Conflict-Sensitive Social Protection: Kenya Country Report

This is one of three country case studies (the others being of Somalia and Sudan) that explore the interaction between social protection and conflict in the Horn of Africa. Kenya’s social protection system has matured significantly over the last decade, although its resilience in violent conflict has not been tested given the country’s relative stability. Even so, Kenya has significant vulnerabilities, particularly its high spatial and social inequalities, and while devolution may have diffused political tensions from the centre, it has fed into local-level conflicts. Social protection policy frameworks hint at elements of a conflict-sensitive approach but do not develop these further. Conflict is treated as a discrete shock, rather than the chronic condition that has long characterised parts of the north in particular. The potential to build on Kenya’s innovative shock-responsive social protection mechanism from a conflict perspective would require more sustained interaction between the sectors responsible for social protection, peace and security, and disaster risk management.