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Title: The role of faith based organizations in the delivery of urban services to the poor
Author: Mburu, Peter W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 6493
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2011
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Today for the first time in history, over 1.15 billion people live in urban slums. Of these, 581 million live in Asia, 120 million in Latin America, and 199 million in sub-Saharan Africa (UN-HABITAT 2010). Over 90% of the urban slum dwellers live in the cities of low income countries under severe deprivation of urban services such as improved drinking water, adequate sanitation and shelter (UNHABITAT 2006a), (UN-HABITAT 2010), (Martínez, Mboup et al. 2008), (Cross, Morel 2005) and (Brocklehurst, Malhotra et al. 2005). This deprivation of the poor has been associated with bias meted against them (the poor) by the public and private sectors. Unless this bias and subsequent deprivations are dealt with, new constraints will always emerge to perpetuate the deprivations (Solo, Perez et al. 1993,). However, can certain approaches by a specific kind of organisations address the bias? This research was encouraged by the success of faith based organizations (FBOs) in treating the poor communities well and their success in delivering social services to the poor in America (White House. 2001), (Sherman 2003) and (Wuthnow, Hackett et al. 2004). The role played by human values in influencing day to day behaviour was encouraging too (Schwartz 1992), (Schwartz 2007), (Williams Jr. 1979), (Schwartz, Melech et al. 2001), and (Rokeach 1973). Reviewed literature show that the people who identify with self-transcendence values are predisposed to treat other people well and also work towards the welfare of other people (Schwartz 1992), (Schwartz 1994), and (Schwartz, Melech et al. 2001). The knowledge gap about the role that faith based organizations and human values could play towards addressing the deprivations of the urban poor in a low income country context led to the research question: ―how could faith based organizations possibly contribute towards the delivery of urban services to the poor in a low-income country context‖. To answer the research question, a case study strategy was adopted and data gathered from three FBOs in Nairobi (Kenya), using 29 in-depth interviews, 8 observations and 41 case study documents. The case studies were selected after a preliminary survey involving 256 telephone interviews and 135 subsequent self-administered mail questionnaires to probable organizations. Qualitative data from the selected case studies was analysed using the thematic analysis approach to understand the FBOs‘ involvement with urban services to the poor. Data from the Portraits Value Questionnaire (58 questionnaires) was also analysed to determine the values orientation of the FBOs‘ personnel. This inquiry found that the FBOs‘ staff oriented with self-transcendence values and also treated the poor well. The FBOs were also involved with urban services for the poor through infrastructural programmes (or projects) and the empowerment of the poor. As a result, the poor were enabled both to access and also afford the urban services, lobby, advocate and demand for urban services. These findings have illuminated the possibility of Public-Faith Partnerships in the delivery of urban services for the poor and the need for personal values to be central in staff recruitment towards eliminating bias against the poor and the subsequent deprivations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Urban poor ; Slum ; Faith-based ; Values ; Empowerment and services