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Evaluating MSME pilot in government affordable housing projects

The Park Road Affordable Housing Project (AHP) was selected as a pilot intervention for the Kenyan government’s MSME access to market programme. The government sought to incorporate informal Jua Kali artisans in the manufacturing and construction industry in the delivery of metal and wooden doors for this project.

This pilot involved the main contractor, the China State Construction Engineering Company (CSCEC), subcontracting the production and installation of doors to MSMEs/Jua Kali artisans.

The artisans operated as non-profit organisations from three different clusters: Ngong Road, Kamukunji and Kariobangi light industries. The clusters were supported to form a new company, NgoKamKa (NKK), which acted as a special-purpose vehicle to formally contract with the CSCEC, and share the work across all three clusters while maintaining their individual structures to pursue other work.

The NKK pilot ran from February 2018 to December 2020. In addition to the market access, the pilot also aimed to provide technical assistance and practical experience to improve the skills of largely informal artisans to improve their productivity and ability to contribute to the government’s AHP programme.

As the Park Road pilot was coming to an end, Genesis was commissioned to conduct an impact assessment through an evaluation of internal stakeholder documentation, stakeholder interviews and a 350-person survey of artisans and business owners within the three clusters.

In addition to documenting the key learnings, Genesis developed recommendations for scaling MSME integration in government projects sustainably and identified opportunities to embed innovative finance in informal businesses.

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