Abstract for: Searching for System Leverage: Group Model Building for a Shared Understanding of Adequate Housing in Kenya

The housing challenge in Kenya is urgent and complex. Despite efforts by government and private organizations, the housing deficit has reached two million units and is continuously growing. To better understand the dynamics of the housing system, Habitat for Humanity hired the Millennium Institute to prepare and lead a group model building workshop with key stakeholders. The workshop resulted in a causal loop diagram which integrates different sectors of the housing system and constitutes the shared understanding of participants. The group model building effort led to new systemic insights, provided an artefact for improved interdisciplinary communication and identified interventions with potential for system-wide effects. The interventions and hypothesized impacts will inform the formulation and communication of a national strategy by Habitat for Humanity. Evaluating interventions and combining the conceptual model with collected evidence could provide the foundation for subsequent modelling iterations and initiate a continuous learning process in the organization.