Research Programme

Understanding resilience in later life in a low resource setting

This project is funded by the ESRC and DFID.

Maria EvandrouJane Falkingham Isabella Aboderin, Catherine Kyobtungi, Gloria Chepngeno Langat and Angela Baschieri

Project summary

Professor Maria Evandrou (PI) with colleagues from the Centre for Research on Ageing (Dr Gloria Langat, Dr Isabella Aboderin) and the Division of Demography (Prof. Jane Falkingham and Dr Angela Baschieri) received funding from the ESRC in order to explore the resilience of older persons in slums in Nairobi, Kenya. The study sought to better understand resilience among older people in coping with stresses and shocks, and how some people are able to adapt and to emerge with better health and socio-economic outcomes and overall wellbeing relative to other older people in these communities.

The project outcomes have contributed to fostering a deeper understanding of the nature of, and ways to foster the ’resilience’ of older slum residents, among policy role players locally. The findings suggest, moreover, that the nature of adversity and resilience among older slum dwellers differs markedly from, or is novel to existing conceptions in the largely Western-focused literature. Taken together, the project findings are expected to advance the scientific and policy debate on later life resilience globally.

This project was funded between October 2012 and July 2015.



Bennett, R., Chepngeno-Langat, G., Evandrou, M. and Falkingham J. (2015) Resilience in the face of post-election violence in Kenya: The mediating role of social networks on wellbeing among older people in the Korogocho informal settlement, Nairobi. Social Science & Medicine, 128, 159-167.

Falkingham, J. (2012) Outward Migration from Large Cities: Are Older Migrants in Nairobi 'Returning'? Population, Space and Place, 18 (3), 327-343. 


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