Photo: Child Health and Mobility

The Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi, Kenya

Urban Spaces Design, Mobility and Transport Safety of Children: A Comparative Study of Nairobi and Kumasi Cities

EP-2019-MAC-06, Dr. Anne Wairimu Kamau, Research Fellow


The Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi (Kenya) jointly with the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast (UCC) Ghana have developed a proposal titled ‘Urban Spaces Design, Mobility and Transport Safety of Children: A Comparative Study of Nairobi and Kumasi Cities’.

The study seeks to explore the linkage between urban spaces access and mobility and children transport safety in the two cities. Specifically, the study proposes to: (i) interrogate children safety policies and regulations in Kenya and Ghana; (ii) determine travel needs of children in Nairobi and Kumasi, mobility options and factors influencing the choices; (iii) conduct transport safety audits to map out pedestrian infrastructure and examine accidents/fatalities incidences involving children in Nairobi and Kumasi; (iv) assess efficacy of children safety measures and education programmes and provide inter-county learning; and (v) explore options for promoting safe access and mobility for children in these cities.

Mixed-methods approaches will be used to gather data and will include: documents review, mobile interviews with children, in-depth interviews with parents/guardians and school authorities, key informant interviews with community leaders, policy makers, urban planners and civil society organizations, and focus group discussions with transport providers including motorcycles. The study will raise critical questions about children safety as pedestrians, pillion and passengers; as well as explore options for enhancing safe access and mobility for children. This is important given the rapid urbanization of African cities and increased investment in transport infrastructure and development.

The research will be hosted by IDS and Ghana will also lead its component of the study. Joint international exchanges, knowledge sharing and capacity building forums will be held between the two institutions. The information gathered will inform policy and initiate discussions around children safety and form the basis for developing further research.


Dr. Anne Kamau is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi. She conducts research on health and development with specialisation in medical sociology, the social-cultural dimensions of health and health systems. Anne is currently working on a TDR supported implementation research project on 'the role of CHWs in malaria control and prevention in Malindi, Kenya'. She is also working on a consultancy project on ‘enrolment of informal sector workers and women domestic workers (WDWs) to social protection schemes' (National Hospital Insurance Fund, National Social Security Fund and Mbao Pension Plan) in five informal settlements in Nairobi. Anne serves as an adhoc committee member for the TDR/WHO Research Capacity Strengthening.

She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Social Work in 1994 and a Masters of Arts degree in Sociology in 1999 from the University of Nairobi. She completed a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree in 2006 from the University of Bielefeld, Germany. After doctoral studies, Anne joined the Department of Sociology, Kenyatta University as a lecturer until 2014 when she joined IDS.

Anne has supervised several postgraduate and PhD students in Kenya and internationally. She has published in several journals among them: Health Sociology Review: International Journal of Health Sociology, MalariaWorld Journal, International Journal of Education and Research, Journal of Development Effectiveness, African Sociological Review, and East African Medical Journal.

See also Interview with Dr. Anne W. Kamau - July 2020 Newsletter

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