Turkana West is an arid and semi-arid sub-county in Turkana County, where Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee settlements are located. By the end of 2020, the sub-county’s combined population of refugees and host communities exceeded 500,000 persons.

The population face multiple socio-economic challenges and vulnerabilities, with the economy in the Kakuma-Kalobeyei area, the largest human settlements cluster in Turkana West, dependent on humanitarian programming. Pastoralism is the main livelihood strategy for the host community, the Turkana people, with many of them practising nomadism. 

Cities Alliance established the two-year initiative Sustainable Economic Development Along Turkana West Development Corridor Through Enhanced Connectivity, to improve connectivity and networks that enable businesses, local governments, and individuals to gain access to a wider choice of goods, finance, employment, and investment opportunities, leading to a sustainable local economy in the region.

As part of the project, UN-Habitat, in partnership with the County Government of Turkana conducted a study on the prevailing socio-economic conditions and local economic development in Kenya's Turkana West region. The research also analysed the trends of urbanization in the North Rift region. 

The study involved desktop research and primary data collection in 2020, which entailed interviewing key informants, focus group discussions, quantitative household questionnaires, and research feedback sessions with the local communities. The research is available in three volumes, each with a research brief: 

The initiative is part of the Cities Alliance - Cities and Migration programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.