promote sustainable development.

In the lead up to the event, the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR)  produced a report to understand the scope of Official Development Assistance (ODA)-funded research by the UK government in the policy area of Kenyan housing, making use of data from the three UK government departments with the largest budget allocations for ODA-related research and the Wellcome Trust (the UK’s largest charitable foundation), with support from Kenyan partner institutions.

This report presents data on 15 UK-funded projects (initiated between financial years 2013/2014 and 2017/18 and active during the 2017/18 financial year) on research relating to housing for the benefit of Kenya worth a total of £32.9m – a figure which is reduced to an estimated £13.0m after correcting for multiple countries of focus.