Ahmed, Farzana


Organization: SDI Foundation of Kenya
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Year: 2015

MRP/Thesis abstract:

Annex Between Participation and Social Capital for Collective Action Outcomes: Case Study of Muungano’s Self Help Saving Group System

This study is an attempt to provide an empirical analysis of the processes that link social capital and participation and examine how the processes that link the two are acting as enabling or constraining factors for collective action within the context of Kenya Slum Dwellers International’s (Muungano) self-help saving groups system in three urban poor communities in Nairobi- Korogocho, Mathare and Mukuru. The four main conclusions that the study draws are: (1) a contextualized understanding of social capital demands social science research to examine the processes through which structural and cognitive social capital reinforce each other; (2) Capable agency is the missing ingredient that determines how and if existing stocks of social capital will be harnessed and activated for collective action; (3) A contextualized understanding of the processes that simultaneously link productive and perverse social capital, which are mutually reinforcing is important in designing participatory methods that are fair, inclusive and equitable, thus encourage collective action; and (4) When a participatory methodology is more concerned with results as opposed to process, it creates or exacerbates existing divisions within the community, failing to achieve collective action. The evidence is drawn from existing data, pre-existing literature and predominantly a four-month field research based on interviews and focus group discussions and my interpretative inferences from them.