S&T finalises the Kenyan "State of the Nation" SurveyOver 8 000 adult Kenyans, randomly drawn from all provinces and Districts in the country, were interviewed on a range of subjects ranging from socio-political to economic to development issues.
The study unearthed significant differences in terms of access to information
and resources across the provinces and across the gender divide. The need
for civic education initiatives to target different groups with different
messages (and using different strategies) was emphasised again and again
by the findings.
The data, with its GIS capabilities, will allow civil society organisations
to assess different needs in different areas and tailor their initiatives
accordingly. The baseline data will also provide a measure against which
the impact of the initiatives will subsequently be measured.
The full report as well as the GIS representation of the data should
be publicly available soon for those with an interest in Kenyan society.
We would like, however, to highlight the findings of the survey on the
issue of HIV/AIDS to compare with the situation in South Africa. Readers
may recall our article on HIV/AIDS in which we showed the proportion of
residents in certain rural areas in South Africa that were aware of people
infected by the virus or who had died from the virus.
As the following graphs indicates, the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa is
staggering and needs to be constructively dealt with if development initiatives
- of any nature - are to be meaningful and sustainable.
Levels of knowledge around the virus and its transmission indicate that
awareness campaigns remain an area in which work still needs to be done.
However, raising knowledge should not be the only focus of interventions
in the HIV/AIDS arena.
In the context of sustainable development - where community ownership
and maintenance of projects and assets is key - the impact of HIV/AIDS
on communities needs to inform the facilitation and implementation of
these projects. Projects need to take cognisance of the fact that the
communities tasked with maintenance are likely to be devastated by the
virus and plan accordingly.