Global Development Institute podcast: In conversation with Muungano, SDI Kenya, and Diana Mitlin

Professor Diana Mitlin from the Global Development Institute (GDI) at the University of Manchester talks to Jack Makau, Director of Slum Dwellers International Kenya (SDI Kenya), and Joseph Muturi, coordinator of the Kenya slum dwellers federation, Muungano Wa Wanavijiji.

This conversation is a great listen – covering the goals and work of the federation and its support NGO, and reflecting on the situation in Kenya and Nairobi, how the movement started and evolved, its past successes, and future challenges.

Al Jazeera documentary (Swahili): 'A Muungano Story'

'A Muungano Story' is a documentary produced by Al Jazeera that depicts the spirit of the federation in finding long term solutions for the poor and by the poor to address key fundamental challenges in their daily living. The story (in Swahili) is narrated by Jane Weru, one of the founder members of the Muungano wa Wanavijiji movement. Take a look.

IIED interview: Money Where it Matters

Published on Dec 14, 2016

Jane Weru, of Kenya's Akiba Mashinani Trust, talks about local level finance.

Weru was speaking at a ‘Money where it matters’ event, organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), held in London in December 2016. 

The conference brought together financiers, decision makers, practitioners and researchers from around the world to look at channelling development and climate finance to the local level.

Participants were asked to three questions:
What are the benefits of local level finance?
How does local level finance work best in your experience?
What should happen next?

Weru said the advantage of local level finance was that people were able to mobilise their own resources and make decisions on how to use that money.

She said local level finance worked best when communities of the urban poor come together and create their own organisations, raise their own money and then come together to ensure the money was used for the purpose for which it is intended.

Weru said that what was needed in the future was to continuously support these grassroots organisations so that they become stronger, and were able to handle more money and more resources, until they reached a point where they could fully represent the aspirations of their communities and push for the communities to get the things they required. 

More details:

UN Habitat short film: Too Pressed to Wait

Published on Jan 22, 2016

Jane Weru is the Executive Director of Akiba Mashinani Trust, a nonprofit organization working on developing innovative community led solutions to housing and land tenure problems for the urban poor in Kenya. Her lecture ‘Too Pressed To Wait’ is based on the realization that the water and sanitation hygiene systems in informal settlements in Nairobi are greatly lacking or inadequate, and that this state of affairs is causing a strain on both the physical and psychological health of people who live and work in these settlements, in particular women and girls. This situation is compounded by other challenges facing informal settlements such as land tenure insecurity, poverty and gender-based violence.

Associated material:

UC Berkeley | Dept. of City & Regional Planning University of Nairobi | Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning And Pamoja Trust (2009) Collaborative Slum Planning and Upgrading Mathare Valley, Nairobi, Kenya.

Corburn, J. (2013) Healthy City Planning: From Neighbourhood to National Health Equity. Routledge.

Weru J., (2013) Security of Tenure for the Urban Poor: A Critical Tool for Sustainable Social and Community Resilience Huffington Post retrieved from

The Guardian,, Wednesday 29 October 2014 15.33 GMT