After Kenya achieved independence, educational opportunities expanded with the help of community contributions in what is known as the Harambee movement. A person's expected contribution to Harambee depends on their wealth level; thus, the movement was a form of wealth redistribution within the community. Although educational expansion has been facilitated by government initiatives since the 2000s, the spirit and practice of Harambee remains as a means of establishing schools. The objective of this study is to examine the processes through which new secondary schools are established in modern Kenya by analysing the role of communities. Through case studies of five schools in Busia County, this study found that the relationship between the community as educational providers and the community as educational consumers has undergone changes that have resulted in a decrease in overlap between the two roles as the number of schools increases. The function of wealth redistribution has seemingly succeeded, with differentiations made between pre- and post-establishment of public schools. It was succeeded as the redistribution by particular people from geographic community and as a cost-sharing with unified amounts by parents. This study indicates that the regional divide will become more complex through the interaction of diversified ways of involving communities in school development and the existence of multi-stratified communities surrounding schools.
The ‘Productivity Safety Net Program’ (PSNP), a large-scale social protection program started by the Ethiopian government in 2005 in response to widespread starvation, has attracted positive attention. However, most studies focusing on the impact of the PSNP on its so-called beneficiaries have not fully considered its political intentions or the relationships between the PSNP and other development projects. In this paper, I will first analyze the impact of dam construction and the operation of commercial farms on the subsistence economy and the food security of agro-pastoral people in southwestern Ethiopia. Next, I will examine how the PSNP has been implemented within the context of these development projects and will review relevant consequences. I will focus especially on how the clear political intentions underpinning the initiation of this program have influenced the process by which PSNP's beneficiaries are selected on the local level. Finally, I will address the fact that the PSNP and other development projects have strengthened the people's dependence on the state and have divided the community between those who benefit from the PSNP and have accepted the development projects, and those who have not.