Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit - Labour Impact Assessment - Research Report
January 2019 - Global Labour Institute, Manchester
This is the second report of research commissioned by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)
as a contribution to the ITF Our Public Transport (OPT) programme. The overall objectives of OPT are to “promote quality public transport and inclusive cities in Africa, including decent jobs, a just transition for informal workers, strong union representation and improved access to affordable mobility”.
The brief was to undertake research on:
The likely impact and implications of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for transport workers in Nairobi;
Good practice examples from elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa of engagement and inclusion of workers’
organisations in the development of BRT policy and implementation by local, national and international
The nature of the worker groups consulted (e.g. trade union, association, cooperative etc);
Consultation or negotiation processes;
Outcomes of the inclusion of workers’ representatives in the design and operation of BRT.
In October 2017 and November 2018 research teams of union representatives, led by the University of Nairobi, undertook questionnaire surveys among 607 workers (484 men and 117 women) in the Nairobi matatu industry.
The surveys were designed to capture data on the matatu workforce in the context of the development of BRT in Nairobi. The interviews were designed to build a profile of workforce demographics, occupations, work experience and qualifications, employment terms and relationships, working hours and conditions, earnings
and major issues experienced at work. It also aimed to determine the level of matatu workers’ awareness of BRT.
The street surveys were accompanied by a sequence of focus group discussions (FGDs), designed to provide further insight into the key issues faced by matatu workers, issues facing the Nairobi passenger transport system, ideas for improvements and reform, and attitudes towards the introduction of BRT.
In November 2018, there were an additional eight in-depth extended one-to-one interviews with workers to gain deeper insight into livelihoods, employment relationships and economics of the ‘target system’.
The 2017 fieldwork in Nairobi was accompanied by initial desk research to identify policies or analysis on
the question of community and workforce engagement in BRT consultation, planning and implementation.
The subsequent Preliminary Research & Baseline Study Report1, published in March 2018, included proposals for further research which formed the basis for the further work included in this report.
The first report was launched on 28 March 2018 at a seminar in Nairobi organised by the Kenya Transport Research Network, attended by fifty representatives of government and intergovernmental agencies, academic transport specialists, consultants, NGOs and transport trade unions2. This provided invaluable feedback to
the research team and assisted us to refine and improve our survey methodology and research questions.