Justice and security

New technologies for improving old public security challenges in Nairobi

Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

Over the past 5-10 years Nairobi has experienced rapid advancement in the use of mobile technology and is today considered a leading hub for ICT innovation in Africa. This Strategic Note maps out the digital environment shaping public security in selected informal settlements of Nairobi, conducted by the Danish Demining Group (DDG) and Spatial Collective. It considers the diverse ways in which information communication technologies (ICTs) are being adopted by Kenyan police in informal settlements and by the community in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s most violent informal settlements (or slum).

It highlights the views and attitudes of police working in different informal settlements and identifies opportunities and challenges for the introduction of new smart policing tools in the Nairobi context.

The use of digital technologies can potentially enhance accountability within the police while simultaneously providing a layer of protection for patrolling officers and improved community safety. The initiative is intended to employ a technology-driven approach to improving the accountability, responsiveness and effectiveness of city-based policing strategies and public security promotion.

The potential benefits in terms of improved effectiveness, efficiency and increased accountability of the police make it relevant to experiment with new technologies to assess their effectiveness and value for money.

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