Social Capital in Kenya: A Strategy for Rural Development

Gabriel N. Kirori


Social capital can best be understood as a means or a process for accessing various forms of resources and support through networks of social relations whereas livelihood refers to a means of living or survival including resources that provide people with capability to build a satisfactory living, the risk factors that people must consider in managing their resources, and the institutional and policy context that help or hinder people in their pursuit of a viable living. Rural households adopt diversification strategy of livelihoods that reflects the socio-economic dimensions of households. The aim of this paper is to investigate social capital as a strategy for promoting rural development in Kenya. The paper uses primary data collected from a sample of 340 households from Nyeri district in 2009 to demonstrate the linkage between social capital and rural livelihoods. The outcome of rural livelihoods is proxied by total household consumption expenditure. Econometric methods are used to explore the nexus between social capital and livelihood outcomes.

Keywords: Social capital, livelihood, rural households, diversification strategy, rural development.

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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