Who Commissioned and Supported MajiData?

MajiData is an initiative of the Kenyan Water Sector. The mandate to prepare MajiData was given to the Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF) by its parent ministry: the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI).

MajiData received technical advice and support from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development.

MajiData would not have been implemented and completed without the active technical support provided by GIZ, UN-Habitat, Google.org, ITC Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (University of Twente) and Upande (all part of the H2.0 initiative; http://www.h20initiative.org/).

MajiData was funded by UN-Habitat, the German Development Bank (KfW), Google.org, GIZ and the WSTF. 

Office space was provided by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

The H2.0 Initiative “Monitoring Services to Inform and Empower”

The MajiData programme is proud to be part of the H2.0 initiative, which was initiated by UN-Habitat and Google.org. The H2.0 Initiative aims to empower stakeholders -and residents in particular -by making relevant data accessible to all.

The following organisations are currently part of the H2.0 consortium: Google.orgUN-HabitatGIZ, the University of Twente and WaterAid.

For more information, visit the H2.0 website: http://www.h20initiative.org/.

Once the H2.0 platform is ready, MajiData will migrate and become accessible through the H2.0 portal.  

History of MajiData

During the 2007 Annual Water Sector Conference (held in November) the need to carry out a pro-poor mapping exercise in order to collect data on the urban low-income areas was identified as being one of the priority water sector undertakings for 2008.

Soon after the conference the Ministry of Water and Irrigation requested the WSTF to develop a pro-poor urban database covering all urban low income areas in Kenya.

In October 2008 the data collection tools and other measures to prepare for a country-wide data collection exercise were finalised.

The creation of the initial MajiData team and the testing of the data collection tools were completed in December 2008.

Early 2009 MajiData became part of the H2.0 initiative.

The data collection exercise started in February 2009. The exercise was completed in March 2011.

MajiData was officially launched in December 2011.

Need for Data on Urban Low Income Areas

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the WSTF and the organisations that supported and funded MajiData (KfW, GIZ, UN-Habitat, Google.org) believe that a pro-poor urban database is necessary:

  • To inform and empower the residents of underserved low income areas. Having access to detailed data on their area and being able to compare their area with other low income areas can assist residents to approach their service provider and demand for improved services.

  • In order to enable the Water Service Providers (WSPs) to prepare realistic water supply and sanitation (WSS) project proposals for specific low-income areas.

  • To allow the Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF) to evaluate and prioritize pro-poor project proposals according to a set of criteria (number of people served, per capita investment cost, current water supply situation, etc.).

  • To evaluate a specific WSTF-funded project and to assess if the project offers value for money.

  • To enable the Kenyan Water Sector to assess the current WSS situation and the impact of the WSTF-funded and other projects and their contribution to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the objectives specified in the Vision 2030 document.

The above-mentioned objectives and the data needs expressed by the various sector stakeholders (see next section) during the “stakeholder assessment” have guided the development of the overall approach as well as of the data collection methods, techniques and tools.

Focus of MajiData: All Urban Low Income Areas

MajiData has (1) a low income area and (2) a water sector focus.The rationale for opting for such a combined area (settlement) &  sector focus is that such an emphasis, given the right tools, allows for making  a distinction between rural and urban settings on the basis of  population densities at micro/meso level, instead of upon administrative boundaries.
Categorising areas according to their population density is important. The decision to adopt an area & sector focus is justified by the objective of the sector to reduce water & sanitation-related public health risks. In areas experiencing population growth, an increase in population density often results a gradual reduction of the distances between water sources/outlets on the one hand and latrines and other sources/causes of  aquifer and surface pollution on the other. A continuous increase in local  population density eventually renders certain water supply technologies (e.g.  hand pumps, rainwater harvesting installations and protected yard wells, which  may offer a rather risk free solution in rural settings are unsuitable). Within a densely populated urban slum the protected yard well cannot be considered as a source of safe water. Rainwater harvesting, in an area where the use of flying  toilets (e.g. Kibera in Nairobi) is common, may pose a direct threat to public health.
These technologies/outlets are unsuitable in the sense that they cannot be assumed to provide their users access to safe water. Therefore, instead of  considering administrative boundaries, MajiData aims to present data on all low income areas (settlements) with urban characteristics and urban population densities.

MajiData does not contain data on all urban settings and settlements. MajiData does not include areas which are characterised by good or acceptable service levels and high or medium average income levels. The focus of MajiData is, therefore, on the urban underserved low income areas.

The MajiData programme was not preceded -or accompanied- by a detailed  assessment of average household incomes in all urban areas. The decision to categorise an area as being either a low income or a medium/high income, i.e. the decision to include or exclude an area, was made on the basis of a set of wealth and service level indicators such as legal status, quality of housing, housing materials used, area layout, condition of roads and drainage, the solid waste situation and the water supply situation. These criteria were used to prepare a set of area typologies and definitions. The information needed for the categorisation of urban areas was collected during the reconnaissance visits.

It is important to emphasise that the database contains data on unplanned urban settlements (e.g. urban slums, IDP camps) as well as on planned low income areas.

Anticipated Users of MajiData

The MajiData Database has been designed to serve the data needs and requirements of the following WSS Sector stakeholders:

  • The residents of the urban low income areas.
  • The Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI).
  • The Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF).
  • The Water Services Boards (WSBs).
  • The Water Service Providers (WSPs).
  • The Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB).
  • The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MPHS)
  • The Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) of the World Bank.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the water sector.

In addition to these sector stakeholders, MajiData will be of interest to other organisations such as:

  • The Councils.  
  • The Ministry of Culture and Social Services.