Participation remains an important checklist to be followed in any mainstream development. In this research I look into differential access information as a determining factor for participation and claiming “right to the city” by low income slum people. I locate my research in the Kibera slum of Nairobi to explore the nature, need and spaces of information in part of the slum and as to how gender relations play a role in determining access to such information. The research concludes that both men and women have little access to “formal” or government provided information and hence are mostly dependent on informal social networks. In the patriarchal slum community men have more control over and access to these informal networks through social legitimization of (in)equal masculinist patronage norms. My paper suggests that much more attention is needed for public, all pervasive information to all as a key requisite for inclusive urban planning and low income housing policy keeping in mind existing gender norms and relations. The analysis advocates for recognising gender differences in obtaining critical information in urban planning.

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Wit, Joop de
Governance, Policy and Political Economy (GPPE)
International Institute of Social Studies

Goswami, Suchismita. (2016, December 16). Tracing gender differences in obtaining access to critical information in Kenya’s Kibera slum: an ethnographic approach. Governance, Policy and Political Economy (GPPE). Retrieved from