Power, poverty and politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The (dynamics of the) Congolese state has/have been widely analysed, both at a national and local level. Yet, what does this mean for policy and change? What is the room for manoeuvre for external actors to try and positively influence how DRC is governed, reduce conflict and reduce poverty? This two-year research programme (1 January 2017- 31 December 2018) aims to tackle these what, why and how questions, pushing existing research on governance, service delivery and livelihoods further to examine the details of policy implementation from national to local levels and generating lessons from what works in promoting positive change. We explore a range of sector-specific topics that link closely to DFID programmes, policies were chosen for their potential to contribute practical operational knowledge. At the same time, the individual research projects also address big cross-cutting questions of governance and state-society relations that might help inform DFID’s broader discussions on how to engage in fragile states with weak governance.

This research is coordinated by the Overseas Development Institute and the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC), and is implemented by the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) at the University of Antwerp, International Institute of Social Studies (in particular Thea Hilhorst), and Claremont Graduate University/ Pomona College (in particular Pierre Englebert). For the IOB, the project is coordinated by Kristof Titeca and Tom De Herdt.

The following research projects are part of this program:



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