A Culture-Centered Model Appraisal Of Government Of Kenya’s Covid-19 Communication: A Case Of Urban Refugee Women In Kawangware, Nairobi Kenya

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School of Communication, Daystar University


The pertinent issue of health equity has increasingly become a critical part of sustainable health communication. Recent trends in health communication emphasize not only the importance of understanding and embedding cultural beliefs and values in health messages through cultural competency communication but also providing the community opportunities to participate in conceptualizing and contextualizing their health needs and creating health solutions (agency). Yet language and cultural exclusion continue to be common experiences for refugees living in host countries that use different languages to communicate even in pre-pandemic times. The objectives of the research were to explore the perception of urban refugee women on GOK COVID-19 Communication, to find out what channels of communication were accessible to them, understand the impact of government communication and how this influenced their behavior. This research adopted an exploratory research design. Focus group discussions and observation were used to collect data. Key findings from the study showed that radio was the most accessible channel of communication, however, more community-led channels of communication were preferred. Findings also challenged the concept of humanitarian framing that views refugees as victims demonstrating that they remained adaptable and resilient despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The study recommends communication methods that are tailored to the language and culture of the refugee community such as in-person, community-led sensitization and awareness-raising sessions to ensure inclusivity and wider reach. Inter-agency collaboration among government agencies, Refugee-led Organizations (RLOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to ensure a coordinated and holistic approach to supporting refugee populations during the pandemic.


Masters Thesis