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The DRC research programme

The key problems in DRC are due to a mixture of poverty, poor services and weak governance. The people in the DRC have seen almost two decades of war, suffered huge loss of life and seen the destruction of many livelihoods. Access to education, healthcare and water has severely deteriorated and services which are currently available are expensive, unregulated and are often not being provided by the government. There is no doubt that the conflict in DRC has had, and is continuing to have, an impact on services, however it is recognised the main underlying cause of these problems is how they are being delivered.

The SLRC research programme will be focusing on the health sector and the impact transport infrastructure has had on people’s livelihoods in South Kivu and Equateur.

The health sector is interesting because of its huge cost and its relative unavailability – which is a major concern to people and has therefore become a major focus of many government policies. 

The link between transport and urban livelihoods, such as street vending charcoal, oil, food, illegally brewed alcohol, phone cards etc. or construction, is another important issue which has been largely neglected in terms of government policy and research. Although much international investment has gone into the development of roads, little is known about whether job of opportunities have been created in and around the transportation sector, and if they have, what impact this has had on people’s lives.

The SLRC DRC Research Programme will specifically focus on the health sector, transportation and urban livelihoods from the perspective of local communities by looking at the following themes:

  1. Drivers of legitimacy: Experiences of service delivery and perceptions of a non-Weberian state
  2. Engaging with multi-stakeholder processes: How can external actors improve capacity development efforts in complex governance arrangements?
  3. The organisation of economic life

More information

The team

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) research programme is being led by the Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction based at Wageningen University in conjunction with Cordaid, the Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural (ISDR) in Bukavu and the Catholic University of Congo (UCC).



Contact us

Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction

Wageningen University

Droevendaalsesteeg 1

6708 PB Wageningen

The Netherlands

Tel: + 31 (0)317 4 82472

Email: slrc@odi.org.uk

Title Author Summary Country Date
Tracking change in livelihoods, service delivery and governance: Evidence from a 2012-2015 panel survey in South Kivu, DRC Adriaan J. E. Ferf and Evelien E. Thieme Groen, with Murhega Mashanda, Patrick Milabyo and Georgina Sturge This paper reports on the findings emerging from the second round of the survey – previously conducted in 2012 – of households in the conflict-affected province of South Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. DRC 23/12/2016
Apprécions-nous correctement? Réponse aux violences sexuelles en République Démocratique du Congo: Une comparaison entre 2011 et 2014 Nynke Douma, Dorothea Hilhorst and Jocelyne Matabaro La République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) est connue sur le plan international pour les violences sexuelles liées au conflit qui a affecté un très grand nombre de victimes. Ce rapport compare la réponse des programmes de 2011 et 2014 à la violence sexuelle et s’interroge sur leurs résultats DRC 27/07/2016
Les femmes engagées dans la sexualité transactionnelle et travaillant dans la prostitution: Pratiques et facteurs sous-jacents dans le trafic du sexe au Sud-Kivu, en République Démocratique du Congo Isumbisho Mwapu, Dorothea Hilhorst, Murhega Mashanda, Muhigwa Bahananga and Ruhamya Mugenzi La sexualité transactionnelle et la prostitution sont des phénomènes qui forment une partie importante de la vie urbaine au Sud-Kivu, RDC. Ce rapport examine l’importance de la sexualité transactionnelle en tant que stratégie de survie pour les femmes et analyse leurs motivations en s’engageant dans la prostitution et la sexualité transactionnelle DRC 14/07/2016
Women engaging in transactional sex and working in prostitution: Practices and underlying factors of the sex trade in South Kivu, the Democratic Republic of Congo Isumbisho Mwapu, Dorothea Hilhorst, Murhega Mashanda, Muhigwa Bahananga and Ruhamya Mugenzi Transactional sex and prostitution form a significant part of everyday urban life in South Kivu, DRC. This report examines the importance of transactional sex as an element in women’s survival strategies and seeks to understand women’s motivations and their agency in engaging in prostitution and transactional sex DRC 08/03/2016
The many faces of transactional sex: Women’s agency, livelihoods and risk factors in humanitarian contexts: A Literature Review Constance Formson and Dorothea Hilhorst Transactional sex is just one of the coping mechanisms that women adopt in humanitarian crisis. This paper explores its complex relationship with livelihoods and the multiple risks and vulnerabilities that women engaging in it face DRC 08/03/2016
Getting the balance right? Sexual violence response in the DRC: A comparison between 2011 and 2014 Nynke Douma, Dorothea Hilhorst and Jocelyne Matabaro The Democratic Republic of Congo is known internationally for the conflict-affected sexual violence that has scarred a very large number of victims. This report compares sexual violence response programmes in 2011 and 2014 and asks if we have got the balance right DRC 11/02/2016
Surveying livelihoods service delivery and governance: baseline evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo C.W.J. de Milliano, A. Ferf, J. Oude Groeniger and M. Mashanda In 2012, SLRC implemented the first round of an original sub-regional panel survey in DRC aimed to produce data on people's livelihoods, access to and experience of basic services, and people’s perceptions of governance. DRC 31/03/2015
Rural road(re)construction Transport and rural livelihoods in the conflict-affected and fragile state environment of South Kivu Adriaan Ferf, Dorothea Hilhorst and Murhega Mashanda Substantial international investment has gone into the rehabilitation of the road infrastructure in DRC, but little is known about the impact of road rehabilitation on the organisation of urban-rural transport or on rural people’s lives. This report is based on a survey among 1250 households in South Kivu, a review of the transport sector and qualitative community research. DRC 23/04/2014
Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Democratic Republic of the Congo Bart Wejis, Dorothea Hilhorst and Adriaan Ferf This working paper undertakes a critical review of existing evidence on livelihoods and the delivery of basic services and social protection interventions in Democratic Republic of the Congo, paying extra attention to the eastern provinces. DRC 03/09/2012