Transcript from Focus Group Discussion
October 29, 2019
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Social Hall in Kibera
Participants: 3 men and 2 women who reside in Kibera and have regularly participated (as both subjects and also enumerators) in various research projects; 1 discussion facilitator
Discussion conducted in English with occasional Swahili words.
Angela Okune 0:00
Oh let's see, haiya, karibu I don't know if you want to also come close so you can reach the muffins [giggles] here. Okay? Okay. Right so maybe we can now begin with the names. I've said my name, [MK-KM-S-08], you can begin with your other name and any research you have participated in. I don't know [MK-KM-S-08], maybe you've also... have you participated? [he laughs]
Ama you are always the organizer? [Laughs]
Maybe. My name is [MK-KM-S-08]. I work with [REDACTED ORG NAME]. I have participated in several researches, but I can't remember all of them. There was one particular one called kindness, we were researching about if Kibera is a kind place or not. Yeah so that's the one I can mention for now.
John Paul 0:59
yes, my names are Jacob Paul. Basically, I think we share the same common ground with [MK-KM-S-08]. The recent which I can talk about is the kindness in Kibera, yes that is the one I can remember.
Dyana Mueni 1:20
I'm Dyana Mueni. I've done so many but recently food survey with akina (Swahili: those people associated with) [MK-KM-S-08].
Douglas Mamale 1:36
Am Douglas Mamale. I have done so many but the most recent one is a baseline survey I did in partnership with Maseno University.
Nicera Wanjiru 2:01
I am Nicera, Actually [REDACTED ORG NAME] and from [REACTED ORG NAME]. And I have participated in several several researches and last month we were doing a survey on food vendors. Then now we have done a survey on houses in Mukuru, we've also done something on health and garbage. Yup. So and the garbage stuff we did with [MK-KM-S-08].
Nicera Wanjiru 2:44
the one, on the garbage, how much garbage is collected.
Angela Okune 2:52
And most of these it sounds like you guys have been running them yourselves. Like you're the one going out and doing the research. Have you also been... researchers have come to you and asked you questions? [All laugh]
Nicera Wanjiru 3:05
Yes, there are so many of them!
Douglas Mamale 3:08
So many and I have just discovered that my name has been used in so many publications.
Angela Okune 3:18
Ah? Your names?
Douglas Mamale 3:19
Yeah, my names. I think in more than 15 different publications.
Angela Okune 3:25
15? Woah! Those are many!
Douglas Mamale 3:31
The only one that I think was quite [inaudible] cautious enough was a paper done by World Bank. That one mentioned my name... [inaudible]
Angela Okune 3:53
as like a thank you?
Douglas Mamale 3:54
Angela Okune 3:56
So how does that make you feel? To see your name? You feel famous or you feel used? [all laugh]
Nicera Wanjiru 4:01
[Lots of murmuring] No, it's not the famous one... [all laugh].
Douglas Mamale 4:03
Ok, you know, based on the many I've seen, that one was the most honest. The most honest. Yes. [inaudible]. Because I've participated in many others and you even don't know what the figures are or how the data looks like and all that. And you don't even know the value of all of this. So sometimes if somebody calls and tells you they also want to talk to you [inaudible] you are like, ok, another one? [all murmur in agreement, laugh].
Nicera Wanjiru 4:37
I think that's why when you find like I was reading a certain report it is not yet released and I saw my photo there and I'm like now, you haven't told me that I'm in your report. But anyway, there's that feeling of ok this is true you've [inaudible] worked on it so much. But again on the other side your status has been automatic [inaudible] Yeah it is my view. Because when you participate in so many things and you don't know what is happening and it's not changing where the environment that you are in, you feel like wasted. You keep on asking questions, but this data will go? The one who takes data will never come back to us to us like okay, we took this and these are the results. So you feel wasted.
Angela Okune 5:53
Has anybody ever come back to you with the results or how did you find? How did you find your photo? How did you find your name?
Douglas Mamale 6:01
The book was published.
Angela Okune 6:03
Douglas Mamale 6:08
[inaudible] They told me can you find this in a specific publication but it's only online, and it has been published by a specific company and one kept [inaudible].
Angela Okune 6:46
And you you would want your name to stay there or you want your name removed?
Douglas Mamale 6:49
I don't know, you see it depends on who is this [inaudible] or but in this case we would want to know exactly how they organize citizens [inaudible]. First one [inaudible] is when you work out with a lot of [inaudible] see it on the [inaudible] yeah.
Angela Okune 7:20
[inaudible] Karibu, we are talking about researchers. But we just began.
Nicera Wanjiru 7:24
Ok I was at this office and started reading this book and am like ok my name is my photo and some write up caption inside so I even asked at the reception, now this photo of mine, are you going to pay me for publishing it? But they didn't. But again even in the newspapers, eh? Cuz I remember a scenario where we were at a demonstration in town and somehow my photo was in the frontline and people are calling me: Did Nation pay you, were you paid? Such kind of questions.
Angela Okune 8:03
and of course no.
Nicera Wanjiru 8:05
They don't pay. You don't have the right.
Angela Okune 8:14
So what kind of promises... sorry, I don't know if you mind if you can introduce your name? I'm Angela.
Angela Okune 8:24
I'm working on... [all laugh]
I'm originally from Hawaii. Actually, I didn't say, I'm originally from Hawaii, home of Obama.
But I'm married to Western, I'm married... my husband is from Butere, that's the Okune part.
So Hawaii is a state, in America.
Angela Okune 8:45
the state or the country?
Angela Okune 8:48
It used to be a country and then the United States took it over illegally.
Sorry, go ahead.
My name is KP-KM-U-09.
Angela Okune 8:58
KP-KM-U-09. Karibu muffins. We have a friend here who can open [the soda] for you. People have been sharing about the kind of research that they've been part of.
Male Respondent 9:18
I don't have an opener.
Angela Okune 9:28
Oh, the last one [bottle of soda] is always the problem. [Because you can't use another unopened bottle to open it as we did with the others.]
Male Respondent 9:48
Angela Okune 9:50
So anyway, sorry. So I'm doing research on research. Yeah, so most of my research is actually... I'm researching the researchers, but I'm just having some small sessions, like one or two, to understand also from the perspective of people who have participated in research and to understand some of their experiences. Yeah, so we had just started, guys were talking about the kinds of projects they have been part of. Yeah. So I don't know, maybe you can just say one or two that maybe you can remember.
It's quite intriging that you're doing your research on research.
Nicera Wanjiru 10:22
Well, there's a number of cases that I've either participated on as somebody collecting data or as the participant or respondent. So there are a number I have been, I think even just giving opinions for somebody doing thesis, that is a research. So most of it comes asking about the inclusion of youth. I think I've done a lot of it in governance. What is the state of young people's participation in matters of governance in Kibra, or Kibera, for that matter. Some on religious tolerance...Yeah. I think those are what I can remember... and possibly on sexual reproductive health. Yeah.
Angela Okune 11:19
[outdoor noises from driving cars blasting political messages]
Politics? I think you're also mentioning a lot of politics. Have you been part of research on the elections...on those kinds of things?
What kinds of research topics have you guys seen sana sana hapa Kibera (Swahili: a lot here in Kibera) like most people are interested in ... [inaudible]
Nicera Wanjiru 11:39
Post Election Violence...so much.
Douglas Mamale 11:49
During election, we had something to do with governance and we were collecting information. And basically it formed the background of [REDACTED ORG NAME] where we were collecting in terms of raw maps which people have in their respective area. So ... [inaudible] ... because we realized most of our data covering elections might have violence, and most of them are based on false information. There are people that say, ... somebody comes up with it, then it boom, it erupts. So we wanted to get that information from individuals then maybe follow up on them and see what whether it is true or wrong. Yeah. So it is something which we did in [REDACTED ORG NAME].
It was a kind of survey to just find out the kind of the information flow, how does information flow from one person to the other. And what mode of information communication do people trust most. To try and see the rumors that spread around during election time that can trigger violence. So that was basically the best sense of the [inaudible] to try and work out rumors and see if out of all this information we got, this was considered verified to be true, these ones are still not true and we are in the process of verifying them. So before we started implementing, we needed to know first how the information flowed from one point to the other, from one person to the other and from one medium to the other.
Angela Okune 13:44
and maybe this is hard for the [REDACTED PROJECT NAME] (the name of the project that the previous two respondents were talking about) people to answer but for the other people, how do you feel? Do you see research differently done differently when people like let's say [REDACTED ORG NAME] who are here, do a project from let's say maybe a PhD student who comes and they're not from here and they don't stay. How do you see the differences between the kinds of research that is done? [silence]
Maybe you can't say anything bad with this guy here, maybe we need to kick him out [all laugh].
Douglas Mamale 14:21
I think what I have seen quite often even within [REDACTED ORG NAME] not just outside.
Angela Okune 14:31
Yeah. Yeah. Because there are others, sindio (Swahili: isn't it)?
Douglas Mamale 14:37
When you look at the design of the questions, questionnaire, you start thinking, okay, perhaps this person does not have the clear, maybe the interest that he was looking for is quite different from even the locals are thinking about the same subjects. Why am I saying this? I'll give you two examples. We did at [REDACTED ORG NAME] when I was still there, we did a survey on water and sanitation. After all we had collected, we were actually rushed here on this table with Mikel, I remember very well. And the conclusion was, Mikel told me, you know what Douglas?, this cannot go on. And even the water and sanitation map was shelved. So it is never one of those that came out to the community... [inaudible] and that's the one of the areas that [inaudible]...
because the design of the question and all of that. People did not quite understand the kind of water points and what what. Go to the ground first before you start deciding questions. Then when you go to the ground and come back, then try and see if you can verify. Cuz if not, you will find that what you have here is only 20% or less right and 80% or more it tends to be false, so you don't know what to believe. Because here it is just wrong. We have seen such cases. I have also seen other scenarios where if you look at the questions and you don't understand what this person was looking for. Maybe the question is too vague, or too intrusive or just don't understand what this person is looking for. Particularly if there are questionnaires [inaudible]. So these are the kinds of things that you will see. So I don't understand in such scenarios, the outcome is most likely to be seen [inaudible] Some may hide their pride and go ahead and publish or doctor certain issues so that it looks nice and hide it somewhere. So that they can only present it in Europe or wherever. But they don't want it to be seen by Kibera people. [inaudible]
Nicera Wanjiru 18:55
I think for me to be confident in the kind of a research you are carrying out, it is about toolkit design. Cuz for instance, if there's [REDACTED ORG NAME] and there's this university student, okay not you [gestures apologetically to Angela] ... [all laugh]
Angela Okune 19:14
It's okay! I'm also implicated, see I'm a researcher! I am studying myself...
Nicera Wanjiru 19:19
That University student is coming to Kibera from somewhere [inaudible] to ask people question over there. and there's this [REDACTED ORG NAME] guy who knows the people very well and knows how to maneuver to not miss out anything. So for me I'd prefer someone from [REDACTED ORG NAME]. But there's another research like now this one that we're doing, anyone can do such kind of a research. Cuz remember when we were doing the housing project in Mukuru, in fact it was very difficult for us because we took some students from Manchester University, University of Nairobi to go to Mukuru, but they were chased away.
Angela Okune 20:11
Kenyans ama mzungus?
Nicera Wanjiru 20:14
They were blacks. We couldn't get any information. And yet, go back again and work with the community, train these peoples on how to do the research.
Now. I think ... I'd like to explore that in three different dimensions. dimension one is, what is the outcome? What is the objective of the research? Well, Kibra for a long time, from the time I've been here and the researches I have seen, an outsider quote and quote researcher would basically do a research from a desktop review. You know. In theory, based on what people see on the media, what you read in print. You really want to come and verify this is the truth of what Kibra is, for example, the theory about the population. Another theory has been that it has generally a social, you know, gene of violence, you know, Kibra. And more of it is the level of sanitation you hear these things outside this is what Kibra is. This is how it's profiled from an outside perspective. Now, the second approach would be if I want to have an outsider researcher versus insider, the insider researcher would already know the practicalities about Kibera. And what they really want to do is probably have it firm up for a project. You know, or a program or to verify what they already know. And that one, the outsider really is on a fact finding mission. Their research doesn't end up with a solution, it ends up with a suggestion of a solution. Yeah, and third is the ownage, you know. At the end of the day, I have never seen an outsider researcher, their solutions coming to be implemented, leave alone getting implemented, but feedback, generally getting into the feedback. Because most of the researchers say okay, now leave your contacts behind and then we will send you [others chime in in agreement; speaker is inaudible]. A number of times I have leaved back my emails. And all I get is just "thank you for participating in this research." So, I'm looking forward to a research where I will find now this was the outcome of what you really discussed and this is what the point of investigation. Because generally, I think to me, that would be the one objective of a research is the feedback. So I think I see those three dimensions.
Angela Okune 23:26
Excellent. On the question of feedback. I think...I don't know if you had come...have you...so you haven't seen any feedback ever come back from a research?
Angela Okune 23:33
Has anyone ever been part of any kind of session where someone comes back and tells you something?
Nicera Wanjiru 23:40
What we do, in SDI, any kind of a research we undertake anywhere, we come back to people and verify now [inaudible].
Angela Okune 23:53
...in a report or in a baraza (Swahili: community meeting) session?
Nicera Wanjiru 23:56
In a baraza session
Angela Okune 23:58
and how did they appreciate it?
Nicera Wanjiru 24:02
That's what I'm saying ...so if you get my feedback, I think you can publish it, even before, in a document. And before it's published I think, would you be confirmed that this is what your opinion is, you know that is that is more ... Now to verify, after publication, the feedback is now more now, this is the outcome of what we discussed.
I think these are two different things. So the verification that Nicera is talking about before they do data collection, just like [REDACTED ORG NAME]. So they want to be sure that the data they have collected from people is actually correct before they publish something. Right?
So that's verification process, but then there is feedback, after the publication, you tell the people that from the data we collected from the research we did this is the result. Consume it. [all laugh]
Angela Okune 25:06
[jokingly] Consume it! Go! Take it!
But I think that's another point. Also, how can people use because sometimes and this is now on the topic, isn't it? Because sometimes there are topics, maybe very theoretical ones, how can it be implemented? And this is now a question of the kind of research that happens. So okay maybe like a water borehole thing. This one is dirty, this one is fine. Now you have some action, maybe you can take. But beyond that, how...Yeah, sometimes some research projects might be tricky if you want to see a solution come out of it. Yeah, I don't know what you think about that?
Douglas Mamale 25:39
I think based on what KP-KM-U-09 has just said, the last bit, any research before you [inaudible] has as an objective. So what is the objective of many of these researchers that come to Kibera? And any research document, ends up in a report, and that report has both the findings and the conclusion and the recommendations. So, these two aspects-- the conclusion and recommendations-- it is anticipated that the recommendations [inaudible]... somebody will act on it. Because the aim is maybe to influence policy [inaudible] so you are recommending how something can be done better. When you decide to hide it, published in the US and the community there, [inaudible]. Then perhaps you're not being useful to the locals because you are presenting your recommendations to the wrong platform. And therein lies the problem. Because the moment your findings and the recommendations are presented in the wrong forum and you keep it there, what does it do? It does not meet the objectives.
John Paul 27:53
Based on what KP-KM-U-09 said about the objective, you see for the researcher he has to address that objective and we have realized that most of this research, yes they normally have objectives. But now there is a...how do I put it?...You realize that the issue is there but now the results of these aren't coming up. For example, like let me just say, because you see there are some people I think I normally believe that there are some people who normally as much as the results of the research might come out, they just want to block that result not to be seen. So, that the providing part of Kibera remains that Kibera is this, Kibera is this... so that people in fact like now maybe in US they just recommend you are going for research? You can take Kibera then it will be easy for them. Yet that thing which they are coming to do, like that research, really does not even help the person who is in Kibera. I remember, we were discussing with [MK-KM-S-08] about the kindness, that issue of kindness. Yes Kibera, the people are kind but at times there are things which make people to give the way they feel it's not about ... because we behave that way, that we are not that kind. [others laugh and agree] ...
[phone rings and speaker is inaudible]
Like now I remember when we were doing that research on kindness people were asking us "you've done all these things and we have not seen even feedback. Why are you coming and telling us about kindness? Will that kindness feed me?" [Others laugh] So there are just some clouds which are covering this idea of research and the results of the findings are even appearing anywhere because we have quite a number of researches. Like there was the one I was seeing that the Integration of Water and Sanitation which was done by UN HABITAT and yet in Kibera, 10 years ago...
Nicera Wanjiru 30:07
John Paul 30:07
Yes, and still people will still come for the same...they just changing words, now it was by then it was inter-integrated water and sanitation. They just twist the word, the English word then they'll come with another thing to mean the same thing. And we're not moving ahead, that's ...there are some organization which, like she was saying, they are trying whatever research they are doing, they present the people around, even if you ask me a question about whatever they did yesterday, you can even tell me come again, tomorrow and I will assist you with more information you want, because there's something which they're trying to do...basically, ...because Kenyans don't like to read a lot... But as much as they give you that information. And that information, they'll see maybe at least there's some change. They're seeing a bit of change towards whatever the information they give, but if they give that information, then that information is going to be used again, against them again in other words, then now they tend to run away from that. Asking them a lot of questions.
Angela Okune 31:16
And these topics and the kind of the common research topics. Beyond that, what else do you think people need to know? Are there topics that aren't researched? Are there things that people don't know, maybe so much data has been collected and held in sanitation and maybe something is missing...
John Paul 31:36
I think in terms of... there are many things that people can always research for. But first things first, you need to do research on basic needs, every what people need, once you have done a research on health or on education or on any basic needs that a normal person will need then those things once the research has been done and there are some changes towards whatever ... Now we can see that now we have water, now we have hospitals then they you can continue doing a research in other areas but there's no need to do research on water and no findings, no conclusion, no any development towards that then you want to come again tomorrow with another research then it's like there's no need for this research as much as you're keeping that information somewhere which is not even shared with everybody.
Nicera Wanjiru 32:26
I think people know very little because despite the fact that there are so many researches that are carried out on daily basis, the only thing that comes back to them is maybe when [REDACTED ORG NAME] decides okay, let's go to Gatwekera and tell the people about [inaudible]. And that amounts to only like 10% depending on the NGOs and organizations that are taking research in Kibera. Mmmh, you asked what people's questions. On gender-based violence, that is a topic that has been over researched. In fact, if you ask any organization okay, women, GBV. [others grunt in agreement] Ah! Trust me, there's no data about this topic-- Gender Based Violence (inaudible because plane flying overhead). Okay, in Gatwekera, we have this number, in Makina, we don't have that kind of data. Even though sijui kama hiyo ni ukweli (Swahili: I don't know if that is true). We don't have data on GBV, on TVET institutions, in fact, it's even the boss [inaudible] that there's no data.
Male Respondent 33:53
Nicera Wanjiru 33:54
Angela Okune 33:58
So you have so much GBV research but no data...
Male Respondent 34:03
...[inaudible] zero data.
Nicera Wanjiru 34:05
even the [inaudible] they came up with an app. But that app died... died the same date it was launched.
Douglas Mamale 34:15
I think you mentioned something similar. Something around 2014, I received a phone call from Ken Okoth, the late. He wanted to know the project they were doing here. He was telling me he was looking for data on population by village. And he could not find any so somebody told him we could be having it and he called me. I had received it from a source. Just one source so I sent him the figures. Then we met with him and somebody from Kenya Power to look at the figures and see where the project can start. That means that despite many, many, many organizations coming to Kibera to do all this research but we don't have data and that's what therein lies the problem. Cuz we have big organizations like Carolina for Kibera, which have worked in Kibera for a very very long time. We have others like [REDACTED ORG NAME] who have been here for a long time, and not just those two who are 100% based in Kibera, we have....around the same year in 2014, [REDACTED ORG NAME] was launching a project called Huduma. And that project was largely aimed at consolidating the works [inaudible] in different locations. By saying as NGOs, okay, we have this particular project in area A, it is funded by so and so, this is the budget, this are our objectives. They didn't want it. They said, you are intruding on our privacy. That means that as much as we are talking transparency, good governance, and all those things, we are only good at talking about them, but when it comes to practice, not really.
Angela Okune 37:05
I mean, what do you think might be the worries of making, let's say research data public? And I'm talking maybe not even just the numbers, but even now like transcripts, so like, let's see the type of version of an audio recording. Let's say we do an interview. And then now I take even that audio or maybe the typed up version, and share it. What would your worries be? How would you feel about things like that?
Dyana Mueni 37:32
Angela Okune 37:33
Dyana Mueni 37:34
Angela Okune 37:34
Dyana Mueni 37:36
Like some of the researchers, use the photos to fundraise... [inaudible]
I think one of the things that I was really keen to listen. Nicera and Douglas have just talked about the topics that have been over-researched. And I think the question is if Kibera has been over-researched or not. That's why I would ask again, considering the interest of the time and the timing. You know right now you, people can over research on so many issues in Kibera right now. One is simply because probably of a by-election, again to guide the public opinion, you know, in some political direction, okay, because it's election time. When it is relatively calm, I think people now begin to narrow down the basics and we research again, you know, what you mentioned, the water, sanitation and everything. But I always ask myself, really, why would good institution like, for example, you know, [REDACTED ORG NAME] or the legitimate local institution find time to ask why is there for example narrow down in Kibra. Begin to question why there's always violence associated with one village. If there is political [inaudible] why is there always violence in that particular area? because that they will assist us to avoid the subjective things that come to us as Kibra. For example again, why would any slum area be prone to political manipulation? Why is the slum for example in your area, in Singapore are always stable but not this one? So, I think as much as much as there have been over researching in Kibra ...I don't think much of it, except what akina [MK-KM-S-08] are doing, has a concentration on the outcome.
You asked another question about whether my audio is used. You know one of the things, where are you using it for example? Can I have control to view it and to confirm that it is my own voice and that is what I said.
Down here, in Gatwekera, I think [MK-KM-S-08] you can remember, there was an Italian exhibition, a very wonderful exhibition of Kibra. And that roofing thing. A person took a photo and it become the talk of the world. You know, he was trying to do some exhibition, the railway lines, I don't know Douglas if you can remember the Italian photographer, yes. And that that was displayed somewhere in the internet, I didn't know it was San Francisco. Yes, you know, and now it becomes the talk of the town. So the people who participated in that were not aware that this was now becoming the talk of the world. The benefits that were coming, they were not aware. And I think probably, I wasn't part of it, but that guy could have likely convinced those guys that if this goes well, probably we will plow back to assist. So all in all, I think when you decide to, for example, publish and say these were the audio that were taken, I think authoritatively, people should have authority to what they said. I can confirm that such and such a day, this was my voice. And I gave factual information to that research, without it being misquoted. Yeah.
I think even KP-KM-U-09 has been a victim of that.
Angela Okune 39:49
But would you want... your identifiable... your voice? Like some someone who could identify like, Oh, I know that voice? Because maybe if it's available online, it's not just people in majuu (Sheng: abroad) but also even your neighbors that could also theoretically access through online, isn't it? So how would you ...
That's what I'm saying sorry. If I am giving out facts, you know, the reality about Kibra, without really not exaggerating...Remember the, the problem of [REDACTED ORG NAME] has ever finding itself on...like, like Madonna coming in and you see all these things, and saying some very nasty things about Kibra in the process of looking for followership on social media. You know, what I'm saying is that if I can say authoritatively that Kibera has been this and this and this and only that, because that is the reality to what is there. I have no problem because that is my voice. That is exactly my idea. And not only here in so many platforms in media I have owned up what I have said because they are always correct. Yeah. So nobody can force me for you know, you're trying to force people up and down. for saying wrong things about Kibera.
Yeah, I think the topics that people have highlighted to be over-researched in Kibera. For example, Nicera said GBV issues and others. Yeah, some of these topics have really been over-researched and a Kibera person would be like, Oh, this is too much of this topic. But I'm glad that KP-KM-U-09 is also highlighting things that need to be researched. Like why is it that there is always some violence politically instigated in certain villages of Kibera. So those need to be researched and some others that KP-KM-U-09 and other guys have come up with. So we need to know and when a researcher comes, we can ask them that look, this is what needs to be researched, we have had too much of that, can you change your research to this and that? And like KP-KM-U-09 said again, every researcher or research has its own objective. Sometimes we, we think so broad and just expect too much that a certain research would bring change. Most of these researches are academic, for example, university PhD research, we need to know where are they supposed to be ending at, at whose desk? Which action is supposed to be taken by this research? Who is going to take it? Because when a researcher comes either from US or UK and do their research on whatever topic they have chosen, where should this research end up so it's going back to the university, sometimes it's not meant to be public. You remember, not all researches should be public. So we need to know that, that some researches are not public. However, I still feel that they should be responsible enough, at least to share, but then what are the regulations, for example, we are now going to sign a lot of paperwork here from her university [indicates to Angela's IRB consent forms]. And maybe the university says that this research is meant for university only and yet we want to expect her to share with us, to share with the public. What is the policy, the university policy, saying about that? How about other organizations that also carry out other researches are they making it public? How about researches done by the government, should they be public? So we need to categorize and know which research should be made available to us. Is it within their policy or not? Otherwise you can be expecting too much when it's not really necessary.
Going back to this story of some guy doing some amazing stuff. [inaudible] Yeah, that time I was actually in the United States, Washington DC and I heard the story but before I went to US though, I saw this program here they were planning and covering the houses with big artwork. So they asked Kibera people with a human eye because those living at Gatwekera next to Madogo there, their houses, they had old roofs, some of them are leaky. So the guys said, okay. I have a project I'm running here but I want to change your roof, you know. I will remove these old iron sheets and put you a new ones. Sounds like a good deal, you know? Someone is coming to give you a new roof. Sure why not? Then they put all those human eyes on top. Blah blah blah. On top of the roofs, they're putting another art work on top. So they went, and then this guy comes - I don't know if he was Italian or not - and sees an opportunity. It is a very nice artwork that is just abandoned, has stayed there for one year. But it's still in good shape. And he wonders what are people doing with all this valuable stuff? In fact, in fact, that guy is the one who came and told them I'm taking this art and replacing it with the new iron sheets. So he took all the iron sheets, the art work around that area folded very well, put the new iron sheets and Kibera people were so happy, this mzungu has done us a favor. The guy went to sell these things in San Francisco, he did an exhibition a very big one. He raised a lot of millions. And this thing gets published in New York Times how someone has made a lot of money from Kibera. And now some people from Kibera get a glimpse this and it starts spreading around like "oh! how can one person make a lot of money like that. This is unfair, he should bring back to the community." They are blaming him like a lot and I'm like okay, that's me, a lot of people including my colleagues are blaming him. but I'm like, come on, this guy just came and saw an opportunity that no one else saw. You are expecting him to come down so we can eat this together. No, this guy the opportunity that you didn't see and many people have seen opportunities in Kibera and are coming to utilize them the right way. You should have appreciated the iron sheets that you were given. [all laugh]
Yeah, it's one that I will disagree with me but yeah its ok.
Before you disagree with me, I also have another version. Like Dyana was talking about mzungus (Swahili: foreigners) or researchers taking a picture and fundraise abroad, getting a lot of money. Some of these are just perceptions. Even me, with my Kibera News Network team we go around and sometimes people tell us "Oh you're making money out of our videos, you're going to sell our photos to mzungu. Which mzungu can buy your picture? Now if I take a picture of Douglas and I go and sell in US. Who will someone buy it? [all laugh] So if a photographer comes to Kibera, goes around and take photos randomly. He gets a child, a young girl who is fetching water and the tap is drying so the girl is just waiting there. I think Douglas must have known this story when he was still at [REDACTED ORG NAME]. So after 10 years, this guy, this photo, they, they took it to OneWorld, it is a water company in the UK. And this guy fundraised that because they wanted to supply water in Turkana and some dry places in Africa. So they fundraised using that picture to show how Africa is suffering because of water like this young girl. So they got a lot of money and then they said, okay, because this young girl, we used her photograph, let's go back and look for her. We have to help her. So they came back to Kibera after 10 years and they didn't know how to find her. They even looked for the South African photographer to come and help them but the photographer could not remember because he was just walking around randomly. So they approached us as [REDACTED ORG NAME] because we have done some mapping on water and sanitation. We may have an idea. So looking at water sanitation map, we could not even remember because there was a lot of development that had taken place. Roads had demolished some water points, and then we walked with that photo from one village to the other asking and people could not really remember. Finally, we got that it was from Soweto East. And then but the the child had moved 10 years is a long time. Her parents had died. She she was now living with her auntie in Embu. And she had actually joined Form One (high school). We traced her up to there and we got to the girl. We interviewed her to be very sure that she's actually the one: "where were you 10 years ago? What happened blah, blah, blah. You remember this picture?" Yeah, so she was caught and she was given a scholarship to study in UK, all of her education was taken care of. Blah blah blah. And now this was a success story. At least those people remembered the child that they took the picture of 10 years ago to come and give back to the community. So these things vary. [others chime in; noisy]
Again from from a positive response and the positive outcome, you know, literally what Kibereans say about selling photo is not literally taking it and selling it. It's it's part of the program for example, the the fundraising bit of it, that you see this is the photo you take and out of fundraising and exaggeration of facts. You see, [MK-KM-S-08], I'm not saying that now you take Dougie's photo and you sell it. Dougie doesn't really understand that the information he gave out, how is it going to work in his or somebody else's interest without him having authority? That's what I was saying authoritatively, the ownage of it. So I think literally that is what people mean now if you're taking my photo you're gonna sell it, they're not really saying you are physically gonna sell it, they're saying "now we know that reports are generated from from these, probably to fundraise. But then if you fundraise it might only benefit your organization and benefit a number of programs, it might not really come directly to me, like it came directly to that girl. You know, and that is a very, that's a very success. Success Story. So, yeah, probably I think that is.
Angela Okune 53:31
So can I ask, what would you say then are the responsibilities of the researchers, keeping in mind I think most of you have also done research. And you know, that sometimes you're also limited because you're also just a person. So what do you would you say, in your opinion, the responsibility for a researcher to do...like what at minimum, ... should every researcher feel like they have to do?
I think it starts from the objective that you are talking about. What is your objective first for this research you are conducting? Is it geared towards some change, some action? Then after you've done it, on whose desk does it end up? It's meant to end up on a government, Kenyan government's desk which means so, you should put it there so that they know that this the research we did about Kibera about this and that and these are the recommendations 123 should happen. So hoping that they can take some action.
Douglas Mamale 54:30
I think there are multiple issues here; one is the ethical position of the researchers. I am talking about informing policy. Which is a standard procedure or purpose. How many of these researchers do inform the participants in the research what ought to be known by them? Because some of the questions that have been raised are related to that. Now we have different scenarios on the photo issue. It is also related to that. If you are taking my photo, I know of photos that have been taken here (Kibera) appearing in magazines in different other countries and when you read the contents of what [inaudible]. For me and the actual thing that was happening, you'll find two contrasting scenarios. I wish Lucy was here. I remember a case of two mzungus (Swahili: foreigners) that were here, took a photo of Lucy, and it was a magazine published by a [inaudible] who came back and when you read the caption, one written in English and one written in Danish. I asked the English person to [inaudible] because it was appearing in the Danish one because her eyes appear to have been doctored in the photo. Then when you look at the caption and the content there, the one that is being used for fundraising, means something that is completely opposite to the reality. So these are two stories that are there. I had no idea, also I was working in Denmark [inaudible]. And found a big billboard.
Angela Okune 56:57
You found your face on a billboard? In Denmark?
Male Respondent 57:01
In Copenhagen. [inaudible]
Angela Okune 57:03
I couldn't read that language but I think somebody might have interpreted in ...it just called me a slum boy. [all laugh] I think it was more a slang, what they use. So it was (in) three cities, [inaudible], Denmark, and one. So a very big billboard, but it was just a photo that was taken.
Douglas Mamale 57:27
Those are the exact things that am taking about. Informed consent issues and where these photos end up. They end up in billboards, they end up in magazines and other places. So the question is: what is the value? These people are benefiting, but what about the images? Do the images also have rights? That is the bigger question. Because I know of a few stories, most of you know it; this thing that was called [inaudible]. They took young people from Kibera, picked young people and the guys who did the script for Kibera team, I know them. I always see them walking around. [inaudible] yes that one, [inaudible] that is the second one. The first one is the community then togetherness screen and the third then a fourth for all these films have won multiple awards, but the guys the actors, characters in these images, these films have been left here. And then a few years later, this guy has [inaudible] and has been relocated in Westlands and now there's a guard at the gate. [inaudible]
Angela Okune 59:04
What promises have been made to you about research? Like research projects? Were you told you are going to be on a billboard in Denmark? Or like how much...What did they promise research will do when when they're coming now to, let's say, recruit or...are there any promises made? Or no? Anonymity? Sharing?
Well, I think first one is some...I always feel that, you know, most of us, especially those who aren't aware, we're providing information, they don't know they're providing information, you know, save for professional ones where you are informed that we are recording for the purposes of documentation. But I always feel that either way either through photographs, hidden audios, people get information from Kiberans without them knowing, sometimes very raw information that you know, ought to have been provided a lot of privacy and therefore, in that means that if you publish it, they want to know, because you cannot you cannot know if the information is for publishing or not. But I think the promise has been you know, this is meant for projects for example, and this will inform a program that you will be part of. I think that is many of the promised like objectives that I've ever heard. [murmuring from others in agreement] Several several several programs - [MK-KM-S-08] - you know, "we, we are beginning to have a six months program, one year program and we cannot begin from a point of lack of information. And you people who will participate, provide us with this information." So, I think with that kind of gullibility you don't expect a lot because you know, you already will be involved in six months or one year in a program. So even you will provide a lot of information by the way, and don't expect much to be given back. The other aim is that at a professional level, of course, and I think one of that program that you were mentioning was basically dealing with, you know, how would the youth engage in governance and security matters in Kibera? And I said, why not? Why would I not engage on this, because this is probably an area of my interest and I was providing information as I'm doing now, by the way, providing a lot then, you know, because it's something you're very passionate about. Those guys did not even take a lot of photos, but I think they were so sharp.
Angela Okune 1:01:56
That's where they got it [the image that was used on the Danish billboard]?
Yeah, that's where they got it. We were walking around in Kibera. So you can't suspect a lot, but they know exactly what they're doing. So, I think also from a professional level it's also like, "Okay, I'm also interested for example, to know what this research is, on a personal level." For me, if this document comes out, and I'm also interested in Kibra, I can authoritatively refer to it. So, that is hence they're telling me, you know, give us your email, we'll definitely get back to you. So, it is sometimes [MK-KM-S-08] and I was coming back to what you were saying, it is not like the respondents expecting a lot. You know, you know, when you ask us to have a focus group discussion, I know, the professional bit and I know what to expect and what not. So probably I cannot ask for more. You know, but if if a researcher gets excited about data and about participation and can can really unexpectedly say something more that you can provide later or he can provide later, then it becomes a point of conflict. Because as a respondent now, we'll be asking to be given, because you said. Yes!
So is it always something to do with managing expectations or something like this?
Angela Okune 1:03:16
Has anyone ever promised to give you the data back? Have you ever been given the data?
I am telling you that, this is like the...I have done four researches where I have provided my emails, and I'm not asking them, they're telling me "now this information is so helpful. We're going to put it together and share it with you." I didn't expect much but just to participate for... you know, it's also important it reaches a level for us as researchers, in Kibera, or leaders, where we would prefer that some documents are quoted with us. You know, because it's professional, it's information based. And as a leader, if a document for example, raises about the level of sanitation, the level of governance is quoted on your name, in Kibra it gives you credibility. You know, on your leadership. [Others make sounds that show agreement]. Yeah, hence I was saying facts. You provide facts and its facts that can be referred to. You know.
So, on that. Yeah, Douglas has been mentioned more than 15 times in different articles. Douglas, I don't know whether you're proud about this, happy that you are famous, or you have issues with it? KP-KM-U-09 appeared in the streets of Denmark. [lots of inaudible discussion] Actually he is very happy about it that he posted on Facebook...
There are two different photos. I posted the bus, but not the billboard.
Yeah. Because it [the bus photo] was a fundraising, that I accepted. Okay, but the billboard I think until now, I have a problem actually. Yeah.
Angela Okune 1:04:58
So in certain, certain contexts, the person should also get some of the renumeration. If someone is making profit off of you, then the responsibility in those cases, is to make sure some of that goes back to the person whose image is there, isn't it? I think that's what I'm hearing. [All agree]
Douglas Mamale 1:05:16
Even I'm still saying it's unethical for someone [inaudible]. Because I don't believe, because I have just seen an opportunity for some poor people in Kibera and I've made billions out of it. It's unethical for me just to run away with the billions without even thinking, maybe I need to do just a simple CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and come and build a small school there. Because even where we when we are not damaged that way, we have just big companies around who do CSR so why don't you who has actually been benefiting from the poor?
Angela Okune 1:06:19
I think often researchers and especially academics don't think of themselves as actually implementors. I think that's part of the challenge. Researchers just see themselves as taking facts, synthesizing, publishing so much, but then they never actually take the step to DO the thing, isn't it? They would never go and set up a school.
Same way like journalists.
Angela Okune 1:06:42
Yeah, the same like journalism. They see themselves somehow detached.
John Paul 1:06:46
Okay. I agree with what you say that it's unethical because as much as you're saying that researchers they're just [inaudible], but I think there is a point where we are missing in terms of maybe policy. Let's say journalists, take a picture maybe your picture when you are running on the street and then he will put some words there. He won't come and need your consent to allow for that but somebody who just come like media when they are doing some investigative news. They normally ask you after doing clearing and they normally come to just confirm whatever you said, whatever the research was, whether you agree with it or not. You have to give a consent that you can publish this. So as a researcher also maybe if you know you're going to publish something with somebody's information, someone's idea, I think you just need maybe to like now you're telling us like this that after this we will be signing some consent. I think something of the sort is needed when you come to me to ask me some information which I have, then you're going to take credit on it without my consent. I think like I remember when I was in Strathmore University, they were taking photos and it was really just a seminar kind of training. But at the end, they were telling us to write a consent whether we will like that content to be used on any social media. Anywhere. If you say yes they'll use it, if you say no, they won't use it. And I think that's the reason why most of the people in Kibera they normally say like [inaudible] ... funds to assisting on the issue of water in Kenya. And if they were looking for that, why didn't they go to other places? Cuz they just came to Kibera because they knew Kibera is the bad place and you see like, most of the time, even the news you realize that there is a war somewhere, a political turmoil somewhere. And the background picture that you'll see you'll be seeing just somewhere in Kibera where ... someone thinks it is a warzone instead of bringing that place, which is an issue.
Douglas Mamale 1:09:07
What you just said [inaudible] when election was...when Maraga announced that he has nullified the elections. CNN did carry a piece and they were carrying a piece on 2007 conflict, saying this is the situation on the ground in Kibera. And if Kenyans discovered [inaudible] over here is not correct, and they blasted CNN, then CNN had to apologize later. Not correcting anything, proudly, attempting to play around with words, that the reality has been known. A similar scenario happened around this year, early this year when a lady, a New York Times correspondent, they did some piece then the content that was in that report was false. Then we asked, she was asked here the lady who covers Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. What is all this about? Her response is, this is what is reported in CNN, but it is false. You see. So we have those things happening around, all over the place. And nowadays, I'm happy that [inaudible] sharing information was kind of limited. But now, Kenyans are being vigilant, particularly the Kenyans on Twitter, KOT. These guys are really really [inaudible]. And they are now known. [inaudible]
Angela Okune 1:11:26
You had mentioned something here at the beginning about research. A lot of researches have been in Kibera for example. But is it also true that there are some people maybe at the top that don't want these researches to be in the public domain because of their own interests? Could there be something like this? For example, the government that we expect to take some action and improve lives as per the recommendations made by that research. Doesn't want that change and so they keep on saying "no Kibera has to remain the way it is." So, that can also be something I think because people, Kibera has been a slum for so long. We have so many NGOs in here a lot of money has been packed, so much research has been done. Why is it that Kibera is not changing or changing at a very slow pace. True, Kibera people themselves sometimes don't want that change that you think they want. If you go around asking when even we do our small small videos in the community for Kibera News Network about slum upgrading for example. People will tell you that "we are comfortable the way we are. We don't want slum upgrading because it will complicate our lives." For example. But there are also majority who want it, it doesn't mean that everybody doesn't want it. So there are such issues. Some people want it, some people doesn't want. Maybe some people at the top especially politicians also doesn't want Kibera to change because this is where they get a lot of votes, this is where they come to campaign and they have to keep those people poor. So that they continue manipulating like Doug was saying political manipulation. So this is also an area that we have to look at. Back to Kenyans on Twitter, all this and [REDACTED ORG NAME] with Madonna. Sometimes we just have to blame ourselves. Because there is no way Madonna can come from nowhere. Take a picture and say, "This is the kind of water Kibera people drink." She has no idea about it. Someone and I don't think [REDACTED ORG NAME] leadership would say that. It probably was some junior person who was walking around with Madonna and then wants to exaggerate things like KP-KM-U-09 is saying. Like, "just look at the way Kibera people drink water from sewage," I mean...how possible is that? So it's not...it is us who are even saying these things and we are the first ones to run and complain. So, we must learn to be sincere with ourselves and take control. Even if so many researches have been done on Kibera, for example, and so many people have said so much lies in this research just to please a researcher. Tell them what they would want to hear. Even if you talk about election violence stuff, they already know, ah that this guy is looking this kind of information. So I tell them what they want to hear. If it's from Amnesty International or PeaceNet, they know that this is a guy from peace perspective. So he wants me to say something that is peace directed. So I'll tell them what they want to hear. Some people sit in the United States and send people on the ground saying "you. Go and do a research or a survey and even a questionnaire." And someone sits under a tree and fills... and fills them differently. [different handwritings chimes in someone else] Money is poured. They eat. So it is us who say this false information, it is us who runs to complain, and it is us who blame the researchers.
Douglas Mamale 1:12:34
Okay I think we deal with three issues differently. First one I don't want to blame government much on what you just said, of some people trying to hide information that comes from Kibera for the wrong reasons. And I'll give a number of reasons why. Kenya International Bureau of Statistics, after every 10 years they do census.
Angela Okune 1:15:32
Did they come?
Male Respondent 1:16:03
Yes, we always see these figures.
Angela Okune 1:16:06
And do they ask good questions or bad questions?
Male Respondent 1:16:08
And I'll give you an example. In 2009, immediately the census just came out. The census figures of 174,000 people in Kibera. But you see have many NGOs and many other people still saying about a million or over a million. This is a credible source, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. So why are people still saying one of a million, about a million and things like those? That was doubted to be too low. Okay, one. Two, [REDACTED ORG NAME] itself did a similar thing and came up with a figure: 254,000 people as being the population in the whole of Kibera. It was confirmed by the Embassy of Belgium which is another fairly heavy entity and respectable. How many NGOs have accepted to quote those as credible sources? And you see, here is the problem. When you look at these figures, the [REDACTED ORG NAME] and compare it with what government gave. You could actually see where the variable came from. Because when Government was dealing with that, it did not include places like Olympic, like where we are seated in Karanja and places like Ayani. You see? So, when you look at those ones and try to compare them, then you realize how the variable came from, where the variable came and then you will see these figures appearing to be almost similar, but how many ... including White House say it's about a million. So, there is a problem, deliberate problem. Somebody is deciding to do something differently. And he decided [inaudible] perception. In my mind, this is what they want to depict. So whether it is true to here or not, I will stick to my truth.
And you see, the other point of research that has to be remembered, you know, we are having a tussle on slum tourism you know. Is it high time somebody researched on what is the actual effect of slum tourism, [that would be a very important research someone chips in] in Kibera or other informal settlements. I was thinking about it because I think it is a multi billion industry industry coupled with briefcase NGOs as well. And also I think if you do a research on slum tourism then [inaudible] once again very far. Factually, the number of non governmental organizations in Kibera and own that. Because that now will guide us. You know, personally I would really be interested to know NGOs. Like, like, [MK-KM-S-08] and Douglas have just mentioned, you know, the deliberate misrepresentation of facts is meant to score a goal. That is why I like the word you said, it's deliberate. If [REDACTED ORG NAME] did the survey on the exact population, and that is why until you told me the variable, I would downplay the statistics because that was too low. That definitely is too low for Kibra. And you can compare it with a number of things to come up with that. But it's, it's deliberate. Now the reason as to why I am not able to trust the government, you know, information and data in Kibra. Because I think the government is slightly responsible for for you know, deliberate exclusion of Kibra. So, then what would I say if the institutions, you know, the institutions are as good as the people in them, you know, [inaudible]. So, if we are having data, including the one I have just given recently, they are subject to falsification. Because right now, each and every region would want to falsify the data that will come and even [inaudible] leaders in Mt. Kenya converged to say, you know, people have to go home to be counted, you know, and others have to leave back and go to their places to be counted. So, in a true representation, I'm interested definitely to know that somebody somewhere would falsify this and try to interfere with accurate information about Kibra and Kibera as a slum. Because if the facts are out that would really work against these people or work to their advantage.
John Paul 1:22:14
Ok, let me just add something on that.
and Angela if we are getting off topic...
Angela Okune 1:22:21
No, I think it's a good...but I also want to keep an eye on time. I know we have to finish by four. [This is what you asked right?] This is perfect. Oh, this is lovely.
John Paul 1:22:31
This issue of the figure. You see like, I think five years ago we talked about the number of Kibera NGOs. And see even as per now if you check or even on most of the sites in terms of comparing the biggest slum. People in Kibera, they believe that Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa, which in real fairness is not. It's number two. With 300 but people put it as over a million which it's not. So at times, people don't want to play with the reality which is on the ground. [inaudible because of sound of helicopter overhead]
Nicera Wanjiru 1:23:13
Kibera is not even the biggest in Kenya.
Angela Okune 1:23:16
The biggest is?
Nicera Wanjiru 1:23:18
In terms of?
Nicera Wanjiru 1:23:22
Area. Area-wise, Mukuru is bigger. Population, Kibera is bigger, but area-wise Mukuru is bigger.
John Paul 1:23:36
So at times, even there are some statistics normally in terms of malaria or other things even if you check in the entire Kenya, as Kenya, apart from not checking Kibera, most of this say information which we have, even in terms of like we were arguing about homosexuals, in Mombasa and in Kisumu being high in Kisumu, apart from Mombasa, which Mombasa is something which is known. And ...I was given [MK-KM-S-08] cuz I was in Kilifi. And that was given in terms of numbers. And I was saying in Kisumu that can't be. But they just want to divert some attention in terms of to get some funds and NGOs. So, these numbers, they normally just play with it to just create some, somebody wants money. And now let's use data to confuse the people. Once people are confused, they'll be getting ...and they'll be using that ...theory of...the reason of a six month contract, just us the population, this is what is on the ground. And yet things are different on the ground. And things are just working and we also believe that yes, is that like now in Kibera we believe it is the largest in Africa. If you go and argue even with somebody in Kibera and tell him that you are not number one, he will say no, you don't know.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:24:57
So there's an upcoming research about the NYS project and I was arguing with the top researchers, the ones who were coming to do the research. So why is it that in Makina, it's like the NYS project was only done in Makina and when you go to Gatwekera, those sides of Gatwekera 42, there's nothing. There's was something yes that happened but it's like 10, 20% and the person from the NYS told us. That one is a political battlefield, so we couldn't go there. So we only concentrated in Makina. Let's wait for results and see.
And what did you think? Is that correct or not?
Nicera Wanjiru 1:25:56
For me, it's just a perception. Because when you say can't develop an area, because they are very much into politics... [others laugh]
Douglas Mamale 1:26:13
Most of the NYS facilities in Gatwekera and this area were actually vandalized. But most areas, yes in other areas, they were functional. So, yes, the aspect of politics and how it is affecting development is real.
Yes. And that's why they were saying some people trying to...
I'm just seeing another research that could be interesting is to know what the resistance..the violent nature...
I mean this is true. Douglas is very right. These are politically instigated resistance and its high time we stop self-denial.
Douglas Mamale 1:26:56
If I'm living in Gatwekera as my village I'm crying "why is there no development in my area, and Makina and other places there are." I have to understand that there is a political high resistance in my area that we will not accept this kind of development because they will be associated with violence. And you know we we vandalize, actually, we vandalize even the toilets.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:27:03
But I think not all were vandalized. Because I've been to Gatwekera and 42 its not all actually. Let us not blanket. Just some.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:27:35
Maybe a mistake.
It is one or two because when I got to 42, I see toilets, I see NYS toilets there and they are helping people. [inaudible because so many people talking at once over each other]
Douglas Mamale 1:27:36
That was political.
You see these 42 dynamics are different from Gatwekera.
Yes, they are totally different and that's why I'm saying, from a researcher's perspective... I really want to consider this ... and ask... whenever you really cross this railway, you know...
Not really there. But you know hapa katikati ya Olympic (Swahili: here in the middle of Olympic neighborhood) as you enda (Swahili: go towards) Kibra. The dynamics drastically change from that area even how we respond to issues. Politically, resistance-wise. Yeah. So, you know, I would be interested to ask what is people's opinion about and yet it's the same Kibra. You know. What's...That would be a very nice topic for research. And that's why I am saying some of these we can authoritatively talk about them without feeling intimidated. Because they are facts that are there.
Douglas Mamale 1:28:11
Angela Okune 1:28:18
Just in the few minutes remaining, I would love if anyone else also has ideas for research. They would love to know, things they wish...they they were interested in. If you could do the research, anything you want, what would you want to ask? Which questions bother you?
Mine I would ask besides what I have just proposed. Going back to the researches that have been over-researched and trying to do a thesis on that.
Angela Okune 1:29:24
See we can co-author [laughs]
For example is gender-based violence has been researched. And I think we definitely know the outcome of that research is like women are more more, you know, more victims. The gender that is victim. Now I would want to ask...now the men that have had cases of you know, being victims, what do they ... who do they report to...how do they react to it? Yeah? Because as much as that is it. I know it has been researched and over-researched. What if the researcher tells the story of the other gender? You know, that would be a point of my interest as well.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:30:09
But the problem is the men will not come out.
Now that is the perception. The stigma and all this.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:30:16
That is why we need the research. Why do they not come out?
John Paul 1:30:18
I think just a stigma. I remember there was a police officer who was beaten by the wife. Alichomwa entire face (Swahili: his entire face was burnt) and now he started a campaign about men and women violence. He came out say that you can say that, nilichomwa na bibi as much as ulichomwa hivyo, the entire face. [Inaudible]
Why would they, you know, why would they not?
Male Respondent 1:31:04
Okay, and just two last questions. So you guys have all participated in research, including this one. Why? Why. Like what benefits do you did you see, we can talk in the past tense, because I'm also curious about your future and will you participate in the future in other researches? Why? Which kinds of research? Which one would you refuse? Which ones have you refused? Why? [silence]
Angela Okune 1:31:40
Dyana has been so quiet maybe we can see if she has anything to add. [inaudible] I think just because why do you think researches...Why would you participate? Is research beneficial, even if it's just for pocket money.. [she laughs] be honest, like, maybe it just helps to pay the bills. I don't know. Like, what's the benefit of research?
Dyana Mueni 1:32:06
Very true. You get some money to walk around and interacting, asking a lot of questions you get to know more. I'd do it again and again.
I think that's more of doing the research.
Dyana Mueni 1:32:26
Sometimes it depends with who does it. Some people they are [inaudible] They're not very good. But I like the yes or no questions. It depends on the topic also.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:32:49
Some researches are an eye opener, and as she said you get to know a lot of things in your community. Okay, one success story I have seen is the housing research that we did in Mukuru and one and half years later, the area was designated as a special planning area and at the moment there are a lot of consortium that want to help the community develop.
Angela Okune 1:33:29
So for yourself having participated...?
Nicera Wanjiru 1:33:31
Yeah, I participated in that and I was like oh. Dealing with people is tough.
I think for me, having participated in so many researches, both conducting a research and being researched. Conducting research is like Dyana says. Sometimes you get to learn so many things about people, about your community that you didn't know about like just conducting it and you realize, "oh! so it's not what I thought it is. Actually it is different. People think differently." So that is what has been good for me. And being researched has helped me especially with our Kibera News network to get new story ideas like now I know I can do something about slum tourism just from this sitting. KP-KM-U-09 has raised a very important point. And foreigners coming in to do a research, the kind of questions they ask, the kind of, the directive they take. Again gives you an idea how an outsider sees Kibera, thinks about Kibera, and again, that can give me another story idea or perspective on what else we can do as Kibera News Network. What else can we...what other the topics can we map for example. And that has been helpful for me. Because it's interesting. It's just nice to hear how people sees you from outside and then you tap in that and say, "oh, I think this is a nice thinking, oh, this is a bad thinking we have to..."
Angela Okune 1:33:58
Angela Okune 1:34:59
The value of research? The benefits of research?
[Noise from airplane overhead] My interest right now is ... whether I conduct it or whether I participate in it, I still refer to you know... you gain authority from it. You know. The fact that a research quotes you... [background noise from call to prayer] ...you know...builds your profile as a leader in whatever purpose you serve, especially if it is now on for public consumption. It is for the government. You know even the media becomes good for you. But then also research is a component of ... reshifting the narrative. [inaudible] Like probably the theory, theoretical things, beliefs you have, now practically you realize that it's different. Kwa ground vitu ni tofauti. [Swahili: On the ground, things are different] You know. It's totally, totally different. But now I think for me I'm not really closing myself to more research but then if there are defined objectives and well achievable expectations about the research then why not? Because then when you provide information you also learn. From a focus group discussion, you learn from the rest. It is more of a sharing of ideas. And also whoever is researching you, especially the researchers from abroad, once you comparatively can share the notes you know for you, this is what happened but for country this is so research has become a platform of knowledge actually.
Yeah, actually, Doug is the only person who asked me a lot of questions about this. I asked him to come and he asked me first, who's conducting the research? Whose research is it? Who is involved? Who else is involved? What what is the research about? So I was happy with that, he was interested to know, what is the research about, for him to decide whether he wants to take part or not.
Angela Okune 1:37:37
and you would have refused if it was... about what?
Yes, because then like like the experience he's talking about is...you know, I realized that I went there blindly. So, that ...you know, my participation was there blindly, there were no defined objectives at all...the outcome... So, that is why I am very keen... and by the way Synovate [a market research company well-known for election polling] so they call people nowadays over the phone. You know. And they ask questions.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:37:41
Yes they ask questions.
You see that is very unethical [MK-KM-S-08]. Because where did you get my number first of all, and if you have authority to get information from me...
From opinion polls
It's for opinion polls. I mean, that is a research and such has got ethics you're talking about in the guidelines, you know. How do you archive your data? How do you get your respondents? So that is why I was asking him about today's discussion.
Angela Okune 1:38:29
I'm happy you joined. I know we are close on time but if you have any last points that you want to add...
Douglas Mamale 1:38:38
For me, the research that was [inaudible]. Before I started publishing Kibera journal. Everybody used to say, like even in the office, where we work, people were saying we need to do a Swahili translation of the journal. Then two of us decided to go and conduct a research [inaudible] just to understand how people think about it. And the results, about 98% were saying don't publish in Kiswahili do in English for [inaudible].
Make it simple. But we still had the group of people in the office who thought Kiswahili was important and so we decided to print half of the journal in English and half in Kiswahili. But after the third issue, we discontinued the Kiswahili version because the feedback we got was that [inaudible] many people were not reading it. So there's a theory here in this country. You'll hear many people say..."we need to listen to we need to talk Kiswahili we need to we need to see publications in Kiswahili" but the thing is Kenyans don't like reading Kiswahili but they like speaking Kiswahili. That's an interesting thing that we discovered. There's another one we did on land...public land in Lamu. We did the feedback and I'm happy to have seen results [inaudible] land grabbers not surrendering it back to the government and its being used to do development projects. [inaudible] On why I also participate in terms of [inaudible]. Sharing knowledge is critical so any platform that will offer me such an opportunity [inaudible] to learn from other people... that's how you open up your mind better. Experience things widely...your opinions and your level of understanding expands and you have a wider scope [inaudible because of overhead airplane noise].
Angela Okune 1:41:03
Make it simple...
Nicera Wanjiru 1:41:37
...about the railway, the railway project. [inaudible] and the railway allocation managment. In two weeks time, in two weeks, they had put posters everywhere, you know, ... It was a good one, I liked it. It was not that technical, but they had the parts right.
John Paul 1:42:26
Basically what I can say about research and you see, I used not to like in terms of research because I see people doctoring data just to speak them. Then with time as much as I've been participating in many of them, but not falling into the part of people doctoring the data maybe. Maybe just engaging the audience, writing, marking, or giving an answer. But I used to ask myself, are this answers really genuine because like, since I was born to at my age since since I've been giving reports each and every 5 year, they are now every 10 years. But like every year they give a report and I've never been asked any questions. So I was wondering where does he... You see, because in 10 years if you have never met anybody asking something of the sort. And they are doing it in Nairobi, and I've been all in Nairobi and I've never been asked. So I wonder where do they get this information or is it just a random? You see because in terms of data I'm part of dealing with data and I know how you can manipulate this data. That's why I imagine that there are people who normally just manipulate it to maybe they have a gaining what they they have something that they know that they'll gain in the end. But doing research is good because, you know, when you're on the other side, any other side of this, you need to be learning because research involves you studying a lot and getting information and I think basically that can be what can I can say. Because you have to learn, you need to go deep into information [inaudible because of overhead airplane]. ... But basically what we normally lack is data, there is no data whereby even if somebody can Google and say, this is for this, this does for this. That's what motivates people to keep on reminding themselves on one thing, year in year out. Yeah. Maybe we need to make some changes on that, and maybe to have things like the policies being put in place whereby you can't interview me and there's no consent of using my information somewhere, like, you see like his pictures was written slum boy but you see he could be happy of him being there in London... in whatever. He can be happy, you see, being an African you can [inaudible because everyone is laughing loudly]. But now, maybe if he shared that, I knew maybe he removed that "slum boy" and maybe he just put his picture. Those are things ... at times there are normally some small things that make one to be happy. But ah... I think we need to look for a way to doing research as much as we see the perception that people gain and people believe that once you do research there has to be something afterwards. Because I think that it all normally starts with objective, you see if you have an objective, and it is a long term, so you need to do research based on that objective such that even when you are doing it people know that okay, these at the end there will be this even if it is years to come not only necessarily that today, but maybe in the future. There'll be something which is come, good out of. But as I was reading there was a place where they were saying that this issue of research [inaudible because of overhead airplane] ... maybe people normally... some people don't like change. So maybe they can be giving information and then that information is going to be bringing that change tomorrow and they don't want that change to be there. And so that's why some of them they normally say, I'm happy the way I am. So... that is the way it is.
Angela Okune 1:43:10
Development is bringing roads that are cutting across people's houses. Maybe that's not the development that people want. So actually they'd prefer not to have that, because it's not benefiting them. Things like that?
John Paul 1:46:19
Dyana Mueni 1:46:20
And then, it's not the researcher's fault. Like you, you are doing a research [inaudible] ...
There are some researchers who wants just to sit somewhere and ... [inaudible]
Angela Okune 1:47:56
Yeah, I mean, it's messy work to come and actually interact with people and to learn from each other. I think as much as it can be messy and problematic, I prefer at least you do that then you stay where you are and you just sit on your computer and you never actually come. [others agree]
Nicera Wanjiru 1:48:13
It makes sense, cuz you going around with your skin color, they may ask for some cash.
Angela Okune 1:48:20
But maybe they should have that cash [laughs], I don't know, I think...Yeah, I think that's what I was also asking is... the benefit for research. I mean, many people who participate get money, and maybe that pushes them another day. I don't know. Like, is that all that research is? But from what I've heard from you guys, you think that there's still something that can be saved from research, it's not just about money...
Nicera Wanjiru 1:48:42
we have some researchers, eh?, who come, they pay you before they start asking questions. And then there's this other one with just asking you question and he has like 50 or 58 questions. So getting the actual information...
John Paul 1:48:52
And even there was an article whereby they were saying that there are many Afri... people doing their ... doing research for people who are studying in US, yes, So the Kenyans are doing their research for them, which means, like, I can do it for you because I'm in Kenya. Then you pay me.
Angela Okune 1:49:17
[inaudible because many people speaking at the same time becomes silent]. Well, thank you all so much for your time, and your opinions and your insights. I know we're over time, we're past time. But this is, in fact, kind of the final part because as I mentioned, I think you were missing [directed at the one person who came late]. But I'm trying to also do things a bit differently. So actually, I built a platform where data can be shared. And you know, the research I'm doing is qualitative. It's not necessarily numerical or quantitative in the same way that I think many of you maybe are used to. It's not like the the government open data portal. Have you guys seen that one? But this is now for like ethnographic or qualitative materials. So for the people--and I was mentioning most of the interviews and things I've doing with researchers---and so this is the informed consent that I've kind of supplemented with a form asking for how you want the data to be shared. So we started with agreeing to be audio taped, and I'm sorry, you you jumped in and we had already all agreed. So you, you were forced to agree to be audio taped [all laugh]. Sorry. But the rest [of the questions] are now about asking how much you guys are willing to share this conversation we've just had. And if you would want to be identified and be made famous [laughs jokingly because it refers to something that was discussed during the group discussion] and build your prestige, or maybe be anonymized. So that's now...you know, your name is removed. It shouldn't have anything related to to anything. So so this is something I've been doing with each person that I interview and actually almost all of them have...one has refused to have the information shared... but the rest of them have agreed. So I'm also now in the process, I have to type it up, none of them wanted the audio, so we can refuse to have the audio up. And basically, we can have the typed version, because that will now you know, your voice is not attached. So it's harder for someone to even trace. And so I'm doing that and that data will be put on this site. And it has licenses so that anyone can reuse it. So it's not just my data as Angela, but actually you could go KP-KM-U-09, if you're doing your research on research, or if you want to cite someone, you can actually look and you can use that data yourself and you have the licenses because the person I did the interview with said it's okay. And I've also put it up there. So I'm trying to build in processes...so that at least we're moving a bit forward so that we're not just yeah, so I'm trying to also experiment with with how we do...so I wanted to ask you guys...this is different because we are a group. So I think we need to be unanimous because one person cannot say they want to be have it shared and others they no. so...But I don't want to put pressure...Because I don't want everyone to feel like "oh I have to agree because I can't refuse"... you know, so so maybe I can just hand it out. It's a bit conk [Sheng for concentrated] so we can walk through it. But you know, what has been discussed so you have a sense of how controversial it is, and how not controversial I don't think in my mind, it wasn't so, so much, but maybe we can remove if someone feels like the mention of [REDACTED ORG NAME]. They wouldn't want that to be named, we can remove. So we can even remove like [REDACTED ORG NAME] we can remove certain things that were said if you feel like that's important. So the first one, we all agreed, yes. So maybe we can..
We are just looking at this last page, but you'll go home with this. I know sorry, it's a conk document from the university, but we had kind of talked through it before. Yeah, but we're just looking at the page I just handed you because that's where we will make our choices. So the first one is agreeing to be audio taped. We've already audio taped. The next one. And this is what I use with like the research organizations because I want to see how they're already archiving their data. So but for us, we can say not applicable. And then this other question is about excerpts from the interview quoted. A pen, and there's another pen here...Agreeing...So everyone can mark their preferences, and then I'll look at them. And then now I'll see if we're in agreement or not, because I didn't want you guys to feel pressure to talk about it out loud. You can ask questions if you want, but Yeah, "I agree to have excerpts quoted." So that's now like, direct things that you said. [pause while everyone reads and marks their choices.] And then the other one is to have them quoted in an oral presentation. So if someone says this is what people are concerned about...
So I agree to allow access to any material ...?
Angela Okune 1:54:05
Oh no, that's not applicable, "n/a."
OK. And the excerpt is... ?
Angela Okune 1:54:12
...in a written report, that's that one after that. The one after that is now oral presentation. And then the one after that is this audio tape, the audio recording, so if you agreed to have it posted on a website...and then the other one is "I agree to have it on a website for students, artists, journalists and others interested in the material to use in their own projects." So this is now allowing people to reuse it to the first one might just be to post it but they can't reuse it. Then the other one is they can use it for their own purposes. But I think if we use that one, you can see it's noncommercial. So it wouldn't be for making profit. So there's a license where you can say you can use this, but only as long as you're not making profit. And then the one after that is allowing it to be preserved for public use permanently. But and this is important, you can always ask for it to be removed. So even if you agree to these [overhead airplane noise] you can just message...after you've seen it online and you say, Aii no! you can ask for it to be removed anytime. And then as I said, you can ask that your name not be attached. So basically, you can be anonymized. So there's a line there at the bottom here. If you want your name to be anonymized, you just initial there in a way that can't be read. I don't know if you guys...are we together?
Can you elaborate on this, "including notes and record preserved for public use permanently"...you know.
Angela Okune 1:55:59
So this is... records of the interview, so maybe any notes, jottings. And...and I think again, this is public use. So actually this one, I think is it could be used for commercial purposes, because public use doesn't stipulate specifically for what. So this is now open for anyone to use for any reason. Yeah. [long pause] Because these are the different license options. Yeah. [long pause] Okay, so we're together now I think we're at the anonymization, so that this is now just if you want to be named, so for some people, they might want to actually be named, but if you don't want to be named, then you just...so then it would just be like participant, whatever random number like that. So you can you can be anonymized, so if you want to be anonymized, just initial this line here. Yeah, if not, then that's fine. And if you want a specific name because I don't think I got your second names, so if you want your names to be mentioned you let me know. Mmmh, yeah, and in the future, you can ask for any this to be removed, you can be taken out of everything. You can have it destroyed. But you can't retract anything that's already in print or in press. And if you have anything else you want mentioned, you can list them here. Yeah.
So what's "subject name"?
Angela Okune 1:57:34
So if you want to be anonymous, don't print your name. Please. Just leave it blank and you can just sign in a way that I can't tell exactly. Just sign broadly, but if you want to be named then printed name is just all your names. Printed name is now your name written and then the signature is your signature.
Nicera Wanjiru 1:57:54
Oh, my name here?
Angela Okune 1:57:55
Yeah. [silence as all fill out]
Printed name is?
Angela Okune 1:58:10
Printed name is just your name, but if you want to be anonymous, just leave it blank. [Sound of papers flipping]
Angela Okune 1:58:30
I'm gonna write them. So maybe you can hand them back and I can see if we...how we how we answered... [laughs] Then I'll let you know how...but I can at least share it. Let's see what people said ..I'll give it back to you so that you can ...Let me not... I just want to see before I promise to you guys, yes. Okay. Let me just confirm [sound of Angela flipping through papers].
Okay! So I will share this back with you guys then it looks like everyone is almost in agreement. So at least I can promise...so I'll send you...I'm gonna be working... let me give this back...let me sign them and give them back to you... [exhales]... It's a lot of paperwork. Let me get a pen. But you see, it's good because then at least...Don't you feel a bit more consulted? Or how do you feel about this? Too much? What do you guys think? Like, because you know, a lot of people are also asking how they should do research better. [Others agree, saying yeah, mmh hmmm]. I don't think this is perfect. It's ...it's very conk. But I think it's important to ask someone about how they want their their photo to be shared...how they want, do they want it to be made money off of. You see, these are the things we've been talking about, isn't it? And I think it's good that you tell the researcher exactly how you feel. If they if they don't take it into account, then now you have grounds for telling them "Weh! See I told you and you didn't listen!" [audience makes general sounds of agreement]
You ticked yes? [inaudible as they talked to each other informally]
Yeah, I really like this idea of signing at the end rather than those researchers who come like "sign before we start, we can't talk until you sign" [all laugh] and then you end up saying things that you didn't...[inaudible because all laugh]
Angela Okune 2:00:37
so do you think this is something that...[inaudible] let me borrow someone else's pen...
This is more consultative.
Angela Okune 2:00:48
It is, I hope.
And then I also so I need to make copies for you guys. So I want to keep one and then you'll go home with one. And then I also want to invite you on the 12th of November that's in like two weeks. I'm having an event at in CBD at Macmillan, the second oldest library in Nairobi. And I'm bringing together librarians, archivists, open data people and researchers to come together because many of them don't talk to each other. And to think about how should we be archiving data? How should we be protecting this data and, and taking care of it? How should data be...be channeled back into communities? So we have three panels. One is on research kind of skills, like how are we training researchers around data? The other is on different kinds of research outputs, because sometimes reports are not the only form that someone wants to read about the research, isn't it? So how else can we give...and even the data you see the data for me...I really am still not... I haven't given up on data because I think it allows other people to use it. A report is someone's opinion already. They've already put all their insights they've already analyzed, and so it's a bit harder to to work together on something. But data, you and I can look at a data set together. And we can say, "I think it's around this." And you can say, "No, it's not, you can see clearly, this was asked in this way. So it's not around this." You know, and so there's more room for us to now negotiate. So for me...and someone can use it for their school project, someone else can use it for something else. So it gives more opportunities, instead of asking the same questions to the people again and again, let's now look at the data that we collected, and see how we can use it for different purposes. So I see that also as helping with research fatigue--people being tired of answering questions--if we can look at the data together, can we not come up with different ways of also interpreting it? So that's the second panel and the third panel is now on the politics of data: where it's actually sitting. These things now at the technical level, is the data in the US or is the data in Europe? You guys know all the issues with biometrics data, Huduma numba, you know, like this, those kinds of issues ... where is the server, where's the data? Is it the French company who's sitting on that data and now they're selling it back to us here? You know, it's like those...so that's the third panel. So it's from...eight. Eight is registration...nine is the event starting until three on the 12th. So if you're interested you can share with me your email and I can send you the details. I don't know. Yeah, there's no, again, no pressure. But yeah. Let me circulate this [passes around notebook for all to write contact information if they are interested].
Transcribed with https://otter.ai by Trevas Matahia.
Reviewed and cleaned by Angela Okune.
AO: This discussion took place at a Social Hall in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 from 2 PM - 4 PM. I offered to run the discussion in Swahili and prior to the start of the discussion, much of the informal conversation was in sheng/swahili but as soon as the discussion began, all switched to English. The discussion was guided with this set of questions that I had prepared in advance. I did not follow the guide strictly. Refreshments of queen cake muffins and sodas were provided on the table in front of everyone and we were seated around the rectangular table. There were some noises from the children playing in the yard outside of the hall which made some of the audio recording inaudible. The first pass of the audio recording was done in Otter.AI and then cleaned by a member of the research team, Trevas Matathia. I then went back through and made final edits and cleaning of the transcript. Two of the six participants wished to remain anonymous. The remaining participants elected to be named and I double checked with each of them to confirm.
Angela Okune, "Transcript: 191029_001 Being Researched in Kibera", contributed by Angela Okune, Research Data Share, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 13 March 2020, accessed 16 September 2021.