Kenya Communication Profile

communication and development

 Health:  Here the AudienceScapes survey examines how Kenyans receive information regarding seven key public health issues, including Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Infant Health

Case Studies: Rural Women Under 30, Urban Men Under 30, the Urban Poor, and Opinion Leaders in Health Information

Agriculture: Crop and Livestock farmers were asked how they stay informed about various agricultural topics—both “practical” topics such as fertilizer use and pest control, and “business” topics such as market prices, legal questions and agricultural loans and credits.

Case Studies: Livestock Information and Radio and Opinion Leaders in Agricultural Information 

Personal Finance: The AudienceScapes survey approached finance issues from an information perspective to determine whether and/or how Kenyans are learning about various services, with the aim of pinpointing information gaps that might be filled by development organizations.

Case Studies: Who is Using Mobile Money?, Opinion Leaders in Financial Information

country overview

  The Country Overview examines both traditional and new media formats in terms of access and general use, including radio, television, mobile phones, newsprint and the internet.


Gender Gap: Communication often needs to be tailored by gender to account for differing socioeconomic conditions of men and women, cultural norms about household roles and the use of leisure time, or gender differences in preferences and tastes.

The Urban-Rural Divide: There is a stark rural-urban split in access to most media and ICTs. This also helps to explain why a relatively high percentage of rural residents said they rely on word-of-mouth sources as a regular (weekly) news source.

the development context in kenya

Political Context: The survey research for this report was conducted in July and August 2009, as Kenya continued to grapple with the aftermath of the civil unrest of early 2008. The complex political backdrop included a fragile power-sharing government, pervasive suspicion of official corruption (reflected in the 90 percent of survey respondents who said corruption was a “serious problem” or “very serious problem”.

Development Priorities: Although Kenya is a leader in Africa in some key economic sectors—notably in telecommunications—the country still faces ongoing and severe development challenges, made only more difficult by political and social upheaval as well as a recent severe drought.

Gauging Development Progress: The survey asked respondents to take stock of the country's development success over the past few years, providing a demand-side benchmark for development organizations working on high-profile issues. Survey respondents were asked how much progress had been made during the last four to five years in achieving six key development criteria derived from the Millennium Development Goals.

Development Topics and News Preferences: Issue priorities can be measured indirectly by looking at the types of news topics that respondents pay most attention to when they watch television, listen to the radio or read a newspaper. The responses suggest that most Kenyan adults are eager to read stories about such topics as health, agriculture and the environment, bolstering the chances that development groups involved in these areas will be able to engage target groups through the media.