Kenya: Integrating vulnerable populations into Continuous Household Survey Framework

Background and Context

Kenya is a diverse country with large regional inequalities, resulting in particularly vulnerable populations that are often left behind in the development trajectory. Addressing the needs of these vulnerable groups is critical to inclusive and sustainable growth, while contributing to social stability in the country. Since 1992, Kenya has been a generous host to refugees and asylum seekers, a population which exceeds 490,000 people. The refugees – along with the host communities that are often extremely poor – remain vulnerable, and are often deprived of sustainable development opportunities.[1] Data on the socioeconomic characteristics of camp and non-camp refugees, and host communities is important to understand sustainable livelihoods needs and barriers to achieve them. Without comparative data, interventions are at risk of being designed only for refugees, excluding the host communities. There is an added risk of lost opportunities for interaction between the host communities, and those displaced.  The refugee and host communities are not explicitly included in national household surveys in Kenya. Thus, the scope of comparative analysis of this vulnerable population is severely limited to inform interventions in the nexus of humanitarian and development objectives.

Activity Description

The objective of this activity is to alleviate the data and analysis gap for refugees and host communities in Kenya. Building on precedent socioeconomic assessments carried out by UNHCR and the World Bank in Kalobeyei settlement and Kakuma camp, the activity aims at producing comparative datasets for refugees and hosts integrated into the framework of Kenya’s Continuous Household Survey (KCHS). This will be followed by dissemination of the datasets and corresponding analyses to provide an evidence base for designing programs and policies to improve their livelihoods.

Overall Objectives

The activity will be implemented by the World Bank in close collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and UNHCR. The activity will produce comparative datasets that will be made available online after appropriate anonymization. The datasets will provide an evidence base to inform policies for displaced populations and host communities in Kenya. In addition, the activity will produce a comparative socioeconomic profile for both populations and provide policy recommendations to improve and reach sustainable livelihoods. With evidence-based and targeted programs and policies, the livelihoods for these populations are more likely to be improved. While the results will be tailored specifically to Kenya, they will also contribute to the global debate on displacement as a case-study. The main beneficiaries will be the Government of Kenya County Governments (mainly, Nairobi, Garissa, Wajir and Turkana), UNHCR, the World Bank and other development and humanitarian actors in Kenya, including the World Food Programme, International Organization for Migration, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, Norwegian Refugee Council and the International Rescue Committee. In addition, the activity will contribute to a better evidence base globally and overall, benefit regional and global actors in the context of displacement and vulnerable populations.

Engagement with partners

This activity will be part of the ongoing collaboration between the World Bank, the KNBS and UNHCR. Specifically, ongoing collaboration includes the implementation of UNHCR-WB socioeconomic assessments and household surveys by the KNBS.


For further details on this activity, please contact:


[1] Refugees in Kenya live in Dadaab camp (44%), Kakuma camp and Kalobeyei settlement (40%), and urban areas (16%). 51% of them are men and 49% are women, although 77% of them are women and children.

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