New Technologies for Improving Old Public Security Challenges in Nairobi


June, 2014



This Strategic Note maps out the digital environment shaping public security in selected informal settlements of Nairobi. It considers the diverse ways in which information communication technologies (ICTs) are being adopted by Kenyan police in informal settlements and by the community in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s most violent informal settlements (or slum). It highlights the views and attitudes of police working in different informal settlements and identifies opportunities and challenges for the introduction of new smart policing tools in the Nairobi context. The use of digital technologies can potentially enhance accountability within the police while simultaneously providing a layer of protection for patrolling officers and improved community safety. The report was prepared as part of the Smart Policing project coordinated by the Igarapé Institute in cooperation with Google Ideas and partners in Cape Town, Nairobi and Rio de Janeiro. The initiative is intended to employ a technology-driven approach to improving the accountability, responsiveness and effectiveness of city-based policing strategies and public security promotion. The research in Nairobi was conducted by the Danish Demining Group (DDG) and Spatial Collective


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