The DRC research programme
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is plagued by poverty, poor services and weak governance. People in the DRC have seen almost two decades of war, suffered huge loss of life and the destruction of livelihoods. Access to education, healthcare and water has severely deteriorated and services which are expensive, unregulated and are often provided by non-government actors.
In the first phase of SLRC (2011 – 2017), our research programme focused 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 become a focus of many government policies. The link between transport and urban livelihoods 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. Lastly, the research programme also looked at transactional sex and prostitution, digging deeper into the practices and underlying factors of the sex trade in South Kivu.
SLRC’s DRC research programme during Phase I focused on the following core themes:
- Drivers of legitimacy: Experiences of service delivery and perceptions of a non-Weberian state
- Engaging with multi-stakeholder processes: How can external actors improve capacity development efforts in complex governance arrangements?
- The organisation of economic life
- Transactional sex, prostitution and responses to sexual violence