Members of Wezesha Jamii attend a group meeting in Mathare Ward, Mashimoni Village, in Nairobi, Kenya. Credit: Katie G. Nelson/Oxfam

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Kenya has the largest economy in East Africa and has enormous potential in its educated population, vibrant private sector and natural resources.  Despite this potential, it has disproportionate levels of poverty, women’s marginalization, broader inequality, government mismanagement and violence.  Kenyan civil society and citizenry and have tremendous potential but are too easily typified by apathy, poor organization and dependence. 

Like many developing countries, Kenya is undergoing rapid urbanization. It’s estimated that by 2050 half the Kenyan population will be living in urban areas. This high presents a myriad of challenges. 34% of the 17 million poor Kenyans are urban poor and most of them live in informal urban settlements.

In Kenya, the highest poverty levels are in the northern pastoralist districts - in some areas 95% of people fall below the poverty line.

Oxfam in Kenya

Oxfam envisages a transformed Kenyan society in which each individual, regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, or social standing, is able to access basic services, and fully participates in decision-making processes on issues that affect their lives and can be heard. In addition, Oxfam in Kenya believes that every Kenyan has a right to make free and informed choices to build sustainable livelihoods and resilience to external shocks.

Since 1963, Oxfam in Kenya has worked with partners in long-term development programs, humanitarian assistance, peace and conflict resolution programs and actively engaged in campaigning for better governance and equitable access to services.

Our program work:

Governance and Accountability

We focus on supporting a movement of citizenship in Kenya that is informed and active on tax mobilization, budget allocation and spending. We are also bold and brave in challenging taxation policies and practices and grounding our influencing work on research, power and gender analyses. We will also work on linking community, county, national and global level interventions, particularly on tax justice and inequality.

Our work in the natural resources sector is a three-prong approach that seeks to:

  • Promote women, men and youth in poor and marginalized communities secure their rights to access, control and own their land.  
  • Empower communities to make strategic decisions relating to their land and natural resources, monetarily and non-monetarily benefit from all forms of exploits derived from their land. 
  • Work closely with policymakers to effectively implement accountable and transparent laws, policies and regulations. 

Gender Justice

We are committed to promoting sustained, widespread changes in attitudes, practices and beliefs about gender power relations in order to further women’s rights and gender justice. To achieve this, we are working with women rights organizations, national networks, opinion shapers, including religious institutions to support shifts in attitudes, challenge and change power relations at the household, community and national levels. 


We are working with partners to support communities build and strengthen their resilience to natural disasters, such as floods, landslides and recurrent droughts, which have increased over the years. Besides, we will increasingly focus on providing technical assistance to the government and other national organizations to be able to deliver the response