I studied political and social sciences and economics. I have inquired into the domains of poverty alleviation, capabilities, local governance and practical norms (see recent book with Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan). I have published mainly on poverty, regress and development in Congo-Kinshasa but have occasionally done some work on Nicaragua, Rwanda and Cameroon. I am actually focusing my research and policy advisory work on local aspects of public action in DRC.  This focus links me to the IOB's Great Lakes of Africa Centre. I also coordinated a consultancy project on the sector of primary education in DRC on behalf of UNICEF. Before coming to Antwerp, I worked at the Universidad Centroamericana (Managua, Nicaragua).  I was chair of IOB between 2012-18. 

Recent Work

Interview about the abolishment of school fees in the DRC (19/08/2020).

Titeca, K.  Malukisa Nkuku, A.  De Herdt, T. (2020). Belgique-Congo: les paiements de restitution, mais comment?  in: La Libre Belgique, 12/08/2020.  

Brandt, C. & De Herdt, T. (2020) Reshaping the reach of the state: the politics of teacher payment reform in the DR Congo.  Journal of Modern African Studies 58 (1), pp. 24-43.  blogpost

Titeca, K.  De Herdt, T. (2019) Failed state? How the DRC continues to provide public services, Blogpost op The Conversation, September 25.

De Herdt, T.  & Titeca, K. (eds.) (2019) Negotiating public services in the Congo; state, society and governance.  London: ZED books. 

Marivoet, W., De Herdt, T.  Ulimwengu, J. (2019) Who Benefitted from the Peace Dividend in the DRC?  Blogpost on Roape.net, 9/04/2019.

Marivoet, W.,  De Herdt, T., Ulimwengu, J. (2019)  Reviewing DRC’s poverty estimates, 2005-2012 : unprecedented GDP growth without trickle down.  Report n° 73, Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, ODI.

Brandt, C.  & De Herdt, T. (2019) On the political economy of data collection: lessons from the unaccomplished population census (Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006-18). Report n° 72, Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, ODI, also picked up by RFI.

Cassimon, D.  De Herdt, T.  Marivoet, W.  Verbeke, K. (2019)  "From the executive board to the classroom. What debt relief means for education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)" in: International Journal of Public Administration Vol. 42 n° 14, pp. 1175-87.

Cassimon, D.  De Herdt, T.   Marivoet, W.   Verbeke, K.  (2018)  "Use of debt relief for the education sector in the DRC" in: Global Encyclopedia of public administration, public policy, and governance" (online: 14 September).

Marivoet, W.  De Herdt, T.  (2018) "What happens with household assets during economic collapse? The case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1975-2010)"  in: Journal of Development Studies vol. 55 n° 4, pp. 680-701.  

Marivoet, W.  De Herdt, T.  Ulimwengu, J.  (2018)  "Navigating around the DRC’s statistical potholes; New estimates on welfare and poverty trends (2005-2012) following a spatially disaggregated approach" IOB Working Paper 18.02. 

Moshonas, S.  De Herdt, T.   (2017)  "the challenge of retirement in the Congolese administration"  ODI-SLRC-blogpost, 20 December 2017.

Moshonas, S.  De Herdt, T.  & Titeca, K.  "DR Congo: The case for taking the administration seriously"  LSE-blogpost, 20 December 2017.

De Herdt, T. & Marivoet, W. "Is informalization equalizing? Evidence from Kinshasa (DRC)" in  Journal of Contemporary African Studies, vol. 36 n° 1, pp. 121-42. 

De Herdt, T.  Marivoet, W.  Muhigirwa, F.  "Vers la réalisation du droit à une éducation de qualité pour tous" in: Congo-Afrique  n° 517, pp. 647-66.

Manguni, G.  & De Herdt, T.  (2017)  “Ban on home birth and pursuit of safety in delivery” in: Asia-Pacific Social Science Review  vol 16 n° 3

Marivoet, W.  & De Herdt, T.  “Tracing down real socio-economic trends from household data with erratic sampling frames: the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo” in: Journal of Asian and African Studies Vol. 53 Issue 4 (June), pp. 532-52. DOI: 10.1177/0021909617698842 See also this Analyses & Policy Brief:  From Figures to Facts: making sense of socio-economic surveys in the DRC

Mbunya, F.  De Herdt, T.  Chuyong, G.  Vanwing, T.  (2016)  "The influence of institutions on access to forest resources in Cameroon: The case of Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary"  in: Journal for Nature Conservation 34, pp. 42-50.

De Herdt, T. & Titeca, K. (2016)  “The United Nations set an ambitious education goal. Why did it fail in Congo?” blogpost in the Washington Post, 8 June.

De Herdt, T.  and  Titeca, K.  (2016) "Governance with empty pockets: the education sector in the DRC" in: Development and Change, Vol. 47 n° 3.

De Herdt, T.  Marivoet, W. Muhigirwa, F.  (2015)  Vers la réalisation du droit à une éducation de qualité pour tous - rapport final et résumé exécutif.   UNICEF RDC  (octobre) - Powerpoint - media

Poncelet, M.   Kapagama Ikando, P.  De Herdt, T.  M’Piana Tshitenge, Jean-Pierre,  Matagne, G.  (2015)   « A la marge de l’internationalisation de l’enseignement supérieur... Mais au cœur d’un marché universitaire national : L’université de Kinshasa (République Démocratique du Congo) » in : Revue Tiers Monde n° 223, pp. 91-109.

(with Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan) (ed.) Real governance and practical norms in Sub-Sahara Africa: the game of the rules  London: Routledge Introduction

Op-ed in belgian Newspaper De Standaard, "the unbearable lightness of world poverty", 11-12 april 2015

Interview about the belgian ecological footprint and its impact on the South, in Knack, January 2015

Interview about the achievement of the UN-Development Goals in UAntwerp Magazine, December 2014

(with Wim Marivoet)  Poverty lines as context deflators : a method to account for regional diversity with application to the Democratic Republic of Congo in: The review of income and wealth, p. 1-24

Op-ed in newspaper "De Morgen", 27 September 2014: "Efficiënter, ja, maar moet de staat ook slanker?"

A team of IOB-researchers is collaborating with UNICEF on a policy strategy for the education sector in the DRC, in the framework of a Rolling Situation Analysis. The first policy dialogue with representatives of international organisations and different members of the government of the DRC took place on September 11.

I wrote a blogpost (with Kate Meagher en Kristof Titeca) about "Hybrid governance in Africa: buzzword or paradigm shift?" on AfricanArguments.org. which was written on the basis of an IS Academy research brief "unravelling public authority". the blogpost was picked up by the Washington Post on 15 May, and cited by Hazel Gray in a review of the "governance for development" book by David Booth and Diana Cammack.

(with Wim Marivoet) "Reliable, challenging or misleading? A qualitative account of the most recent national surveys and country statistics in the DRC" in: Canadian Journal of Development Studies vol. 35 n° 1, pp. 97-119. Also appeared in Morten Jerven (ed.) (2015) Measuring African development: past and present  London: Routledge

I wrote an opinion piece with An Ansoms on multi-level aspects of development cooperation in Belgium and Flanders (in Dutch, De Standaard 4 juli 2013)

2013 (with Emmanuel Kasongo Mungongo) "La gratuité de l'enseignement primaire en RDC: attentes et revers de la médaille" in: Cahiers Africains n° 82, pp. 217-39. 

2013 (with Kristof Titeca & Inge Wagemakers) "God and Caesar in the Democratic Republic of Congo: negotiating church-state relations through the management of school fees in Kinshasa's Catholic schools" in: African Review of Political Economy vol. 40 n° 135, pp. 116-131.

2012 (with Kristof Titeca & Inge Wagemakers) "Make schools, not war? Donors' rewriting of the social contract in the DRC" in: Development Policy Review 30 (6),  pp. 681-701. paper cited in World Development Report 2018 on education.