Learning about citizenship in Rural Kenya

As part of our ongoing work with Uwezo in Kenya, Dan Posner, Lily Tsai and I commissioned two great Ph.D. students — Brandon de la Cuesta (Princeton) and Leah Rosenzweig (MIT) — to help us learn more about what citizens in rural Kenya are doing (or not doing) to exercise their rights as citizens, particularly in the primary education sector. Much of our initial research during the first couple of years of our work on this project has showed virtually no effects from information campaigns, and we thought it was important to get a fuller understanding of the range of actions citizens can and do take. But we concluded that additional closed-ended surveys would not be the way to go, because frankly, we were concerned that we might not be asking the right questions.

So, we sent Brandon and Leah off for a few months of field research, working with our senior project manager, Jessica Grody, and various Uwezo staff, to conduct more open-ended interviews, conduct focus groups, and simply observe what is going on, in order to try to generate some better ideas for our ongoing research concerning what types of information might drive active citizenship. Their findings will help drive our future research agenda on this project, and in the meantime, they just shared with me a few pics from their days in the field.

students reading in class
students reading in class
primary school children with their head teacher in Nandi East
primary school children with their head teacher in Nandi East
Brandon speaking with the chief in Nandi East at a Baraza for farmers
Brandon speaking with the chief in Nandi East at a Baraza for farmers
posters from a classroom in Meru South
posters from a classroom in Meru South

One thought on “Learning about citizenship in Rural Kenya

  1. magnificent put up, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector don’t understand this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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