Factors Conveying Resilience in the Context of Urban Poverty: The Case of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in the Informal Settlements of Nairobi, Kenya

Jean-Christophe Fotso, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Penny Holding, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)
Alex Ezeh, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Michael Mutua, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

The aims of this paper are to: 1) examine variations in child welfare within and between households; 2) explore the relationship between child and household-level characteristics and welfare outcomes; and 3) suggest potential points of intervention to support OVC through the identification of child and household-level characteristics that convey resilience in the context of poverty and adversity. The data are from an OVC project conducted in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya in 2007, involving 1,235 children aged 6-14 years and their caregivers. Multilevel models were used, with malnutrition and progress through school as the dependent variables. Both outcomes displayed strong within household variations. Each outcome was associated with different characteristics at the child and household level that conveyed resilience. The results suggest that interventions to support the most vulnerable in the study communities should be multifaceted and applied at the household rather than community level.

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Presented in Poster Session 3