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Building Space for Peace and Dialogue in DRC

Our work in DRC increases social cohesion through the inclusion of women and marginalized groups and strengthening civil society.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we work with marginalized groups and civil society to build a sustainable, more peaceful future, and to address gaps in livelihoods.

We are working in the Democratic Republic of Congo to increase social cohesion through the inclusion of women and other marginalized groups (OMGs) in six priority territories of eastern DRC, namely Walungu, Kabare, Kalehe and Bukavu City in South Kivu, and Masisi and Goma City in North Kivu.

The USAID-funded Solutions for Peace and Recovery Project (SPR) is based on the hypothesis that if women and OMGs are given the skills and opportunities to participate in community-based decision-making, more sustainable and impactful solutions to conflict will result. The project is delivered in conjunction with our partners International Alert and IRC.

To help communities better understand their conflict issues, we strengthen civil society organizations’ existing capacities in conflict analysis and mediation. To expand community participation, we build the capacity of women leaders and create safe spaces for women and OMGs to participate in local decision-making processes.

To encourage broader access to livelihoods and equitable delivery of services, we support inclusive community-led development plans, deliver livelihood trainings and shape development resources and services in target areas to be conflict sensitive.

Over the past two years, working hand in hand with our partners and local communities, we have achieved strong results. We have:

  • Supported the creation of 72 participatory conflict analyses;
  • Trained 190 organizations in participatory conflict analysis;
  • Delivered 9 high-level research papers on conflict in the Kivus;
  • Established or revitalized 105 local peace and development committees and 68 mentoring clubs for women and OMGs focused on leadership development;
  • Built the capacity of 674 women and OMGs on leadership skills and conducted 75 community dialogues to promote their civic participation;
  • and Facilitated the participation of 229 women in local peacebuilding processes.

We also supported the creation of 13 development plans that respond to community conflict issues and trained over 1,300 women and OMGs in livelihoods activities. We also conducted over 75 events that promoted community social cohesion. Finally, SPR provides support to two provincial advocacy networks in the Kivus that promote peace and social cohesion at the regional and national level.